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 in Waste Management. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Garbage Collector

Garbage collectors may perform the following tasks:

  • 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:

decline

Employment by state:

ACT 1.5%

NSW 31.5%

NT 2%

QLD 7.1%

SA 1.6%

TAS 5%

VIC 41.6%

WA 9.7%

Hours worked:

38.4

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 100%

Proportion of female workers 0%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 21.4%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 78.6%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 30.6%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 77.5%

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

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.
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