School Bus Driver Job Description

Kids say the darndest things, and you'll hear it all in this job. From field trips to trips home, you'll be taking the little munchkins everywhere their feet can't.

bus drivers

What do school and daycare bus drivers do?

Bus drivers are around kids all or most of the day, and provide the majority of their transportation. Responsibilities may include:

  • Pick up and drop off at home or residential bus stop
  • Pick up and drop off at school or daycare
  • Transport children to field trip destination
  • Ensure all bus passengers are safely seated and strapped in
  • Observe speed limits and obey road signs
  • Help children get on and off the bus safely
  • Explain safety procedures to children and any chaperones
  • Perform simple vehicle maintenance, such as filling gas tank, cleaning exterior and interior, taking vehicle for oil changes or state inspections, etc.)
  • Prepare trip reports consisting of mileage and gas receipts

What are the working conditions?

School bus drivers and daycare bus drivers spend most, if not all, of their working hours in their vehicle, so sitting for long periods of time is definitely in the job description. In some positions, while employees are not on bus duty, they can be found teaching inside a classroom or providing care for the children at the school or daycare center. Many drivers enjoy the opportunity to work without direct supervision. Most school bus drivers work part-time and only during the school year, whereas daycare bus drivers usually work year-round and can supplement their hours by working in a classroom. These workers must also learn how to accommodate for students with disabilities, helping them get on and off the vehicle with equipment like a wheelchair, walker or arm and leg braces. Depending on the length of the trip, drivers may need to stop for bathroom or meal breaks. You'll get used to the phrase, "I have to go potty right now!"

What skills do I need and how can I get promoted?

This position requires you to be around children your whole shift, or at least most of it, so an affection for these little people is important. You also have to have patience whenever you're working with kids, so if you're looking for a calm, quiet work environment, this isn't it. You must hold a valid state driver's license and of course be of driving age if you want to be considered for this position. Many employers prefer that drivers are at least 18 years of age and have had a clean driving record for several years.

A working knowledge of all road signs and other common driving practices is crucial, as is the ability to observe set speed limits at all times. First aid and CPR training may be another requirement to uphold the safety and well being of all your young passengers. This training can be found through the American Red Cross. Educational requirements vary, but most employers require their applicants to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. You may have also to complete a written and practical driving test with a certified instructor before you're hired--don't forget to check your mirrors!

Advancement in this field is limited, and varies depending on location and job description.

Show me the money!

Benefits for bus drivers vary greatly, but many bus drivers receive paid sick days and health insurance, but because they do not work when school is not in session, paid vacation time may be harder to come by.

Wages vary depending on location and job description, so check out our wage calculator to determine pay in your neck of the woods.