In your search for a career, you might not have thought “bus driver” was at the top of the list, but it’s a rewarding job with plenty of benefits.
The role of a bus driver is an important one. You’re responsible for getting hundreds of people to their destinations safely each day, and that’s quite a feat.
Depending on what type of bus you’re in charge of, this could be a quiet, relaxing job or a high-pressure one where you have to be on top of your game at all times. Bus drivers are in demand across the country, so it boils down to your choice.
As you’re debating on whether this is the right career for you, consider these benefits of being a bus driver.
1. Your Schedule Could Be Flexible
Do you need to work around a particular schedule, like your child’s daycare or your one-vehicle household? Look for a bus driving job that gives you time to get where you need to go.
For example, a school bus job within your child’s education district lets you work the same schedule your little ones go to school. Or, driving for an events coach bus means you get to pick and choose which days you work and where you drive.
Buses usually have consistent routes, so as long as you’re available during the times you’re hired to work, you can do whatever you want the rest of the day.
2. You Get (Real) Benefits
Most companies pay bus drivers a decent salary, with an average pay rate of $51,310 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
On top of this paycheck, you get benefits, too. Working at a big company or for the school board should give you health insurance. It’s common to find employers that offer life, disability, dental, and vision policies, sick leave, paid time off, and vacation days.
If there’s a specific benefit you’re set on having, keep looking for bus driving jobs until you find a company that provides it.
3. You Don’t Need a Formal Education
The more experience you have driving a bus, the better options you’ll have. But you don’t need a formal education to land a job in this career.
You do need a Class B CDL. Don’t let that deter you. Many employers will pay for you to go to driving school and get this requirement taken care of as long as you sign a contract with them.
This license is vital because driving a bus is significantly different from driving a smaller vehicle. Getting in a bus accident can cause serious damage, as this article from JT Legal Group explains.
With training and time behind the wheel, you’ll quickly become an expert bus driver with your own chosen route.
As a plus, you could qualify for a defensive driving credit on your personal auto insurance with your new CDL.
4. You Can Be As Social As You Want (or Don’t)
Being a bus driver gives you the chance to get to know your regulars, chat with them, and get that social aspect you don’t always have in office jobs. On the other hand, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay quiet and do your job, too.
Passengers on the bus can be distracting. You have to be able to zone out the noise around you while still paying attention to what’s going on. Your riders rely on you to keep them safe from car accidents and the other passengers.
If someone tries to get on the bus and they seem like they could be dangerous, it’s up to you to stop them from boarding using the company’s policies.
For the most part, your rides will be calm and uneventful, albeit possibly loud, especially if you’re a school bus driver. Pass the time by being social with your riders, or ignore everyone and focus on the road.
5. Your Job is Necessary
Fuel prices are rising, people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and you are the person who can solve both of these problems.
Bus drivers play an essential role in the supply chain and in society. Without people like you, children would have a hard time getting to school safely. Many adults wouldn’t have transportation to their jobs or to run important errands.
The “bus driver” role might not sound glamorous, but it is rewarding. Between the salary, perks, and flexible schedule, you can do your part to help others.
Take the vision of what you’ve always seen the “bus driver” career as and throw it out the window. There are so many paths in this role for you to choose from that you can almost create a custom job for yourself.
Bus drivers are in demand, and if you have (or can get) your Class B CDL and pass a driver and background check, your ideal bus driving job, complete with benefits, is waiting for you.