Skills of a traffic controller and How Long Does It Takes to Become A Traffic Controller?


A traffic controller directs the flow of vehicles, machinery, and other road users on roads.  Working in this role involves more than just holding a stop/slow bat.  Common tasks and responsibilities for a Traffic Controller include.

  • Setting up traffic management signs and devices
  • Directing traffic and road users
  • Applying and monitoring safety and traffic management plans
  • Inspecting and cleaning signs and equipment
  • Coordinate roadwork and construction.

Where does a traffic controller work?

Traffic controllers are integral to multiple settings, where they oversee and maintain the seamless movement of vehicles and pedestrians. Here are a few examples:

  • Air traffic control towers
  • Road construction sites
  • Municipal traffic departments
  • Train and MRT stations

Skills of a traffic controller


In your role as a traffic controller, clear and precise communication is paramount. This skill will allow you to quickly relay instructions to drivers, construction crews and other colleagues.

              2.Attention to detail:

Paying meticulous attention to detail is an integral part of the job. With hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians to monitor and coordinate, ensuring nothing slips past you can make a big difference in maintaining traffic flow and safety.

3.Decision making:

There can be times when you will need to make quick decisions in stressful situations. The ability to stay calm, think quickly on your feet and make effective decisions is a critical skill in this role. Related: How to Make an Informed Decision (Plus Benefits and Skills)

               4.Physical stamina and alertness:

Given the nature of the job, being physically active and vigilant is a prerequisite. Traffic controllers need to be able to stay on their feet for long hours and remain alert and focused throughout their shifts.

To become a traffic controller in Singapore, you’ll need to meet specific qualifications and acquire essential skills. Here’s what you should consider:

1.Acquiring Professional Certification:

  • In Singapore, the profession of a traffic controller is regulated, and specific certifications are required.
  • These certifications are comprehensive programs offered by accredited training institutions. They equip you with theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to traffic management.
  • The dual approach ensures that you’re not just certified but genuinely prepared for the role

2.Relevant Experience:

  • While extensive experience isn’t necessary for entry-level roles, having some background in related areas can be beneficial.
  • Consider volunteer work, internships, or part-time roles in traffic management or similar fields.
  • On-the-job training provides valuable insights and a competitive edge in job applications.

3.Emphasis on Continuous Learning and Adaptability:

  • The field of traffic control is dynamic, with evolving technologies and changing traffic regulations.
  • Regularly update your skills, attend refresher courses, and stay informed about the latest traffic management technologies and practices

How Long Does It Takes to Become A Traffic Controller?

It typically takes 2-4 years to become a traffic controller:

  • Years 1-2: Accumulating the necessary work experience in duties such as operating communication systems, monitoring traffic flow, and controlling signals and devices.
  • Years 3-4: Completing on-site and on-the-job training, including learning traffic control procedures and regulations, and gaining hands-on experience in directing traffic.

What Types of Signs do Road Traffic Controllers use?

Signs are crucial for relayed information to drivers and pedestrians alike and there’s a large range of things they can express, from speed and road conditions to hazards and regulations.

1. Warning Signs

Road traffic management requires the use of warning signs, which are typically diamond-shaped with yellow background and black symbol and border. Such signs are used to advise drivers about road conditions, particularly those that require speed reduction or further action otherwise.



 2. Hazard Markers

Effective traffic management also demands good use of hazard markers, which chiefly express information about traffic direction, obstructions, and road width. Rectangular with black and white stripe or chevron design, hazard markers fall under the following categories:

  • Uni-directional Hazard Marker: Used to guide traffic in a single direction around an obstruction, for instance a sudden narrowing of the roadway.
  • Bi-directional Hazard Marker: Used to guide traffic in either direction around an obstruction, such as T-intersections or islands.
  • Obstruction Marker: these kinds of markers show you where a road ends, such as on a bridge, when a height restriction will then also be detailed.


3. Regulatory Signs

Regulatory signs are used to ensure drivers abide by the road law, even when usual traffic flow is disrupted. Speed limit signs are the biggest example, but there are many these signs. You can usually identify them by their rectangular design with black and white background, and often some red colouring. 




How do Road Traffic Controllers control Access?

As well as proper signage, effective road traffic management relies on safely controlling the movement of vehicles. The main equipment to do so involves traffic cones, barricades, and barrels:


The classic image of traffic control, cones are chiefly used to redirect traffic. Although available in a huge range of colours, sizes, heights, and weights, they share the same practical and durable design.The cone base provides fantastic traction whilst the hollow body allows convenient stacking and transport. Traffic cones are built to be extremely durable so that they can withstand the elements, traditionally comprised of UV-resistant thermoplastic PVC and hard rubber.



2. Barricades

Much like traffic cones, barricades are manufactured in all sorts of sizes and styles, though the specific materials used are a little more varied. This traffic control equipment acts as a boundary for both vehicles and pedestrians, where access can be restricted or blocked entirely.





Barrels, or channelizer drums, serve much the same function as traffic cones though there are a few key distinctions. Firstly, they’re much larger in size. However, they’re also made from tougher plastics. This is because they’re designed to withstand the toughest of conditions, which makes them ideal for traffic control on high-speed roadways.





The importance of maintaining safety when on the road should never be overlooked. Traffic controller is one of the person to keep all road users safe as their main aim is to provide drivers and pedestrians with important information and warning regarding the streets.

If you want to learn more about traffic control equipment, refer to our guide otherwise visit our website Deep Security Services and read about the different types of traffic control equipment used on public streets and highways. 



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