Valet
How to Become a

Valet

The complete career guide to be a Valet: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $22,520
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

As a valet, your main task is to ensure that a car owner’s car is parked correctly and retrieved when requested. You might also stand in front of an establishment and help with guests’ luggage as needed. Good manners and speedy service is a must when choosing a valet job role.


What is a Valet?

Duties

Valets have a variety of functions to perform smoothly with a focus on providing efficient service and meaningful experiences, including the following:

  • Greet arriving and departing guests with courtesy, and provide top-notch customer service.
  • Take numbered tags from customers, locate guest vehicles, and deliver them, or provide customers with instructions for locating vehicles safely and efficiently.
  • Perform drive and park assignments as per department policies and procedures.
  • Consult Internal Control Procedures and Policy Manuals for guidance and report illegal activity promptly to security personnel or the appropriate management.
  • Occasionally deal with basic vehicle maintenance issues such as changing tires and oil, checking tire pressure and replacing flats.

Day in the life

A valet’s job can be hectic or easy-going depending on the time of the day, the attitude of the patrons and the condition of vehicles brought in. Like any other hourly service job, the day shifts are the most coveted while night shifts are viewed as less popular.

On a typical day, you will likely welcome visitors to an establishment and direct them towards parking spots as assigned. You will also ensure that all vehicle documents are accurate for easy retrieval – e.g. tag information, claim numbers and key storage location. Coordinating with security personnel by reporting accidents, and promoting a secure parking area is another valuable aspect of the role. In emergency situations, valets are expected to direct emergency vehicles and control traffic efficiently.

Work schedule and typical hours

Aspiring valets should be prepared to work under all weather conditions as well as work for extended time periods through the week and at weekends. Most valet jobs have flexible hours, making it a good option for those wanting to work part-time alongside college.

Growth of the job

A valet is the first and the last aspect of an organization that a customer interacts with. The overall job outlook for valets has been extremely positive since the year 2004. Future demand for valets and parking lot attendants will continue to rise. If you gain work experience in the motor trade, industrial or office cleaning and dry cleaning, it can help you integrate with the job expectations of a valet.

Wages aren’t high for this job type, and available benefits vary by employer, experience, location, and other factors. Since tips makes up a large part of the income, providing courteous and professional service is essential for success. Overtime workload and shift payments can boost your earnings.

Typical employers

Valets mostly work in parking lots at a wide range of venues such as stores, hotels, restaurants, and sports arenas. Working outdoors forms a major part of the job – you may find yourself working in garages, workshops or on customers’ premises. Other industries that employ valet attendants are automobile dealers, automotive equipment rental and leasing agencies, travel accommodation agencies, and event promoters.


How To Become a Valet

For employment as a valet, you need a high school degree or GED equivalent. A clear driving record with no history of DUIs or reckless driving is also a must. There are no other specific educational requirements to work as a valet, other than being at least 21 years of age and possessing a valid driver’s license. Good characteristics of valets include having a methodical approach, strong attention to detail and flawless customer service skills.

Valet parking services can operate at irregular hours. As a valet, you must be able to drive all types of vehicles, with both automatic and standard transmission. Having superior driving skills and being able to execute sharp turns requires good eyesight and excellent hand/eye coordination. Miscalculations can lead to thousands of dollars in damages. Most valets gain experience on the job.

Most valet positions are provided two-month short-term training programs. To be a successful valet, one has to be comfortable with varying levels of crowds, smoke and noise, the severity of which depends upon customer volume. If needed, you may have to wear a uniform during work hours, and follow appropriate grooming standards.


Valet Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$18,870

Average

$22,520

High Range

$30,340

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$9/hr

Average

$11/hr

High Range

$15/hr

How do Valet salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Valet's can make an average annual salary of $22,520, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,870 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #796 Nationally for All Careers


Highest Education Among Valets

  • 0.6%   Doctorate
  • 2.5%   Masters
  • 11.1%   Bachelors
  • 8.6%   Associates
  • 24.1%   College
  • 33.8%   High School
  • 19.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

135,600

2024 Est. Jobs

141,300

Job Growth Rate

4.2%

Est. New Jobs

5,700

How does Valet job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 5,700 jobs for a total of 141,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #473 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Valets

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other personal services 85,200 1,300 1%
Automobile dealers 9,100 1,200 1%
Casino hotels 3,400 --- ---

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