Anyone who has even received a parking ticket may not have held the responsible meter maid in high esteem. In reality, meter maids, or parking enforcement workers, are just doing their jobs, patrolling assigned areas and issuing citations and warnings for car owners who are illegally parked. They also stay in contact with dispatch personnel, responding to personal complaints or parking violations unknown to them, and report hazardous street conditions, such as broken traffic lights. Salaries for meter maids vary, depending on where they work and the size and budgets of their employers.
Earned Average of $37,220
Meter maids earned average salaries of $37,220 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, they averaged $21,650 or less, while the top 10 percent made more than $55,440 annually. Meter maids are usually required to have high school diplomas or pass General Education Development equivalent exams. Meter maids also benefit from at least a year or more of public service work experience. Before they’re hired, most meter maids must receive psychiatric evaluations to determine whether they’re suited for a job where they can face hostile people and stressful encounters. Essential traits for this job are attention to detail, knowledge of safety codes and regulations, familiarity with city streets and speaking skills.
State Government Pays Best
The BLS reported that more than 83 percent of all parking enforcement workers, or meter maids, worked for local and state government agencies in 2013, which includes city and state capital police departments, respectively. State government employers paid meter maids the most, among all employers, at $42,260, according to 2013 BLS data, while those at local government agencies made $38,470. Meter maids averaged $28,510 at colleges and universities and $27,930 at general medical and surgical hospitals.
Higher Salaries Along West Coast
In 2013, meter maids earned the most in California and the least in West Virginia, among the states listed, according to the BLS -- $47,140 and $23,300, respectively. Five states in the West -- Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and California -- paid meter maids $38,120 to $47,140, which was the highest of four regional payment tiers. Meter maids earned less on average in the South -- $20,680 to $28,670 annually in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Limited Budgets Curtail Jobs
Many police departments operate under continual budget crunches, which limits the number of jobs for parking enforcement workers, including meter maids. Consequently, the BLS expects the number of parking enforcement jobs to remain the same from 2012 to 2022. Meter maids can advance their careers and pay by attending police academies and becoming police officers. Training typically varies from several weeks to several months.