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How much do Australia's lollipop ladies really get paid?


Australian lollipop ladies have been going viral on TikTok recently as they share their weekly earnings, with some claiming they bring in more than $2,000 per week.

And while some traffic controllers are raking in thousands a week – more than most nurses and police officers, one lollipop lady warns they're giving people false hope about the realities of the job.

How much do traffic controllers and lollipop ladies earn in Australia?

  • The national award rate for a traffic controller is $29.79 per hour.
  • The pay is much better for traffic controllers on union jobs, but the work is harder to find. Some traffic controllers say finding a union job is like 'winning the lottery', because they're in such short supply.
  • For example, traffic controllers with the CFMEU union in Victoria can earn up to $55.08 per hour. That rate climbs to $99.15 per hour when working overtime. On public holidays, they make up to $121.18 per hour. Follow this link to see the complete CFMEU traffic control enterprise bargaining agreement.
  • According to data from Seek, the median annual salary in New South Wales for a traffic controller is $76,249. Traffic controller roles in Victoria are typically advertised between $50k and $70k. Nationally, the most common salary advertised for traffic controllers is between $40k and $60k.

TikTok videos about traffic control giving Aussies false hope

Maria Kelfalas says recent TikTok videos about traffic control are giving people false hope about the job

Maria Kelfalas, a traffic controller from Melbourne, has warned that many of the TikTok videos about traffic control giving people 'false hope' about the realities of the profession

'I've been seeing a lot of TikToks in regards to traffic control, and they're all positive – they're all good,' she says. 'They tell you how much money they make and how many hours they work and what not.'

'They're giving people false hope about traffic control,' Kelfalas warns. 'Traffic control has got to be the most inconsistent job I have ever done in my life.

'I only just got back from three weeks off because they had no work, so you can have a whole month with no work and then a whole month straight with work – it's inconsistent,' she warned.

'If you want to do it and you're fine with inconsistency, go and do it. But if you think you're going to work Monday to Friday and making over $2000 a week – nah.'

She advised Australians considering a career in traffic control to get into a union first – because the pay is much better.

'Do your research first and try to get into a union first because that is where they have all the money - if you get rained off, they pay for it and you'll have consistent work, otherwise don't do it.'

Key Takeaways

  • Jobs in traffic control can be inconsistent, and work is not always available.
  • Getting a job as a newbie to the industry can be hard, as traffic control companys prefer workers who already have experience.
  • To earn the big bucks in traffic control, you'll need to join a union. Non-union jobs pay much less and offer far fewer benefits.
  • Standing in the sun and rain all day is not as easy as it looks!