How to become a Garbage Collector

Garbage Collector

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

Personal requirements for 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.


  • Riding on and in garbage and recycling trucks
  • Collecting rubbish and items for recycling from domestic, commercial and industrial premises
  • May supervise other garbage collectors
  • Loading rubbish and recycling into bins and garbage and recycling trucks
  • Unloading garbage and recycling trucks
  • May operate compacting equipment on garbage trucks

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.


Garbage Collector

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

  • Average age
    Average age
    46 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    6% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Entry level
  • Unemployment
    Higher Unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    69% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    2,700 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.2%
    NSW: 36.4%
    NT: 4.9%
    QLD: 15.8%
    SA: 6.6%
    TAS: 1.8%
    VIC: 23.2%
    WA: 10.0%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 3.4%
    20-24: 8.5%
    25-34: 16.7%
    35-44: 17.9%
    45-54: 27.2%
    55-59: 12.2%
    60-64: 8.4%
    65 and Over: 5.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 4.7%
    Bachelor degree: 3.3%
    Certificate III/IV: 26.2%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.3%
    Year 10 and below: 37%
    Year 11: 8.3%
    Year 12: 20.3%
Is the information on this page correct? Request update

Become a member

Already a member? LoginForgot password?

Join the conversation