How to Find the Best School Bus Driver

A good bus driver consists of essential characteristics, such as driving skills, the ability to follow established routes, and compliance with the traffic rules. But the best school driver is just more than those qualities.


Parents, guardians, and teachers rely on the school bus drivers to safely transport their children to and from school. 


The eligibility to become a school bus driver is an essential factor. An applicant should be of legal age, possess a commercial driver’s license, and undergo a physical examination (including drug and alcohol screening) to qualify for the training. After successfully passing the initial hurdles, the bus driver should complete special training to become a qualified school bus driver. 


The bus driver should have additional characteristics, aside from complying with eligibility criteria. These characteristics are requirements. The passengers that the drivers are dealing with are schoolchildren of different age groups, and the people whom they report to are varied, including teachers, parents, the school administration, and transport authorities.


School bus drivers are hired based on the CV’s the school transport department receives, as well as recommendations from the bus and other transportation companies.


Hiring a school bus driver is about selecting traits that prove they can perform the task efficiently, competent, and professionally. Read on to discover the traits required to become not just a good school bus driver but the best school bus driver.


One of the essential requirements for a school bus driver is, of course, his driving skills. But the skill of driving a large vehicle, such as a school bus, differs from driving cars and other smaller vehicles. Aspirants should have previous experience driving large vehicles amidst small vehicles, traffic jams, road accidents, etc. The driving experience is an essential characteristic of a school bus driver.


Knowledge of traffic rules is also a requirement. The driver has to be well-versed with traffic rules, laws, and regulations, which also involves big vehicles. Drivers should strictly follow the rules of the school bus stop sign and flashing lights.


The bus driver should be mentally alert and have a keen sense of judgment during his shift for safe driving. His mental alertness is especially important during emergency situations.


Although not a requirement, knowledge of basic mechanical skills is highly desirable. If a bus driver knows how to fix minor technical problems, it will significantly reduce the vehicle’s downtime.


To become the best school driver, he should be someone the schools and parents can rely. The driver should be punctual in time schedules provided to him by the school, strictly follow the school’s routes, and be prompt in updating schools and parents regarding any changes in route or schedule.


A school bus driver should also be a good time manager. In addition to following the school’s specific route, he should strictly adhere to the timing for every stage of the route. It’s best to start his work early to avoid traffic. He shouldn’t consider taking alternate routes or shortcuts, as it would affect the schedule.


As someone in charge of the students on the bus, a school bus driver should be an effective leader with the safety and well-being of his wards in mind.


Possessing communication skills is just as important as the ability to drive and knowledge of the traffic rules and established routes. The school bus driver and his young passengers need to understand each other, particularly when it comes to the strict schedule and specific stops and destinations. He should also be prompt in updating the school and parents regarding any changes in route or schedule. 


Should there be any untoward incident inside the bus, such as bad conduct or bullying, the school bus driver should communicate this to the school and the parents without offending those involved. In addition, the school bus driver should be in constant touch with the transportation department in case of specific issues, such as delays due to traffic jams, weather, accidents, or ongoing road construction.


Apart from driving skills, communication skills, knowledge of established routes, and good time management, a school bus driver must have other essential qualities.


A lot of things happen in and out of the school bus. Bus drivers face several challenges, such as weather conditions, difficult kids to deal with, and overwhelming road construction. Incidents of bad behavior, bullying, and even good-natured high jinks can get out of hand inside the school bus. Bus drivers need to have patience with others on the road and with the students. If the driver is patient, calm, and able to keep a clear head no matter what issues cropping up, he will be able to handle these situations better.


A positive attitude is another highly desirable trait in a school bus driver. Whatever bad moods or personal problems he might have, he should not be affected by them when he takes the wheel. Otherwise, these negative vibes will tremendously affect his job. When he exudes a positive attitude, no matter the situation, it will also rub off on the people he directly deals with – the students, teachers, and parents.


As a school bus driver who deals with different people every day, respect for others is an important trait. Whether these people be students, teachers, parents, his employers, he has to respect and appreciate them as they all contribute to his success.


Finally, commitment and dedication to the job have the utmost importance. A school bus driver should stay dedicated to his job and learn to enjoy it. Doing this will make his job easier and less stressful.

If you are curious if you meet the PA school bus driver requirements, be sure to read this. Then, when you’re sure you have what it takes to become the best school bus driver, head over to and see what school bus driver jobs are available.