School Bus Driver Job Profile

If you enjoy being around kids and like to drive, you might be interested in becoming a school bus driver. As a school bus driver, your hearing and vision will be checked to make sure they meet the required standards. In general, you must be able to hear a whisper from a distance of 5 feet and have a minimum of 20/40 vision (corrected or uncorrected). You will not be hired if you are colorblind, have abnormal blood pressure readings, or don't have the normal use of your limbs.

Education/Requirements

In order to become a school bus driver, you will need to be a high school graduate or have your GED. You will also have to have a good driving record and pass a physical exam, drug test and criminal background check. Federal regulations require you to have a commercial driver's license, which can be obtained after passing both written and driving tests. You will also have to get a "special endorsement" for your license, requiring you to take additional exams that specifies the type of bus you will drive.

Getting Hired/Training

Once you have your bus driver's license, you can apply directly to school districts. Many will have their openings posted on their web sites. You can also check with private companies that work with schools to handle their school bus traffic.

Job Description

As a school bus driver, your main job will to carry students to and from school as well other school-related activities. In the mornings you will pick students up at their designated bus stops and deliver them to school. Then in the afternoon, you will get them from school and drop them off at their bus stops. You will probably be assigned one particular route that you will drive every school day. Also, at the end of the week, you will probably be asked to turn in a report with information about how many students you transported, the number of miles you traveled, how many hours you worked, and how much fuel your bus used.

Most days you will work a split shift. Depending on the hours of school in your particular town, you could start as early as 5:30 a.m. and be done with your morning shift as late as 10:00 a.m. Then for your afternoon shift, you could start as early as 1:30 p.m. and be done as late as 6:00 p.m. Sometimes you will be able to pick up hours taking kids on field trips during the day. You may also work extra hours on evenings and weekends taking students to sporting events or other extracurricular activities.

Bus drivers earn somewhere in the range of $6 to17 dollars an hour and the employment outlook is good, especially for bus drivers looking for work in growing, suburban areas. The benefits bus drivers receive varies with each school district, but most can expect some health insurance, paid sick days, and a retirement package. However, school drivers do not receive vacation pay during the summer months when they are off work. To supplement their income, some school bus drivers take on additional part-time jobs within the school system as mechanics, janitors or classroom assistants.