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Bus Driver Training and Education Program Information

Training programs for aspiring bus drivers can help them obtain a commercial driver's license, which is necessary to work in the field. Some employers may offer on-the-job training for free if terms of employment are satisfied.

Essential Information

  • Program Levels in Bus Driving Training: Certificate/CDL
  • Prerequisites: Valid driver's license, clean driving record, high school diploma or equivalent, good physical condition, effective communication skills, clean drug test
  • Program Length: Several weeks
  • Other Requirements: apprentice with experienced drivers; transit drivers must have passenger endorsement in addition to CDL

Bus Driver training

Coursework for bus driver training programs covers driving rules, safety regulations, vehicle inspection and bus operation. Students receive classroom instruction as well as behind-the-wheel practice on driving courses. Students may also study route maps and accompany experienced bus drivers on their routes. School bus training may include instruction on how to communicate with children, enforce bus rules and respond to bad behavior. After training, students should be knowledgeable in:

  • Department of Transportation regulations
  • Emergencies and first aid
  • Trip planning and route reading
  • Bus operation and inspection
  • Safety procedures

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job opportunities for bus drivers are expected to increase 13% from 2010-2020. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for school bus drivers was $29,150 in 2012, whereas public transit and intercity bus drivers earned a mean annual wage of $38,470 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Continuing education courses are offered to keep drivers up to date on state traffic and safety regulations. Depending on a driver's employer or state, continuing education courses may be a requirement every few years. Such courses may focus on issues such as driving distractions, emergency response, and passenger communication. Courses generally require a valid CDL license.

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