Everyone’s got their own story about a run-in with a traffic warden, getting a ticket which they felt was unfair, or being targeted after being 5 minutes late returning to their car. Traffic wardens – or Civil Enforcement Officers to give them their correct name – have to try to keep our cities running by making sure people aren’t parking where they shouldn’t. It’s not an easy job but can be a good employment option for people who like being outdoors, want to keep fit and don’t mind dealing with the public.
Salary and Responsibilities
Most traffic wardens used to be employed by the Police or local Councils, but nowadays are more likely to be employed by a private company which has the contract for managing parking in a specific Council area. The typical starting salary for a traffic warden is between £15,000 and £18,000, and wardens with many years of experience can earn up to £27,000. Contrary to public belief, there’s no commission paid to traffic wardens for each ticket which they issue, although there may be targets to reach. Being a traffic warden is an active job, and even in city centre locations a warden might walk up to 10 miles per day, whatever the weather. As well as putting tickets on cars which are parked where they shouldn’t be, traffic wardens might get involved in clamping or removing vehicles, taking notes and writing reports or giving information and advice to members of the public.
If you like the idea of having a job as a traffic warden, there are a few basic requirements. Most employers will ask for an education which includes English and Maths to GCSE level, and a good level of spoken and written English is essential to be able to understand regulations and communicate with members of the public. Employers usually give new wardens full training when they start work or send them out in pairs with a more experienced member of staff. You will also be asked to apply for a standard DBS check. This is the less detailed type of checking and will filter out any convictions and cautions on your police record which are considered to be spent. A criminal record won’t necessarily stop you from getting a job as employers will consider each case on its merits and will use other information such as your work history and references to decide whether they wish to offer you a job.
There are a few options for moving on from being a traffic warden into related careers. The most obvious move is into a senior traffic warden or management position, taking responsibility for training and recruiting new staff, or acting as a team leader for more junior officers. Many traffic wardens move into related occupations in the security industry, whereas others hone their customer service skills during their time as a warden and take other jobs in retail or hospitality. The skills a traffic warden has in defusing volatile situations and dealing with angry members of the public are valued by a wide range of employers.