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What does a Ticket Checker do?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A ticket checker is a person who examines tickets before allowing people to enter areas only accessible to valid ticket-holders. Ticket checkers can work in a number of different industries, ranging from entertainment to transportation. There are no special requirements to do this job and it is most commonly a summer, temporary, or casual job, although there are sometimes possibilities for advancement for people in ticket checker positions.

In transportation, ticket checkers are part of the enforcement team confirming that everyone seated on buses, trains, ferries, and other modes of transport has a valid ticket. For some types of transportation jobs, the ticket checker may also act as a gate agent, providing assistance to people who need help and ensuring that luggage and belongings are loaded safely. In airports, ticket checkers may be affiliated with security, in which case training as a security agent is required for the position.

Entertainment venues commonly use tickets to control access, and ticket checkers are responsible for checking the tickets of people attempting to enter the venue. They confirm that tickets are valid for the event, and may tear, punch, or mark the tickets so they cannot be reused. If assigned seating is being used, ticket checkers can also provide people with directions to help them find their seating. They may work with ushers in cases where people have difficulty finding seating or need accommodations for wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

People need to be able to stand on their feet for long hours and interact comfortably with members of the public to work in these types of positions. While some venues provide their ticket checkers with seating, it is more common to stand, as it may be necessary to get up to show people seating and provide other forms of assistance. People also need to be observant, looking out for people attempting to enter without tickets. A ticket checker may also be instructed to look out for scalpers, people who purchase tickets and attempt to resell them at a higher price.

For certain types of ticket checker positions, special training may be needed. This is most common in transport, where there are law enforcement concerns in addition to worries about people entering a venue without paying. Some transport agencies prefer to use their own trained security or police to check tickets, while others may simply instruct ticket checkers to call for help from security if there is a problem.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By lovealot — On Nov 02, 2011

This job may be a bit boring and monotonous, but it could be a great job for a college student, or someone who is between jobs. You do have to be alert and able to see a problem that requires a call to security. And you can't be daydreaming while you are checking to see if everyone has a valid ticket.

Also, you may need a sense of humor because most everyone in a job where you come into contact with all kinds of people, has to endure abuse and jokes directed at them. It's just all part of the job.

By bagley79 — On Nov 02, 2011

Electronic machines can make ticket checking faster and more efficient. Even then, it seems like you can still have a glitch every now and then.

I was recently on a business trip and our plane was late, which meant we might also miss our connecting flights.

The ticket agent was working as fast as she could when people were boarding the plane. When a man in front of me handed her his ticket, the machine beeped letting her know he also needed to show his passport.

Even though being a ticket checker can seem like a monotonous job, there are many times when it is very important you are accurate and don't miss important details.

By LisaLou — On Nov 01, 2011

I am a volunteer at a local entertainment center that always has popular, high quality shows and entertainment.

The only compensation from this position, is that I can see the show for free on the nights that I am volunteering.

Much of my job involves being a ticket checker when people enter the auditorium. This is not very complicated, but there have been times when someone has a ticket for the wrong performance or time of day.

If there are still seats available, we will usually assign them to another seat so they don't have to come back and see the show. If it is a sold out show, they may have to return at the correct date and time their ticket shows.

I also must stand by one of the exit doors for the entire performance. Some of the performances are quite long and this gets tiring standing there for the whole time.

If they find us sitting down when we are supposed to be standing by the door, we may not be able to volunteer anymore. This may sound a little harsh, but there is quite a long waiting list to get on as a volunteer here, so there aren't usually any problems.

By wavy58 — On Oct 31, 2011

At the event center near my home, security guards and ticket checkers work right next to each other. You have to pass through security to even approach the ticket checker.

There is one security guard per single file line. He stands near the front of the building and passes a metal detector over you. He tells you to hold your keys up so the detector won't beep for them.

If you are found to be clean, you can walk ahead to the ticket checker. She will rip your ticket in half and give you the stub. You can then show the stub to the ushers if you need help finding your seat.

So, in this venue, the ticket checker does only the basic job. She doesn't have to handle seating questions, resolve fights, or take pocket knives away from people.

By cloudel — On Oct 30, 2011

@OeKc05 - That is odd! The theater in my town is huge, so they always have several ticket checkers on duty. I have never seen the area open with no one present.

The ticket checkers at my local theater always look down at the ticket to see what movie you are going to watch. Then, regardless of whether you need help finding it or not, they tell you which way to go to find it.

I love that they do this, because I hate wandering around looking up at the signs. If your hands are full of popcorn and drinks, it is really hard to keep from spilling them if you have to look around for your movie.

By OeKc05 — On Oct 30, 2011

What's strange about ticket checkers at movie theaters is that they are not always present. Several times, I have gone up to the velvet rope area to show my ticket and found no one there. The rope has been pulled aside, so anyone can just walk on through.

I suppose the checkers know that the people in the ticket sales booth will not let anyone into the theater who hasn't bought a ticket. It would be nearly impossible to sneak past them unseen.

I'm sure they must have a security guard somewhere on the premises in case of something like this. I just find it odd that the ticket checker is only at his station part time. That makes it seem like his job just is not that important.

By shell4life — On Oct 29, 2011

There is a venue in my town that is both a theater and a bar. They sell tickets to all of their events, even the ones at which only local, unknown bands are playing.

At this theater, the ticket checker is also a bouncer. I have never seen a skinny guy or girl checking tickets.

The ticket checkers are sometimes different people, but they are always strong and stocky. They want them to double as security, so they only employ bouncers to check tickets. The chances of someone trying to run past a big, scary dude are small.

By BrickBack — On Oct 28, 2011

I love going to the movies but I don’t think that I would want to be a ticket checker because the job really seems kind of boring.

They have to check your tickets to make sure that the number of people in your party match the tickets that you have and then they tell you which auditorium you have to go to in order to watch your movie.

I think that after a while there is really nothing to do and you just have to stand and wait for people to come up to you. It must be hard on your feet too.

By animegal — On Oct 28, 2011

Does anyone know what kind of qualifications you need to be a ticket checker for an airline?

I would imagine that working in an airport and checking tickets for airlines would be a lot more involved than working at something like a concert venue.

Every time I have flown the air ticket checkers had to look over my travel documents, and passport to make sure I could enter a certain country. They have to be well versed in immigration expectations to do their work. It can be surprising which countries will let you in without an onward ticket and which won't. It is the ticket checkers job to make sure you can depart the plane later on and be accepted into the next country.

By popcorn — On Oct 28, 2011

I find that the train ticket checker is always a good person to talk to if you need any information about the facilities on board the train. The last time I took a long trip via train I talked with the ticket checker for a bit and found out that the ticket checker has to have quite a bit of training in order to get that position.

While most ticket checkers are seasonal work, those that work on trains must pass a Railway Ticket Checker’s exam and pass security checks. Being a railway ticket checker seems to be quite the reputable job.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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