What Does Bus Drivers, School or Special Client Do?
Bus drivers for schools or special clients are responsible for transporting students and clients. You may transport individuals with special needs. It is your job to ensure safety of the passengers at all times and assist passengers as they board and exit the bus. The employment outlook for this field is around nine percent growth, which is average. Growth in the number of school children will help due to the need for additional buses, but school budget issues could tame job growth if schools are unable to hire additional drivers or make changes to busing routes to reduce the number of buses needed. Special client busing jobs are directly driven by need, which can be unpredictable, and also based on finding, which is usually in the form of grants or government funds.
Bus Drivers, School or Special Client Skills and Abilities
The most important skill you need as a bus driver is to be able to drive safely. This includes knowing how to operate all the equipment inside the bus and understanding how to properly maneuver and handle it on the roads during adverse conditions. You should have the physical ability to drive the bus, including good vision and motor reflexes. You must also have good customer service skills because you will be regularly interacting with passengers.
Bus Drivers, School or Special Client Duties
It is your ultimate job to get your passengers safely on and off the bus and to their destinations. You must obey all safety rules and procedures and traffic rules. You also need to make sure to maintain your bus, checking it before every trip to make sure it is in good operating condition. When you are dealing with passengers, you need to make sure they understand and follow all bus rules. You need to be at stops at the designated times and maintain your route schedule. It is important that you are able to handle any situation that may occur, too, such as administering first aid or handling a breakdown of the bus.
Bus Drivers, School or Special Client Tools and Technology
Your bus is going to be the major piece of equipment you work with. You need to understand it inside and out so you can operate it properly and deal with any issues that may come up. You also may use a radio to communicate with your dispatcher and other bus drivers. You may need to be familiar with GPS programs in case you have to change a route due to an unexpected road block or if you are involved in helping to plan bus routes.
Education and Training for Bus Drivers, School or Special Client
A commercial driver’s license is required for all bus drivers, so you must go through the proper training to obtain this. In most cases, you must be at least 18 years old to drive a bus. You also usually will need a high school diploma, but a college degree is not usually required. Instead, you will receive on-the-job training. This usually lasts a few months and includes learning how to maneuver the bus and making practice runs of your route. You may also drive your route with a supervisor for a while until your training period ends.
Bus Drivers, School or Special Client Salary
Wages for bus drivers range from $17,900 for the lowest 10% and $44,600 for the highest 10%. The median salary is around $28,800. School bus driver salary is largely affected by the school district budget. If a school is having financial issues, pay may be lower. It is also important to note that about half of bus drivers only work part time, so hours are limited.
Bus Drivers, School or Special Client Jobs by Geography
The states that employ the largest numbers of school or special client bus drivers are New York and Texas. However, the states with the best possibilities of finding a job opening are Connecticut and Kentucky.