A great way to find out more about this field is by working for a parking company. A part-time or summer job as a cashier or other type of entry-level worker at a parking lot for a retail space, hospital, or sports arena will give you the chance to work closely with parking attendants and see what their tasks entail. You can also interview a parking attendant to find out how they got in their career and what they like most and least about the work. Prepare a list of questions before you meet up for the discussion. Keep up with news and developments in the professional parking field by reading publications and blogs. Find news and other resources on the International Parking & Mobility Institute's Web site, https://www.parking.org/news-publications.
Parking attendants are responsible for parking customers' vehicles, issuing numbered parking ticket stubs, returning vehicles to customers, and collecting parking fees. They work in different settings for a variety of industries, including airports, colleges and universities, event centers, hospitals and health care facilities, municipal and government agencies, transportation and transit, and commercial operators.
Parking attendants greet drivers as they pull into parking lots and garages. They check the time the customer arrives and discuss the fees, as there may be special prices offered at certain times of the day. They ask when the customer expects to return because if it is for a short time, they may park the vehicle in a space nearby where it will be faster to retrieve than in spaces allotted for longer term parking. Attendants give the customer a numbered tag, make sure the keys are in the ignition, and carefully drive the car to the parking space. Some parking lots and garages have limited space and the logistics for parking can be tricky, mandating parking attendants' precise, efficient driving skills.
When the customer returns, attendants take the numbered ticket, check the time and tell them the fee due, and then collect payment, which may entail using payment processing software and/or making change from a cash drawer. They then retrieve the customer's vehicle. The job may also involve patrolling the parking lot to ensure safety and prevent vehicle damage and theft as well as property damage.