How to Become a Parking Enforcement Officer – In 6 Easy Steps

Through your local or state government, you could become a Parking Enforcement Officer.

This is a public service worker who patrols an area, such as a street, parking garage, parking lot, or elsewhere to make sure that people are following all parking laws.

Parking Enforcement Officer

Parking laws can vary by city and even by street, so understanding the rules and writing tickets for those residents who do not follow them is a major duty for a Parking Enforcement Officer.

Job Description

A Parking Enforcement Officer will need to be vigilant and stay on top of their assigned area.

When working in this field, you will need to look out for incidents that may affect the safety of others.

The duties that will be a part of your everyday working life are:

  • Issuing parking violations
  • Patrolling properties that you are assigned
  • Speaking to appropriate personnel in situations that may occur
  • Responding to abandon vehicle calls and resolve the problem
  • Collecting coins in meters
  • Ensuring meter times have not run out


The average Parking Enforcement Officer makes about $44,670 per year.

For full-time employees, this comes out to about $21.48 per hour.

Some Parking Enforcement Officers can make up to $64,460.

This depends on where you are patrolling, how much experience you have, and which type of industry you work for, such as a college, local government, or state government.

Parking Enforcement Officers who work in larger cities will likely make more money as they have a busier area to patrol.

Those who work part-time will have their wages reflect the number of hours that they work each week.

Salary Information by State

State Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
District of Columbia210$60,020$28.86$66,870$45,680
New Hampshire60$39,620$19.05$51,170$31,200
New Jersey450$38,730$18.62$50,860$30,180
New York790$44,780$21.53$63,150$30,320
North Carolina100$35,410$17.03$43,500$27,420
South Carolina70$29,700$14.28$39,550$24,450
West Virginia50$27,770$13.35$33,780$22,690

Annual Average Salary: Top 10 States

The top earning state in the field is Washington, where the average salary is $61,550.

These are the top 10 earning states in the field:

  • Washington - $61,550
  • District of Columbia - $60,020
  • California - $58,140
  • Illinois - $54,070
  • Massachusetts - $52,130
  • Nevada - $48,830
  • Colorado - $47,760
  • Oregon - $47,710
  • Minnesota - $45,950
  • New York - $44,780
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Parking Enforcement Workers, OCC Code 33-3041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

How to Become a Parking Enforcement Officer

1. Earn a High School Diploma

The first step in becoming a Parking Enforcement Officer is to finish High School.

This can be done while you are a teenager and will take about four years to finish.

Some of the High School classes that you will want to take to pursue your dream of becoming a Parking Enforcement Officer may include Criminology, Psychology, Sociology, Legal System classes as well as Physical Education classes.

If you are over the age of eighteen and do not have a High School diploma, you can earn a GED by studying and applying for an exam through your local school, community college, or adult education center.

2. Apply for a Parking Enforcement Officer Career

Next, you will have the opportunity to apply for a Parking Enforcement Officer occupation.

These types of jobs can be found on the internet, through your local government website, or even local college or state government websites depending on where you’d like to work.

When you are applying for this career, make sure that it is in an area where you feel safe and have the ability to do the job physically and mentally.

Some job postings require that you take care of an entire city block while others require that you maintain a parking garage.

You may also want to brush up on any computer skills and have a valid driver’s license in order to work in this field.

3. Pass a Background and Drug Test

After you have been considered for the position of Parking Enforcement Officer in your desired area, you’ll need to pass a background check and even take a drug test.

This can be done after you have been hired or before, depending on where you work.

In most instances, all you will need to do is give some personal information to your employer such as your name, birthday, and sometimes your social security number.

Then, the employer will look up any information from your background that they find necessary, such as previous arrests, past residences, employment history, credit history and even driving records.

A drug test will be administered during your interview and can be taken through urine or a cheek swab.

This will test for any drugs in your system and is available within 24 to 48 hours.

4. Complete a Physical Exam

Once you have passed your background and drug test, you’ll be required to complete a physical examination at your doctor’s office.

During this test, a doctor will take your vital signs such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, and temperature.

They will also record your height, weight, and any issues that you have physically, such as medications that you take for illnesses or diseases, vision or hearing issues, and more.

Oftentimes, you will be asked to get onto a treadmill and walk, run, and sprint to see how your heart works with an EKG machine.

If you pass your physical, your doctor will provide you with a note to give to your employer, if you fail, you will be asked to make some changes in your lifestyle.

5. Complete Police Officer Training if Necessary

In some areas, you may need to become a police officer in order to complete your training as a Parking Enforcement Officer.

This is necessary for a couple of reasons, first, you’ll be able to carry a firearm in case anything happens where you need to keep someone else or yourself safe.

Another reason is so that you understand the laws of the area and can enforce them effortlessly.

You’ll also get the added advantage of becoming familiar with the police officers in the area whom you’ll need to call at times to help out in certain situations.

If you need to attend police training, it may take about one to two years, which you can do while you are on the job, and you may even get paid.

6. Have Field Training and Experience

Lastly, you are going to want to enroll in a training program, complete on-the-job training, and become experienced in the field so that you know the ins and outs of being a Parking Enforcement Officer.

Some training sessions can take anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks, while other areas may put you out in the field right away.

Depending on your knowledge of the career and any previous experience in a relevant occupation, you may be ready to supervise the streets on day one of your new job with a senior officer.

If you do attend a training program, you’ll want to make sure you undergo firearms training and earn a concealed carry license.


The first step toward becoming a Parking Enforcement Officer is to complete High School.

This is done during your teenage years and is typically required for most jobs.

If you are over the age of 18 and do not have a High School diploma, then you can earn a GED, which takes about six months to complete.

On-the-job training is an important part of your career as a Parking Enforcement Officer.

It may take anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks to finish training, but you can work while training with a senior officer, so you’ll gain hands-on knowledge while studying.

During your education, you will need to take an exam to show that you have learned everything necessary to work alone in your area of patrol.

This exam will test your ability to read and understand basic instructions and also about the laws of the local vicinity.

During the exam, you’ll be asked to fill out forms, check data, and also learn maps, directions, and floorplans.

You may also need to complete a physical exam before you’re able to get on the streets.

While studying to become a Parking Enforcement Officer, you may want to consider learning about these topics:

  • Law and Government
  • Customer Service
  • Public Safety
  • Security
  • Firearms

While it does not take long to become a Parking Enforcement Officer, you will need to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time.

Studying guides online and asking for help from senior Parking Enforcement Officers will give you the boost that you need to do well on the exam and also in your day-to-day career.

Some states may vary on the education needed to become a Parking Enforcement Officer.

In fact, you may need to train as a police officer to ensure you understand all the laws, firearm safety, and patrol requirements in your area.

This type of education can take about two years to complete, and can also lead you toward a career as a police officer in the future.

Licensing and Certification

While it is not necessary to gain any type of additional certification in order to work as a Parking Enforcement Officer, expanding your education is always encouraged.

One of the first things that will happen is that you will need to have a valid driver’s license to be a Parking Enforcement Officer in most states.

Typically, a driver’s license is issued when you are sixteen or anytime after that and can be completed in 30 days if you are over the age of 18.

When pursuing a driver’s license, you will need to practice driving with an instructor, and then you will be able to take a written exam.

You may also need to pass a vision exam in order to receive your license.

A driver’s license is necessary so that you can operate a city or government vehicle especially when you are covering a large area.

Those who have experience in the field and want to step up their game can complete a Safety Certificate given by the National Parking Association.

This is a skilled certificate that showcases your proficiency in safety and on-the-job experience.

In order to earn this certification, you will need to complete an exam and pass with at least a 70%.

Within this certification program, you will learn and be tested on topics like:

  • Parking Safety Fundamentals
  • Key Areas of Public Safety Case Studies
  • Identifying Risks and Incident Handling
  • Dimensions in Parking
  • Security Design

This program is self-paced and you will need to complete three courses and finish the exam before earning your certification.

It is not necessary to have certification while working as a Parking Enforcement Officer, but many employers see this as an initiative and can help you gain access to raises, promotions, and education to help you do your job even better.

Other certifications may be available in your area, ask your local government office for more information.

Job Outlook

There will be a slow growth in the career openings for Parking Enforcement Officers over the next ten years.

We will likely see the same amount of careers or even fewer within the next decade, which may have a negative impact on this field.

Many Parking Enforcement Officers will be retiring in the next several years, plus new construction of parking lots, parking garages, and other patrol areas will contribute to the sustainability of this career.

If you are looking to enter the role of a Parking Enforcement Officer, now is a great time to pursue that goal because job openings may be scarce over the next decade.

Should You Become a Parking Enforcement Officer?

Overall Satisfaction

Parking Enforcement Officers who have been working for years say that they are quite satisfied with their careers.

This is largely due to the ease at which you can begin the job, and also the ability to help people each day.

One thing that could be better as a Parking Enforcement Officer is the ability to grow in the career with raises and promotions.

Parking Enforcement Officers enjoy the salary and benefits from this career as well as the people that they work with within their department.

Average Salary

The average yearly salary for a Parking Enforcement Officer will likely be around $44,670.

This comes out to $21.48 per hour for full-time employees.

When just starting out, you will typically make less, about $38,000 per year.

Parking Enforcement Officers who have experience in the field can make over $67,000 a year with training and exposure.

Those who work in larger cities or busier areas may have a higher salary.

The more that you train and learn about the career and surrounding area, the higher the salary.

Job Growth Outlook

While there will likely not be a large amount of new Parking Enforcement Officer careers entering the database any time soon, there will still be quite a lot of openings in local and government areas.

You’ll want to check the internet for local job openings, especially for colleges and parking garages, which are seeing a rise.

The rise in careers for Parking Enforcement Officers is largely due to people retiring from the job and also from new construction in major cities.

Education Duration

It doesn’t take too long to become a Parking Enforcement Officer.

The minimum amount of education that you’ll need is a High School Diploma or GED.

This takes about four years to complete, and then after that, you may need some on-the-job training which can take 12 to 14 weeks.

Some areas of the United States require that a Parking Enforcement Officer be a trained police officer, which can take about two years to finish.

A Parking Enforcement Officer position is easy to fill as long as you have the required skills, physical ability, and education.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to go to school to become a Parking Enforcement Officer?

You do not need to go to school for very long to become a Parking Enforcement Officer.

Typically, if you have a High School diploma or GED, you are good to apply to this career.

When you become a Parking Enforcement Officer, you will likely need training.

This training can last anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks.

In some areas, you may be required to become a police officer first, which can be a one to two year commitment.

How much money does a Parking Enforcement Officer make a year?

The average Parking Enforcement Officer will make about $44,000 per year, while those who have less experience can begin earning about $38,000.

The more experience you have and certifications you earn, you’ll make upwards of $67,000 as a Parking Enforcement Officer in some areas.

Training, seniority, experience, and certifications can help push you toward the top tier in salary throughout this career.

What kind of education do you need to be a Parking Enforcement Officer?

The best thing that you can do to start your career in this field is to finish High School.

If you are over the age of 18 and have not finished, you can earn a GED to complete your diploma.

This will help you when you are applying for jobs as a Parking Enforcement Officer.

Additional on-the-job training may be available to help you get started in your career.

Firearm training and physical education are other forms of knowledge needed in this career.

Are Parking Enforcement Officers in high demand?

There will likely always be a need for Parking Enforcement Officers, especially with the expansion of colleges, cities, parking garages, and parking lots.

The more popular the area, the more likely you will need additional Parking Enforcement Officers to patrol the streets.

Over the next ten years, this career will see a slower rise in openings, but it will not be obsolete any time soon.

What skills do you need to have to be a Parking Enforcement Officer?

In order to work as a Parking Enforcement Officer, there is a certain set of skills needed to be successful.

These skills will include:

  • Speaking so people can understand
  • Comprehension
  • Ability to read
  • Problem-solving
  • Reasoning
  • Computer education
  • Maps and directions
  • Ability to manage yourself and your time
  • Driving education
  • Perception and visualization

If you have these skills, you will do well as a Parking Enforcement Officer.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

Leave a Reply

Search Programs