Chauffeurs are private drivers who take passengers wherever they need to go. Unlike taxi drivers, chauffeurs' trips are always preplanned and scheduled with individual clients. While typically no education is required, you must have a driver's license and depending on the state, you may need to take additional chauffeur and defensive driving courses.
Chauffeurs drive their employers from one location to another. They can work exclusively for one individual, family or company or accept short-term driving assignments from several people. All chauffeurs must hold some form of driver's license, and they may need to complete required training courses in some states. Chauffeurs typically are paid by the hour and must have flexible schedules.
|Required Education||Typically none, though some states require completion of chauffeur courses and/or defensive driving courses|
|Other Requirements||Varies by state; may include clean driving record and minimum age|
|Licensure||Driver's license, chauffeur's license and/or commercial driver's license (CDL) required, depending on the state|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||13% for all chauffeurs and taxi drivers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$11.30 per hour for all chauffeurs and taxi drivers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Wages for chauffeurs are heavily dependent on their unique employment situations. Since most chauffeurs earn an hourly wage, their income reflects the number of hours they work, and their earnings likely will fluctuate per their employer's needs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chauffeurs and taxi drivers earned a median hourly wage of $11.30 in May 2015, or approximately $23,510 per year (www.bls.gov).
Other factors that might affect a chauffeur's net income include tipping, which is regulated by some employers, and the cost of gas. In some cases, chauffeurs pay for their own gas; in others, their employers cover the expense.
Duties of a Chauffeur
Unlike taxi drivers, chauffeurs typically undertake only preplanned trips. Because trips are scheduled in advance, chauffeurs often map out the most efficient routes, avoiding construction and other predictable traffic problems.
Chauffeurs might run routine checks on the vehicles they operate before picking up passengers. This could include checking the interior cleanliness of vehicles, as well as adequate tire pressure and fuel and oil levels. They also might be required to perform small repairs, such as changing a tire.
After collecting passengers in their car, van or limousine, chauffeurs are responsible for safely driving them to their destination. In some instances, they'll be expected to wait for their passengers to drive them to another location; in other instances, such as a company shuttle service, they simply drop them off.
Chauffeur Job Requirements
All chauffeurs must hold a valid driver's license. According to the U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles (www.motorvehicles.org), states set their own regulations regarding commercial driver's licenses (CDL). Some states require only a specific chauffeur's license, some require only a standard CDL and others require both.
Some cities and states have additional standards or require training courses before a chauffeur can be legally employed. These standards may include a minimum age, clean driving record for a given length of time, minimum amount of time as a licensed driver or passage of a defensive driving course.
Employment Outlook for Chauffeurs
According to the BLS, jobs for chauffeurs and taxi drivers were expected to rise 13% during the decade 2014-2024, in part due to an increasing amount of corporate travel. However, employment of chauffeurs rises and falls with the economy. Whether employed for a large company or as a personal chauffeur, their service is considered a luxury, not a necessity. During dips in the economy, chauffeurs generally can expect reduced hours or layoffs.
Chauffeurs are professional drivers who, unlike taxi drivers, work for individualized private clients and only take preplanned and scheduled trips. While there's not an educational requirement to becoming a chauffeur, depending on location, they may be required to take chauffeur or defensive driving courses in addition to requiring a valid driver's license. With the increase of corporate travel, the employment of chauffeurs is expected rise a 13% during the next decade.