School bus drivers must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with a P and S endorsement to legally transport students. Most school bus driver work is part-time, transporting students from their homes to schools and back again. They also provide transportation services for field trips and sports games. Typically a school bus driver will have the same schedule and drive the same routes every day.
School bus companies typically provide 2-8 weeks of classroom training before allowing you to obtain a schedule or drive with students in the bus. Training includes on-the-road practice of driving maneuvers and safety practices. Many companies will provide you with all the necessary training to receive your CDL without any additional courses or costs. The acquisition of a CDL can help applicants find other driver positions in addition to their work as a school bus driver.
Driving a school bus allows for a flexible schedule. Most school bus drivers work only a few hours in the morning when students are transported to school and a few hours in the afternoon when they return home. This allows for school bus drivers who wish to work an additional job to be able to do so. Most school bus drivers do not work on the weekends. In addition to stable hours, school bus drivers also typically have summers and other school holidays off.
Wages and Employment Opportunities
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that school bus drivers should expect average job growth with favorable employment opportunities. As of May 2008, school bus drivers are paid a median hourly wage of over $12 an hour. The highest 10% of school bus drivers had an hourly salary of over $19. This salary is considered competitive for the amount of training that is required in order to be eligible for this position.
Driving a school bus is a child-friendly job. The schedule of a school bus driver typically allows for applicants with children to be at home during the times of year that their children are not in school. Since the work is part-time, it is a good choice for parents who want to bring in supplemental income. Many companies also allow their drivers to bring their younger children with them on their routes.
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