How to become a Garbage Collector

Garbage collectors collect household, commercial and industrial waste for disposal or recycling.

Personal requirements of a Garbage Collector

  • Enjoy outdoor and practical work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

Education & Training for a Garbage Collector

You can work as a garbage collector without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a garbage collector through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

You will need appropriate licences to drive vehicles and operate machinery. Truck drivers and garbage collectors involved in transporting waste products and toxic or flammable substances must have suitably endorsed licences.

Duties & Tasks of a Garbage Collector

Garbage collectors:

  • ride in or on garbage trucks
  • collect waste and load it into bins or trucks
  • return empty domestic bins to footpaths
  • report incidences of graffiti
  • operate forklift and compacting equipment
  • drive trucks, street-sweeping machines or machinery at rubbish tips.

Working conditions for a Garbage Collector

Garbage collectors may operate their own business or work within a partnership collecting garbage bags and other rubbish from domestic and commercial premises. Garbage collectors work outdoors in all weather conditions. They may work early in the morning and at night.

Employment Opportunities for a Garbage Collector

Most garbage collectors work for private rubbish removal companies. Their services are then contracted by local councils and corporations. With experience and further training, it is possible to progress to supervisory and management positions.

Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 1.8%

NSW NSW 43.7%

NT NT 4%

QLD QLD 10.2%

SA SA 2.1%


VIC VIC 31.5%

WA WA 6.7%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 90.1%

Female 9.9%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 2.1%

20-24 - 5.7%

25-34 - 13.9%

35-44 - 10.3%

45-54 - 19%

55-59 - 27.4%

60-64 - 10.4%

65 and Over - 11.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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