Knowledge in driving is not the only thing you need to qualify to become a school bus driver in Pennsylvania. The type of training slightly differs depending on the transportation company, but the state has set specific requirements for aspirants.
But first of all, why are you interested in becoming a school bus driver? If you think you have the following reasons that take to be a school bus driver, then you may be ready to undergo examinations and several training sessions to qualify as one:
- You have experience in driving (and love driving, too)
- You have great people skills
- You enjoy being with kids, working, and interacting with them
- You care about the children’s safety
- You can remain calm even under pressure
- You don’t need to have a four-year college degree
- You don’t like working in regular office hours
- It is a good-paying job
- It offers a competitive benefits package
- You cannot afford training
Communities stress the significance of school bus drivers as being essential employees with an important job to accomplish. The safety of the school children is of the utmost importance. That’s why the driver should take the position seriously. The requirement for safety explains the tests needed and the amount of training you need to become one.
Many aspirants may not afford to pay for tests and training. Bus and other transportation companies are also aware of the importance of bus drivers serving the community, so they provide applicants all the knowledge and training they need for free or for little cost.
Here are the following examinations that applicants are required to undergo and pass to qualify as school bus drivers:
- Must pass a physical examination in Pennsylvania every 13 months. Upon passing this examination, you will obtain the DL-704 and DL-31D forms, which you must submit to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
- Must pass a vision screening test.
- Must pass a knowledge test, which includes (but is not limited to): general knowledge and passenger and school bus endorsements.
- Must pass a road test, which includes: a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle, demonstration of general maneuvering, simulation (or even actual and real-life execution) student passenger discharge scenarios, and navigating railroad crossings safely.
An applicant must have a minimum of 20 hours of training on school bus safety and operation, which includes:
- A minimum of 14 hours of classroom training.
- A minimum of 6 hours of hands-on, in-bus training.
Some school bus training programs offer up to 35 to 40 hours of overall training, depending on the transportation company that provides it. But if you’re capable and motivated enough, you can complete the training in less time. Instructors work closely with trainees to check their progress and ensure that they’re acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to qualify as first-rate school bus drivers.
If you’re planning to undergo examination and training to obtain a bus driving license in Pennsylvania, ensure that the transportation company providing the training is certified by PennDOT.