Bus Drivers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Most employers prefer drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Training Required
Bus drivers typically go through 1 to 3 months of training, but those who already possess a CDL license may have a shorter training period. Part of the training is spent on a driving course, where drivers practice various maneuvers with a bus. They then begin to drive in light traffic and eventually make practice runs on the type of route that they expect to drive. New drivers make regularly scheduled trips with passengers and are accompanied by an experienced driver who gives helpful tips, answers questions, and evaluates the new driver's performance.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 6% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Licenses/Certifications
All bus drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Some new bus drivers can earn their CDL during on-the-job training. The qualifications for getting one vary by state but generally include passing both knowledge and driving tests. States have the right not to issue a license to someone who has had a CDL suspended by another state.
Median pay: How much do Bus Drivers make?
$31,920 Annual Salary
$15.35 per hour

Bus drivers transport people between various places—including, work, school, and shopping centers—and across state and national borders. Some drive regular routes, and others transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours. They drive a range of vehicles, from 15-passenger buses to 60-foot articulated buses (with two connected sections) that can carry more than 100 passengers.

What do Bus Drivers do?

Bus drivers typically do the following:

  • Pick up and drop off passengers at designated locations
  • Follow a planned route according to a time schedule
  • Help disabled passengers get on and off the bus
  • Obey traffic laws and state and federal transit regulations
  • Follow procedures to ensure passenger safety
  • Keep passengers informed of possible delays
  • Perform basic maintenance (check the bus tires, lights, and oil)
  • Keep the bus clean and presentable to the public

The following are examples of types of bus drivers:

Careers for Bus Drivers

  • Charter bus drivers
  • Charter coach drivers
  • Drivers, bus
  • Drivers, charter bus
  • Drivers, charter coach
  • Drivers, intercity bus
  • Drivers, motor coach
  • Drivers, motor coach tour
  • Drivers, public transit
  • Drivers, school bus
  • Drivers, special education
  • Drivers, trolley
  • Intercity bus drivers
  • Local transit bus drivers
  • Motor coach bus drivers
  • Motor coach drivers
  • Motor coach tour drivers
  • Public transit bus drivers
  • Public transit trolley drivers
  • School bus drivers
  • School bus operators
  • Special education bus drivers

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