In every city or town, at set times during the day, there is a school bus waiting to pick up kids from home to school, and vice versa. So, there will always be a demand for school bus drivers. This occupation will never go out of fashion.
The importance of safe transportation for students to and from school is often stressed. However, it’s also easy to forget the importance of having experienced and dedicated school bus drivers and their impact on the lives of the students, parents, guardians, teachers, and the community, who have long relied on them to get the children safely to and from school. Indeed, school bus drivers play a crucial role in their lives.
The main task of school bus drivers is to provide safe transportation for schoolchildren based on their route. But that’s not all! These are only a few of the following duties and responsibilities of a bus driver:
- Transporting students to and from school (and vice versa).
- Transporting students to off-campus and special events, such as field trips and sporting events.
- Following the planned schedule and route for departure times and stops.
- Monitoring students’ on-bus behavior and enforcing safety and conduct rules on the bus.
- Providing written reports for incidents of student misbehavior to the school principal.
- Performing pre-trip and safety inspections to ensure the bus’s proper working condition.
- Performing post-trip inspections to check for lost items, vandalism, or sleeping students.
- Reporting all defects and maintenance needs to mechanics.
- Monitoring and reporting mileage, fuel consumption, and passenger numbers.
- Reporting delays, accidents, and emergencies, as well as responding to emergency and non-emergency situations.
- Assisting in the loading and unloading of the bus when needed.
- Maintaining a safe and sanitary vehicle.
What are the school bus requirements for the state of Pennsylvania?
- Age requirement is dependent upon the bus company or insurance company.
- Must have a PA commercial driver’s license (CDL) Class B in good standing.
- The driver’s CDL has school bus and passenger endorsements.
- Must complete 20 hours of training on school bus operation and safety, including 14 hours of classroom training and six hours of practical in-bus training.
- Must obtain a School Bus Physical Examination (DL-704) in Pennsylvania from a prospective employer.
- Must pass a vision screening and knowledge tests that include but are not limited to general questions and specific questions related to the school bus and passenger endorsement, in particular.
- Must pass a road test to demonstrate basic maneuvering skills and pre-trip vehicle inspection knowledge. These tests include, among others, simulating (or actual demonstration) of student passenger discharge scenarios and safe railroad crossing.
- Must pass a criminal background check (conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police).
- Must pass a child abuse history check (conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare).
If you live in Pennsylvania and want a new career or are thinking about a career change, consider a career as a school bus driver. If you feel you have what it takes to be one and meet the above requirements, contact PSBA to start the application process.
Being a school bus driver in Pennsylvania is a fulfilling career beyond the flexible schedule, handsome salary, and benefits package. Especially if you have great people skills and love being around children and interacting with them, you will thrive in this type of career.