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Traffic warden career guide

It’s not the easiest job in the world, but traffic wardens are key to ensuring parking regulations are maintained.

Safeera Sarjoo
24th March 2016
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WHAT IS A TRAFFIC WARDEN?

A traffic warden is employed by the local authority or a private company contracted to the local authority and are responsible for enforcing traffic, motoring and parking laws. A lot of their work includes patrolling and making sure drivers follow parking regulations on public streets and in car parks.

Reporting to the office at the start and end of their shift, the role of a traffic warden takes a very adaptable person who enjoys working outdoors in all types of weather. Working anywhere between 35 to 40 hours a week on a rota basis, you are likely to be spending a lot of time of your feet, sometimes walking several miles a day and will need to know how to handle hostility from the public.

Having an awareness of how to work with the public will stand you in good stead in this role and

WHAT ARE THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES?

Being a traffic warden doesn’t just involve patrolling streets and car parks to make sure that regulations are being met. They have a number of other responsibilities including:

  • Taking photos of offences
  • Advising drivers and pedestrians on parking areas and explaining regulations to motorists
  • Checking parking meters and car park equipment as well as reporting damages and faults
  • Reporting faulty signs and road markings
  • Identifying and reporting abandoned vehicles
  • Informing police of parking offences that cannot be enforced by a traffic warden
  • Arranging for vehicles to be towed away if abandoned or parked illegally
  • Attending court if required to give evidence

When working as a traffic warden you will also be given a uniform and equipment like hand held computers and printers in order to print out Penalty Charge Notices, two way radios and cameras to film motorists breaking regulations.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHARACTERISTICS/SKILLS THAT SUIT THIS ROLE?

Becoming a traffic warden takes a very agile individual who enjoys working outdoors and isn’t fazed by differing types of weather. One of the most challenging aspects of this role will inevitably be dealing with hostile members of the public. A calm, professional manner will take you far when facing this adversity.

In addition to this you will need to:

  • Be able to work as part of a team and individually
  • Demonstrate the ability to be patient and tactful as well as approach difficult situations in a polite but assertive manner
  • Have good decision making abilities
  • Show an awareness of health and safety
  • Be observant
  • Have an organised manner when it comes keeping accurate records

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND TRAINING

Though there are no set qualifications needed for this job, some employers may ask that you have a GCSE in both Maths and English. As you will be working with public, some customer service experience would be hugely beneficial for this role.

Knowledge of the area you’re going to be working in would be beneficial and a driving license may also be required as well as a basic understanding of the Highway Code.

Training is usually given on the job by a supervisor where you’ll learn about traffic regulations and how to process and issue penalty charge notices. There could also be the opportunity to take a course to further your knowledge and abilities within this particular sector.

Relevant courses like one in Parking Enforcement or even a Traffic Warden apprenticeship can equip you with the necessary knowledge to succeed in this particular career. 

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