Taxi Driver Jobs
At some point, everyone will ride in a taxi. It may be from the airport, to a hotel, after a late night at the bar, to your favorite ski resort, while on vacation, when your car is broken down, or even just to quickly travel across town. People are always going places and taxi drivers help them get where they want to go.
Taxi drivers transport people from point A to point B in easily recognizable vehicles.
Taxis cruise through downtown New York, wait at airports in Atlanta, drive through the mountains of Colorado, pick up businessmen during LA's rush hour, rescue a family during a Seattle downpour, or bring home inebriated college students in Madison. Taxi drivers help people get where they are going safely. There is always a demand for this job.
Taxi drivers know all of the main roads, side roads, shortcuts, back alleys, traffic jams, construction spots, and detours in town. They know where all the places of business are located. They know the hotspots where people go to find taxis. Many drivers use GPS and iPhones to help them find addresses or hidden businesses. A taxi driver should never get lost. That wouldn't be professional.
A taxi driver is more than just a quick and efficient driving machine who remains calm in traffic and smiles at disgruntled clients. They are usually friendly, knowledgeable locals who are willing to carry on a conversation about any topic. They can recommend good sushi restaurants or tell you the best places to go for a hike. Good customer service is good for business, but taxi drivers also have an extra incentive...they are hoping for a tip - usually 10% of the fare.
Taxi drivers can be self-employed, but most work for a fleet company. The fleet company supplies the driver with a vehicle, insurance, and maintenance at its garage. Usually the fleet company fields all requests for taxi services. Then a dispatcher radios the closest taxi to pick up the client. Most taxi drivers work with a dispatcher to find fares, but in urban areas sometimes the fares find the taxi by flagging them down from the sidewalk. Learn about 911 dispatcher jobs right here.
A cabbie makes money by charging every client a fare. The fee is based on zones or by distance, mileage, and time. A machine called a taximeter (which is where the name taxi originates) then calculates the fare. The cab driver is responsible for handling the cash, operating the taximeter, and logging the transactions.
In order to be a taxi driver, you must be 21 years old with a driver license and a clean driving record.
Driving a cab is a good way to have flexible hours. You can work 8 to 12 hour shifts or you can work in the middle of the night. It's a good way to make a paycheck. Cabbies can make $17,000 to $53,000 per year, plus tips.
If you love to drive, consider a job as a taxi driver. You'll meet all sorts of crazy characters, hear lots of ridiculous stories, and drive to places you never even knew existed. After you tire of being a cabbie, consider driving jobs for FedEx or UPS!
Quick Facts About Driving a Cab
Job Title: Taxi Driver, Cab Driver, Cabbie
Office: Cities and towns all over the world
Description: Transport people by taxi
Certifications/Education: No Formal Education, Drivers License, Taxi Licensure depends on state
Necessary Skills: Clean Driving Record
Potential Employers: Taxi companies, Fleet Companies, Self-employed
Pay: $17,000 to $53,000 per year