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What Is a School Bus Driver and How to Become One

What Does A School Bus Driver Do?

School bus drivers are typically employees of a school district or driving companies that contract with school districts. The primary job duty of a school bus driver is to transport students to and from schools. Most school districts have a dedicated route and stops for school bus drivers. School bus drivers also occasionally provide transportation during the school day for field trips. School bus drivers are responsible for the well-being of the students while they are in transit to and from school. They pay close attention to road safety, driving conditions, and the condition of their vehicle. They also need to control student behavior on the bus and may need to discipline students. School bus drivers will develop a rapport with the students in their care over time.

How Do You Become A School Bus Driver?

To be qualified as a school bus driver you need to have a CDL (commercial driver’s license) and a clean driving record. You will also have to complete special training for school bus drivers, depending on state and local regulations. Because school bus driver’s work with children, you may also need to pass a background check.

What Are Different Types Of School Bus Driver Jobs?

The core responsibility of all school bus driver jobs is the safe transport of students to and from schools or other education facilities. Most school bus drivers work a fixed route and schedule. Spare or substitute school bus drivers work a less predictable schedule, filling in for extra diver needs across a school district, either subbing for regular drivers who are out or driving for field trips. There are also drivers who operate smaller vehicles, either for students with special needs or a less populated bus route.

Where Do School Bus Drivers Work?

School bus drivers spend their working hours driving their bus. Depending on the location of the school, bus drivers may transport students through rural, suburban, or urban areas. While is it typical for a school bus driver to mostly drive students from their neighborhoods and drop them off at their respective school(s), bus drivers may also transport students over long distances for various events and field trips.

What Are the Benefits of a School Bus Driver Job?

As a school bus driver, you can make a positive impact on the students in your care. School bus drivers work regular hours and usually receive a benefits package that is on par with most full-time employees in the school district. These benefits may include (but are not limited to): paid holidays, health and dental insurance, retirement savings plans, and other compensation.

School Bus Driver Job Description Sample

With this School Bus Driver job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a School Bus Driver role.

Job Summary

We are seeking an experienced and qualified individual for a position as a School Bus Driver. In this position, you pick up and drop off children along predetermined routes and maintain a safe and friendly atmosphere for all riders in your care. Our ideal candidate has prior experience driving a school bus or other passenger service buses, a valid commercial driver's license (CDL), and the patience and calm demeanor required when transporting a bus full of school children.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Pick up and drop off students along predetermined routes
  • Practice safe driving skills in potentially inclement weather
  • Perform basic vehicle maintenance
  • Monitor student behavior and report unsafe or abusive behavior to school administrators
  • Provide additional assistance to special needs students who may have difficulty boarding or riding the bus

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Valid commercial driver's license (CDL)
  • Prior experience as a school bus driver or driving other passenger buses
  • Experience with special needs education a strong plus
  • Patience and superb situational awareness