Parkin began his career at Oldham Athletic. He was on the books of eight different teams, although he never made an appearance for Brighton & Hove Albion or Yeovil Town, despite being contracted to them. The bulk of his career was spent at Bristol Rovers, for whom he made 246 appearances in two spells. In his second period at Bristol Rovers he was primarily the goalkeeping coach, but also made a handful of appearances for the first team.
After leaving Bristol Rovers, Parkin joined Team Bath F.C., where he is now the football academy director.