Become a Bus Driver: What Training Is Required?

Bus driver training is offered in most metro areas and is an essential training if you want to work in the field. Regardless of whether you wish to work as a city bus driver, a school bus driver, or interstate bus driver, a qualification from a reputable driving school is required. Learning to drive a bus is very different from driving a car or other variety of automotive transport.

Personal Skills

Before you embark on training, you should consider if you possess the personal skills required for such a position. These include:

  • A responsible attitude;
  • Good time-keeping skills;
  • A pleasent personal manner;
  • A clean criminal record (crimes involving motor vehicles, drugs. Law varies.);
  • The ability to read and speak English at a reasonable level;
  • Good verbal communication skills;
  • Self-driven and a strong independent worker;
  • Good vision (at least 20/40 without sight aids, and ability to see colors) and hearing.

Requirements and Steps to Take

Many bus companies prefer staff to be at least 24 years old. There are also some restrictions on epilepsy and diabetes (controlled by insulin) sufferers when it comes to coach and touring bus positions. Here are a few other important requirements:

1. You must hold a current license for a car and be an experienced driver. Also, you must tour and coach drivers for a number of years.

2. You need to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles in order to complete your necessary paperwork. This often includes a medical form, which your doctor will have to complete. The primary medical tests will involve hearing and vision. Some governments require you to be endorsed, and to undergo a written test first. This may involve a set number of hours of bus driver classes, which cover Department of Transport road rules, safety regulations, company work rules, and safe driving practices. Interpersonal skills and ticketing may also be discussed.

3. When this is completed and returned with the relevant identification details, there is usually a wait of a few weeks to recieve your license.

4. Once you have your provisional driving license, it's time to look around for specialist bus driving schools. Ensure these are accredited with your local bus service association. Some heavy vehicle schools also provide training.

5. You will commence training with a registered training officer. This includes learning the practical skills of driving a bus. Bus drivers first learn on school grounds. When they are deemed ready, drivers graduate to on-the-road training in light traffic and finally, on congested roads.

6. Some governments require you sit an additional written test along with a practical driving test. Once you pass the test, you will be fully qualified and able to apply for positions in the bus driving industry.