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Human Services Degrees

How to Become A Bus Driver

Bus drivers are professionals who operate different types of buses to transport commuters between locations. Drivers usually work with full responsibility without any supervision. It is their job to ensure the satisfaction and safety of their passengers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic, most bus drivers work with schools or private bus companies. They are responsible for transporting students to and from schools, field trips and other activities related to school. Those who work in tourism/transit sector usually have to work longer hours as they have to accommodate travelers’ schedules.

Should I Become a Bus Driver?

Bus drivers enjoy a high employment growth, at 5%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is faster than the average for all other occupations. The following table provides a detailed look at the career of a bus driver, along with information on how to get into this field.

Education Required

High school diploma or equivalent

Major Requirement

Not Applicable




Not Mandatory

Key Skills

Customer Service Skills, Hand Eye Coordination Skills, Hearing Ability, Patience, Physical Health, Visual Ability

Annual Mean Salary

$33,390 (Bus Drivers, School or Special Client)

$44,650 (Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity)

Job Outlook (2018- 2028)


 Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Requirements

Aspiring bus drivers are required to have a high school diploma. They are required to give an exam and appear in a bus driving test to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Bus drivers need to have customer-service skills which allows them to interact with people in a courteous manner. Federal regulations require drivers to have good hearing ability and normal use of their arms and legs. They do not permit people to become drivers if they have any previous medical condition which can adversely impact their driving skills.

How to Become a Bus Driver?

  1. Education

The minimum education required to become a bus driver is a high school diploma.

  1. Training

These professionals have to go through a training process of 1-3 months. However, those who have a CDL may not have to spend the same amount of time. During their training, drivers are taught to practice maneuvers with a bus. Initially, they practice in light traffic and take booked trips with passengers along with an experienced driver. The experienced driver evaluates his performance along with giving him tips for improvement.

The training also involves learning rules and regulations of their company, safe driving practices and traffic laws.

  1. Obtaining a License

It is mandatory for all bus drivers to have a commercial driver’s license- some get it during on-job training. The requirement to obtain a license varies from state to state, however it includes passing the exam and the driving test. If your license gets suspended by one state, any other state is not allowed to re-issue it. Drivers can also get endorsements which reflect their specialty in a particular vehicle. Bus drivers are required to have (P) endorsements while school drivers need to have (S) endorsement.  These endorsements require extra driving tests and knowledge supervised by a certified examiner.

Federal Regulations requires all drivers to pass a physical exam after every 2 years. They are also expected to submit to drug and alcohol testing while on duty.

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