If you are a self-starter who also likes interacting with people, especially children, you may consider a career as a school bus driver.
School bus drivers transport school children to and from school following an established route. But beyond driving, school bus drivers perform other functions and responsibilities, such as performing inspections on the bus before and after each route and cleaning and maintaining the vehicle. School bus drivers are also responsible for the conduct, behavior, and safety of the students on the bus. They also provide transport for off-campus events such as field trips and excursions, sporting events, summer camps, etc.
There are advantages and disadvantages of being a school bus driver, like many other professions. Here are some of them:
- It allows you to work with children, especially if you like kids and working with them.
- It doesn’t require a college degree. Yes, even if you’re fresh from high school, you are eligible for the job.
- It has a flexible schedule. School bus drivers enjoy an extensive break between morning and afternoon duties. So, it’s safe to say that driving a school bus is a relatively relaxed job. You can also use your downtime to do other things, such as running some errands, catching a movie, or taking a nap.
- Minimal or no desk job. Bus driving is an excellent career for anyone who likes working but hates getting stuck in an office job.
- It’s not a monotonous job. Even though you’re driving the same established route every school day, interacting with children of different ages and other people is enough to keep your job interesting. It also brings you to different places, especially when the kids go on field trips and excursions.
- It’s perfect for job people who love driving and traveling.
- You can work independently. School bus drivers don’t have a boss sitting next to them (or standing behind them). As a school bus driver, you don’t have to follow the commands of your boss all the time. Instead, you will drive your school bus according to the route and schedule. Everything else will be up to you as long as you follow the rules and regulations.
- School bus drivers enjoy free weekends, holidays, and spring and summer breaks. And if the weather gets horrible – for example, a terrible blizzard hits your town – classes get canceled, and you don’t have to drive to work! But since you are under a contract, you still get paid for your contracted minimum hours.
- It allows you to serve the community. Bus drivers usually work in the area where they live, helping families and neighborhoods they know. The schoolchildren depend on drivers to safely transport them to and from school. In addition, school bus drivers get to interact with parents, teachers, school staff, etc., during their shifts, so it’s an excellent career for a “people person.” If you want a job that gives you the chance to serve the community, driving a school bus might be what you want to consider.
- It offers competitive wages and benefits. Do you want to work full-time or part-time? There are school bus driver jobs all over Pennsylvania offering excellent salaries and benefits, including health, dental, and retirement package benefits. Isn’t that great – you get to work with children, travel to different places, and serve your community while being paid for doing these things?
- School boards provide ways to get training. If you don’t have money to pay for the training, many companies offer free school bus training programs. You will go through both classroom and behind-the-wheel instructions to obtain a commercial driver’s license, which will be your investment in the future.
- Since driving a school bus is considered a part-time job, it has a relatively low salary. A school bus driver will average a salary of $35,000 (salary depends on the location of the company, seniority, and other factors). This salary is why many retirees become school bus drivers to make extra cash after retirement or why stay-at-home parents decide to pick up part-time work while they watch their children at the same time.
- You have to get up early to get the students to school. The typical day of an average school bus driver starts at around 6 AM, as he or she has multiple rounds to different routes. That means he will have to rise from 4 to 5 AM every day, but you also receive weekends off to enjoy some extra rest and many drivers have free time in the middle of the day to catch up on some sleep if they would like.
- States may have different training requirements, so if you move to another state, you may have to undergo a new training again.
- Working from a remote location or teleworking is entirely impossible as a school bus driver. When school closes during unexpected circumstances, such as extreme weather or the COVID-19 pandemic, school bus drivers may receive unexpected days off.
- Disciplining the kids on the bus can be pretty challenging, primarily if they act notoriously from time to time. Thus, the profession of a bus driver is not for the weak-hearted. You’ll need lots of patience, physical and emotional strength, and dedication to control the conduct and student behavior on the school bus. Becoming a trusted adult in the community and in the eyes of a child can be rewarding but takes time.
Are you thinking about becoming a school bus driver but aren’t sure yet? Read this article and carefully consider both the pros and cons (especially the cons) to ensure that you want this career. Reading Secrets Often Shared by the Best PA School Bus Drivers may offer additional information to help you decide.
If you’re 100% ready to take on the challenges and enjoy the rewards of driving a school bus, draft your CV and apply for any of the school bus driver jobs here.