How Do I Become a Parking Enforcement Officer?

Dan Cavallari

It is not exceptionally difficult to become a parking enforcement officer, but you will need to graduate from high school or earn an equivalent qualification if you want to pursue this job. You will need to have basic math and communications skills, and to be well organized. In some locations, you may need to have a valid driver's license before you can be a parking enforcement officer, as you may need to operate various vehicles for patrolling parking areas. A knowledge of local laws and regulations regarding parking is a bonus, though you can learn such materials on the job as well.

Parking enforcement officers may read and collect money from parking meters.
Parking enforcement officers may read and collect money from parking meters.

If you are still in high school, it is a good idea to consult a guidance counselor to let him or her know that you are interested in a path to become a parking enforcement officer. Your guidance counselor may be able to set you up with a training program while you are still in school; if you are not in high school, you may be able to consult a career counselor or simply inquire about such positions at a local law enforcement station or office. Either way, be prepared to undergo some training if you want to become a parking enforcement officer.

Parking officers keep watch over designated areas for offenders.
Parking officers keep watch over designated areas for offenders.

You will usually start with an entry-level position, which means you may spend several days, weeks, or months working with a more experienced parking enforcement officer who can teach you the skills you will need to conduct yourself properly on the job. You will need to learn how to fill out the proper paperwork, track vehicles, chalk tires, read meters and collect money from those meters, and drive various patrol vehicles. In some instances, you may need to pass exams that show you are prepared to take on the job.

Once you become a parking enforcement officer, you may need to undergo re-certification periodically, or you may need to advance to the next level of certification within a certain time frame in order to remain employed. While this position is not high paying, it is a good introduction to law enforcement, so if you intend to continue your career path in law enforcement by becoming a police officer, you will have gained valuable job experience as well as important connections within the law enforcement world. As a parking enforcement officer, it is important to remember that you will not be carrying weapons in most cases; you will need to undergo specific training for such certification.

A high school guidance counselor could help a student find a training program to become a parking enforcement officer.
A high school guidance counselor could help a student find a training program to become a parking enforcement officer.

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Discussion Comments


What do you study to prepare for the exams? I am having difficulty with purchasing the study guide. The persons at jobtest prep did not seem very knowledgeable. Help?


Parking enforcement officers make mistakes like everyone else, so if you feel you wrongly received a citation then you can take your case to court the same as you could with a moving violation, and this article gives some good information about what you should present as evidence.

Rather than getting angry about a ticket, admit that you were wrong or prove that you did nothing illegal. Those are the two choices.


Why are parking enforcement officers so rude? Most of us have jobs to do and we don't always like our jobs, but we manage to get through the day without taking out our frustrations on other people. I saw a story on the news about a police officer who gave out tickets everyday he worked. He was a traffic officer, so that was a big part of his job.

Even though he had given out thousands and thousands of tickets, he had never received a complaint in all of his years on the job. This is not only unusual; it is virtually unheard of. I mean, you could stop most people driving 30 miles am hour over the speed limit and they would find a reason to file a complaint rather than admit they were wrong.

Anyway, after the officer's supervisor did a little investigating, he found that no one complained because the officer was so nice and pleasant when he gave the tickets. I wish more parking enforcement officers would take a page from this officer's book.


I noticed recently that many of the men and women who work as parking enforcement officers in my town appear to be older people. I am not a shy person, so I started talking to one of the men the other day, and eventually I asked him how long he had been doing the job. As it turned out, he had been on the job less than a year.

The man was a retired school teacher. He said that after he retired he thought he would find plenty of work to keep him occupied around his house, but he soon got bored sitting at home. He applied to an ad he saw online and after an interview he was hired. He said that several of his coworkers were also retired from other professions.

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