School Bus Driver Jobs
Kids are required by law to go to school. Every day over 480,000 school buses travel our nation’s roads transporting children to school. That’s 480,000 school bus drivers that are needed every day.
School bus drivers drive buses that transport children to and from school and extracurricular activities. Most school buses are painted bright yellow and are easily recognizable. They are the safest mode of transportation in the United States.
On a typical day, a school bus driver arrives at the bus yard early to get the school bus ready. They check the bus to ensure it is running safely, clean the interior and exterior of the bus, and collect any lost and found items that children may have left from the previous day. They also make sure the bus has enough fuel – buses carry about 100 gallons and make about 7 miles per gallon. Then they hit the road.
School buses travel on established routes each morning to pick up children and safely drop them off at the front door of the school. The route may go through rural farmland, winding suburbs, or packed urban areas. Schools are everywhere and so are school buses.
In the afternoon, the bus driver reverses the morning routine and returns the children to their homes. The job consists of 20 hours or more a week behind the wheel. If a driver wants to work more, there are opportunities to drive teams to sporting events or science classes on field trips to museums. Some urban school districts stagger their schools hours so school bus drivers will drive multiple routes in one day.
Whenever they work, they must always keep on schedule – schools, parents, and events depend on the bus arriving on time. This can be challenging when there are traffic jams, road construction, or bad weather. A professional bus driver must always keep his cool. As long as the children arrive safely, a late bus can be overlooked.
The most important aspect of being a school bus driver is safety. Drivers must know and follow all traffic laws. They need to keep a watchful eye on children. Other vehicles are the biggest danger. If a cell phone distracts another driver or they are fiddling with the radio, they may not see the bus’s flashing lights or stop sign arm swing out. Luckily, school buses travel 5,760,000,000 miles each year and they do so with very few incidents – mostly because school bus drivers are always on the look out.
Driving a school bus may not seem like a crazy job, but it can be. School bus drivers must be prepared for all sorts of things – traffic, angry parents, fights, bullying, medical emergencies, and other unexpected things that children might do. Any issue that arises needs to be dealt with professionally and cheerfully.
Bus drivers must obtain a commercial drivers license with special endorsements. They must have a clean driving record, a spotless criminal record, and pass drug and alcohol tests. Many school districts require school bus training that covers emergencies, laws, district policies, special needs students, first aid, routes, and driver student relations.
Each school bus driver works for a school district. To find jobs look at bus driving companies or school district job postings. Most bus drivers can plan to make $11 to $16 per hour or $26,000 to $36,000 per year. The real advantage of being a bus driver is the job security. There will always be children and those children will always need to go to school.
Transporting the nation’s precious cargo takes a lot of responsibility. Honest, trustworthy, friendly, safety-conscious school bus drivers are always needed.
See Related: Truck driving jobs
Quick Facts About Driving School Buses
Job Title: School Bus Driver
Office: Behind the wheel of a school bus
Description: Transport children to and from school and extra curricular activities
Certifications/Education: Commercial drivers license, Clean Criminal Record, Clean Driving Record
Necessary Skills: Friendly, Enjoy Driving
Potential Employers: School districts nationwide
Pay: $11 to $16 per hour or $26,000 to $36,000 per year