School Bus Driver

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A School Bus Driver is responsible for safely transporting students to and from school. They ensure the bus is in good working order, follow a predetermined route, and must obey all traffic laws. During the trip, they monitor students, checking for any potential issues and maintaining order. As a School Bus Driver, you must have a clean driving record and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with proper endorsements. Knowing basic vehicle maintenance and troubleshooting skills is also necessary. This job requires excellent communication skills, the ability to multitask, and a strong sense of responsibility for the safety of the passengers. The ideal candidate for this School Bus Driver job description should have a friendly and approachable demeanor, a passion for working with children, and the ability to work independently. If you meet these requirements, then a career as a School Bus Driver may be the perfect fit for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Safely transport students to and from school, following designated routes and schedules.
  • Conduct pre-trip inspections of the bus to ensure it is in proper operating condition.
  • Maintain a clean and orderly bus, ensuring that it is free of debris and hazards.
  • Follow all traffic laws and rules of the road, including speed limits and stop signs.
  • Communicate effectively with students and school administrators, addressing issues and concerns as needed.
  • Maintain accurate records of pick-up and drop-off times, student behavior, and any incidents that occur during travel.
  • Monitor and enforce passenger safety rules, ensuring that students remain seated and keep their belongings in designated areas.
  • Establish and maintain a positive and respectful relationship with students and parents, promoting a safe and welcoming environment on the bus.
  • Participate in ongoing training and professional development opportunities to improve skills and maintain certifications.
  • Respond calmly and professionally to emergencies and accidents, taking prompt and appropriate action to ensure the safety of students and others.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a school bus driver in the education industry, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. When it comes to experience, you need to have a good driving record and a valid driver's license, with at least two to three years of driving experience. This driving experience does not necessarily have to be as a professional driver, and it can be in a different industry. Additionally, you must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with proper certifications required by your state. In some cases, you might need to pass a background check and undergo training classes before you get hired. Being responsible, reliable, and having a friendly demeanor is also important.

Salary Range

School Bus Driver salary range varies depending on the location, experience, and qualifications. In the United States, the average salary for school bus drivers is $16.39 per hour, with a range of $13-$22 per hour, depending on the state. Some states, like New York, California, and Washington, pay higher wages, with an average of $20 per hour. In Canada, the average salary for school bus drivers is $17.16 per hour. In the UK, the average salary for school bus drivers is £10 per hour. To become a school bus driver, one needs a high school diploma, a Commercial Driver's License, and clean driving record. 



Career Outlook

The career outlook for a school bus driver in the education industry is expected to remain steady over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of school bus drivers is projected to grow by 5 percent between 2019 and 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

This growth can be attributed to the increasing number of schools and educational institutions and the need for reliable and safe transportation for students. Additionally, as more school districts focus on decreasing class sizes and transporting students to schools further away, the demand for bus drivers is expected to rise. 

Overall, the outlook for school bus drivers is positive, making it a stable and reliable job option in the education industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a school bus driver do?

A: A school bus driver transports students to and from school and other activities. They check the bus before each trip to ensure it's safe and follow specific routes and schedules.

Q: What are the qualifications to become a school bus driver?

A: Each state has its own requirements, but a high school diploma or GED is usually required, and most states require a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a school bus endorsement. A clean driving record and passing a background check is also required.

Q: What are the working hours for a school bus driver?

A: School bus drivers typically work part-time hours during the school year, usually morning and afternoon shifts. They may also have the opportunity to work additional hours for field trips or extracurricular activities.

Q: What skills are needed to be a good school bus driver?

A: A school bus driver must have excellent driving skills and be able to maintain control of the bus at all times. They should also have good communication skills, a friendly personality, and be able to handle unexpected events that may arise.

Q: What kind of benefits do school bus drivers receive?

A: Benefits vary by employer, but many school bus drivers receive health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time off. They may also have the opportunity to participate in training and development programs.

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