Taxi Driver: Job Description & Career Requirements
From bustling big cities to sleepy small towns, taxi drivers play an important role in transporting people from one location to another. Learn what licensing and training requirements are needed. Get information on salary data, career growth and similar jobs in the field.
Career Information for a Taxi Driver
Taxi drivers transport passengers from a pick-up point to a desired destination. They collect fares, keep logs of mileage and time and report to a central dispatcher via radio. A taxi driver picks up passengers at airports, private homes, city streets and public sites such as theaters, restaurants, hotels and shopping centers.
|Required Skills||Written and verbal communication, decision making, customer service, basic math, language, local geography|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$23,510|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||13%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No formal degree or secondary education is required to become a taxi driver. Driver's license requirements may differ from state to state, but in many cases taxi drivers must obtain a chauffeur license, or a license with passenger endorsement. Special license classifications such as A, B, C or E may also be needed. Completion of an employer-mandated training program is essential. Some driving schools might offer courses in taxi driving, which include map reading, federal and local regulations and customer service.
Job Skills Required
A taxi driver must have excellent written and verbal communication, decision-making and customer service skills. Basic math skills are needed due to a taxi driver's responsibility to handle customer fares. Knowledge of local geography and map-reading skills are essential. The ability to speak and understand several languages is helpful, but not required.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for taxi drivers is expected to reach 13% from 2014-2024, especially in cities which will experience population growth and in cities with the largest number of taxi drivers, such as New York, Las Vegas, and Chicago. The median hourly salary for a taxi driver is $11.30 and median annual salary is $23,510. In May 2015, the BLS reported that 180,960 people worked as taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the U.S.
Alternative Career Options
Some skills necessary to become a taxi driver will help prepare you for jobs in other areas.
In addition to a high school diploma, prospective bus drivers must complete a brief training program and secure a commercial driver's license. In general, 6% growth was estimated for all bus drivers, and those working as transit and intercity drivers could also see a 6% rise in jobs from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS. Transit and intercity bus drivers had a median hourly wage of $18.41 in 2015 and median annual wage of $38,290, as reported by the BLS.
Delivery Truck Driver
Similar to bus drivers, delivery truck drivers must have a high school diploma and complete an employer-sponsored training. For the 2014-2024 projection period, delivery truck drivers were predicted to experience a 4% increase in employment, based on data from the BLS. They had a 2015 median hourly wage of $14.35 and median annual salary of $29,850.