What they do
Parking inspectors patrol streets and parking lots, enforcing local parking restrictions. They check vehicles for valid parking permits or tickets and record how long vehicles have been in free-parking areas. They issue fines when cars have exceeded maximum parking times or are parked illegally. In some cases they may also arrange to have illegally parked vehicles towed away. While on patrol, parking inspectors are able to keep an eye out for stolen or abandoned vehicles and report them to police. They may also note damaged or faulty signs, traffic lights and other roadside equipment, reporting faults to Main Roads WA, the local council or another appropriate authority.
Parking inspectors are employed by local councils and generally work in larger cities and towns, particularly in the Perth metropolitan region. They work outdoors, in most weather conditions and usually patrol their assigned area on foot. The hours of work may vary, depending on the parking regulations of a particular area. Parking inspectors usually work during business hours during the week, with many also required to work on weekends and public holidays. Some parking inspectors may be required to work shifts, covering 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. They have a high level of contact with the public, and may have to deal with hostility and aggression from some people.
Tools and technologies
Parking inspectors generally work with small hand-held computers which are able to record how long a vehicle has been parked in the same space and print infringement notices. Some parking inspectors may mark the tyres of parked vehicles with chalk to monitor their movement and write infringements by hand, though this is becoming less common. They usually carry two-way radios and/or mobile phones to stay in touch with other inspectors in the area and a central office. Parking inspectors may need to drive between patrol areas. They are generally issued a uniform, including hats and wet-weather gear.
How do I become one?
Education and training
You can become a parking inspector without formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in Local Government.
The Certificate III in Local Government (Regulatory Services) is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
Required registration and licensing
Individual local government authorities will have their own specific employment requirements. However, you may be required to pass a police check, have a medical assessment and/or hold a current drivers licence.