Traffic controller pay in Australia: $135 an hour


Australia’s lollipop ladies have revealed the dark side of the industry despite some raking in thousands every week from the job that many consider ‘easy money’.

It’s no secret the profession can take its toll with workers forced to spend entire days standing on their feet in the rain, hail or sunshine.

They always have to be on high alert and direct traffic and pedestrians around worksites to prevent any accidents or injuries. 

The hard graft comes with high rewards with lollipop ladies raking in as much as $130,000 a year.

Australia’s lollipop ladies have revealed the dark side of the industry despite some raking in thousands every week from the job that many consider ‘easy money’ 

Are traffic controllers well paid? 

Australia's traffic controllers can earn huge salaries thanks to generous union contracts

Australia’s traffic controllers can earn huge salaries thanks to generous union contracts  

It’s complicated, but usually not as well as you’d think.

The award rate nationally for a traffic controller is $29.79 per hour – but it can be as much as $120 an hour.

The pay rate is better for traffic controllers on union jobs, but that work is harder to find and in short supply.

Traffic controllers with the CFMEU union in Victoria can earn up to $135.30 per hour.  

Traffic controllers in Victoria can earn up to $135.30 per hour under the CFMEU union contract

Traffic controllers in Victoria can earn up to $135.30 per hour under the CFMEU union contract

Victoria's lollipop ladies are also entitled to a $47.40 daily travel allowance and a $27.83 meal allowance if they are employed under the CFMEU union contract

Victoria’s lollipop ladies are also entitled to a $47.40 daily travel allowance and a $27.83 meal allowance if they are employed under the CFMEU union contract

Full-time traffic controller roles in Victoria are typically advertised to earn between $50,000 and $70,000 a year.

According Seek.com.au, the median annual salary in NSW for a traffic controller is $76,249.

Across Australia, the most common salary advertised for traffic controllers is between $40,000 and $60,000.

Former lollipop worker Sarah told Daily Mail Australia she earned $2,000 in just one week. 

She warned the pay cheque came at a high cost with 4am wake-ups, late night finishes and run-ins with terrible drivers. 

‘Sometimes they don’t follow the road signs or slow down to 40km/h,’ she said. 

‘They either stop too close to you, so you feel like you’re going to be run over, or they will just drive right on through and potentially cause a life-threatening accident.

It's no secret the profession can take its toll with workers forced to spend entire days standing on their feet in the rain, hail or sunshine

It’s no secret the profession can take its toll with workers forced to spend entire days standing on their feet in the rain, hail or sunshine

Traffic controllers with the CFMEU union in Victoria can earn up to $125.78 per hour.

 Traffic controllers with the CFMEU union in Victoria can earn up to $125.78 per hour.

Lollipop ladies always have to be on high alert and direct traffic and pedestrians around worksites to prevent any accidents or injuries

Lollipop ladies always have to be on high alert and direct traffic and pedestrians around worksites to prevent any accidents or injuries

‘Worst part about it is that if something bad happens, it comes back on you.’ 

Several lollipop ladies have taken to social media to share their experiences on the job and the incredible payrates.

Amelia Brady and Unity Adams confirmed that they do get ‘hit on’ by drivers while trying to do their roadside jobs.

Meanwhile, Ms Adams, who is also a nursing student and online bikini model, claims she’s ‘hit on 24/7,’ while working in traffic control.

Belinha Ferreira previously uploaded a video to TikTok detailing how much she makes each day controlling traffic at constructions sites in Melbourne.

In a series of text captions placed over clips of the 21-year-old dancing in her high-vis uniform, she outlined the number of hours she worked versus how much she was paid.

Her largest pay packet was $544 for 13 hours of work, while her smallest was for eight hours of work for $255 – which is about $12 higher than minimum wage at $32 per hour. 

Lollipop ladies can make up to $2,000 a week, though the high pay comes with some hard work

Lollipop ladies can make up to $2,000 a week, though the high pay comes with some hard work

A lollipop lady rests her tired foot on a street box after spending the day standing on her feet and patrolling traffic

A lollipop lady rests her tired foot on a street box after spending the day standing on her feet and patrolling traffic

Construction workers take a moment out of their strenuous day to chat with each other

Construction workers take a moment out of their strenuous day to chat with each other 

However, Melbourne woman Maria Kefalas, 21, vented on social media about the job that is often seen as ‘easy money’.

 ‘I’ve been seeing a lot of TikTok (videos) in regards to traffic control, and they are all positive,’ she rants in her post.

‘They tell you how much money they make and how many hours they work.

‘They are giving people false hope about traffic control… it has got to be the most inconsistent job I have ever done in my life.’

Ms Kefalas goes on to reveal speculation that lollipop ladies repeatedly earn $2000 a week working from Monday to Friday as pure fantasy given all traffic control workers in Australia are employed casually.

‘Some weeks yes, I had five days of work – but then I was off for two weeks,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘On other occasions I had phone calls at 11pm asking me to be on a job site at 6am the following day or to drive two hours out of Melbourne on short notice for a 12 hour shift.

‘It isn’t a stable income by any means.’

Her advice for Australians considering a career in traffic control was to join a union.

‘That is where they have all the money – if you get rained off, they pay for it and you’ll have consistent work,’ she said.

Melbourne resident Maria Kefalas, 21, has dismissed talk work in traffic control is easy money

Melbourne resident Maria Kefalas, 21, has dismissed talk work in traffic control is easy money

‘Otherwise don’t do it.’

She went on to tell Daily Mail Australia there is also a dark side to the industry.

‘On many occasions I had tradies yell out disgusting comments to me,’ Ms Kefalas said.

‘Saying what they wanted to do to me and how I looked in my uniform…it also came from other people driving past.’

Numerous people online sympathised with Ms Kefalas, whose shifts saw her standing for up to 12 hours at a time.

One said ‘let’s not forget standing in 40 degree weather and nearly having a heat stroke’ as a significant downside of the job with another pointing out ‘this girl said nothing but straight facts’.

Not everyone was prepared to be sympathetic towards Ms Kefalas, with one stating ‘if you don’t like rain, get another job’.

Ms Kefalas has since secured fulltime work in another industry.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk