- Business and Employment
Is valet parking a good job and how much do valet drivers make?
So, is valet parking a good job and how much do valet drivers make?
Having a valet job and being a parking attendant is a great way for someone who is a student, in between jobs or part-time for extra income. This is because the barrier to entry is low (it’s easy to get hired), the pay is decent, and for the most part the job pretty easy.
Almost anyone can get hired for a valet job. You need a good driving history, so no DUI’s and minimal moving violations. Minimal parking tickets are okay. You also need a clean-cut appearance so a short haircut, no facial hair, and nothing crazy like a Mohawk or black painted nails.
The pay structure is minimum wage plus tips. Tips really depend on the job situation. The restaurant or hotel that you may work at can either be very up-scale or not cost the customer very much to valet their car, making the tips high. Or the establishment can be more of a “family value” spot or the customer is paying a high amount to have their car valeted, either way, the tips will be less. But to give you an idea, tips will range from $20 to $100 a shift. Shifts are usually six or eight hours. Average tips should be somewhere around $50. Although, if you can get into a good situation, valet attendants can make $150-200 a night at high-scale places in Aspen, Colorado or Las Vegas, Nevada for example.
Your job at a valet parking company is pretty simple. It’s customer service so be helpful and smile. Park the car and stay organized by remembering to write down the parking spot number and all other procedures. The actual work isn’t too hard and there is usually a lot of down time. Also, it is nice to drive a lot of cars and see which ones you like and don’t like.
You cannot be use to everyone’s car the first second you drive it. You can be unfamiliar with the outside dimensions of the car, the feel of different manual transmissions and inside controls including the stereo volume, power locks, headlights etc. In addition, many cars now have push-start ignitions. For a person that is use to a key ignition, this can take some time at first. All these can be bad from stalling a Porsche in front of its owner because the clutch is light, to pulling up to a customers family, not knowing where the button to unlock all the doors is, while they grab the handles impatiently.
The valet job position has a high turnover at around 40% due to firing for damage/ theft or quitting. It’s easy to get the job and it’s easy to leave.
The ultimate penalty at a valet job is damaging a car. When you drive and back into 40 car spots a night, things can happen. Fortunately, the valet company pays for damages and you just terminate you. A typical valet company will fire you if you damage a car over $500 for the first 90 days and $2000 after that.
It is very bad when a valet attendant either steals from the car or pocketing tips that your supposed to put in the tip jar to distribute amongst the valet attendants. Either way, this is looked worse upon than damages because it was no accident. There are secret shoppers to test valet attendants as well.
In the long run, the worst aspect of a valet job is that it is not much of a career choice. It is a quick and easy way to make money but don’t stay there long enough to make it your professional career.