How to Become a

School Bus Driver

The complete career guide to be a School Bus Driver: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $30,580
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A school bus driver is primarily responsible for driving children between their home and school on a daily basis, or for athletic events and school field trips. This role requires a commitment to putting students first and having a dedication to safety.

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What is a School Bus Driver?


School bus drivers typically perform the following tasks on a daily basis:

  • Run inspections on assigned school buses on a daily basis before transporting passengers to make sure that the bus is in good, clean and safe working order.
  •  Drive the bus or shuttle down a designated school bus route, picking up and dropping off school children at designated bus stops en route.
  • When required, take students and other passengers to field trips, activities or charter runs, sports games to and from their destinations.
  • Perform simple maintenance of vehicles such as filling the gas tank, cleaning exterior and interior, taking the vehicle for different repairs like state inspections, oil changes, etc.
  • Maintain discipline in an effective and courteous way alongside students to be transported as per state or district policies and procedures; report any incidents involving student discipline.

Day In The Life

On a day to day basis, school bus drivers are expected to pick school students up at various points on established routes and drop them off at the school. Sometimes, you may also have to pick up and drop off staff members and other guests for special events like sporting events.  This position needs you to follow all traffic and company regulations closely and remain calm in any type of situation. With children of vary ages on the bus, you should have a great time socializing with students and have a pleasant personality.

To ensure that your riders have a safe journey, you will conduct daily pre and post-bus inspections. Once the day’s work is done, you often have to park your bus at home or in other locations outside school hours like the employer’s yard. To compensate for a part-time job, school bus drivers often take on additional work around the school campus during their free time, such as a janitor or classroom assistant.

Work Schedule

The role of school bus driver generally involves part-time work that requires you to devote time in the mornings and afternoons, as per the school children’s schedule. You have to be ready to work early in the morning and take decisions on driving through bad weather or heavy traffic conditions. Work can be irregular, with a few hours in the morning, a long break in the middle of the day and a few hours in the afternoon. You are rarely expected to over the summer or during school holidays. This role requires you to work independently, under minimal supervision.

Growth Of The Job

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), jobs for school bus drivers are expected to rise by 6% between 2014-2024. With growing school admissions and higher student communities, school bus drivers will be in high demand. While opportunities for promotions may be limited, experienced school bus drivers may become supervisors or dispatchers that assign buses to other drivers, check whether buses are on schedule or reroute buses from blocked streets. Some bus drivers also become instructors of new hires.

Typical Employers

Hiring of individuals as school bus drivers is done directly by the school or district (e.g. Houston Independent School District, Liberty Public Schools, North Carolina Public Schools, Everett Public Schools, Buckeye Junior High School, Gloucester Public Schools System) or by contractors who supply buses and related services to districts. Other employers are Student Transportation of America, Logan Bus Company Benefits from employers differ greatly, with some school bus drivers receiving paid health and life insurance, sick days, vacation time and pension plans.

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How To Become a School Bus Driver

With the growing school-aged population, new drivers are required for transportation needs in the school bus system. The unique schedule one has to follow in this role results in a constant shortage of school bus drivers. There are no standard requirements to become a school bus driver. You must hold a minimum high school diploma and have a commercial driver’s license. Experience driving large vehicles and a friendly attitude is an integral part of the day-to-day job. You can have a successful and rewarding career path if you have a good, clean driving record and are willing to work an irregular schedule.


School Bus Driver Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do School Bus Driver salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, School Bus Driver's can make an average annual salary of $30,580, or $15 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $22,310 or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #691 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among School Bus Drivers

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 1.4%   Masters
  • 7.5%   Bachelors
  • 7.7%   Associates
  • 28.4%   College
  • 45%   High School
  • 9.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does School Bus Driver job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 27,600 jobs for a total of 524,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #404 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most School Bus Drivers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Elementary and secondary schools; local 203,500 1,100 1%
School and employee bus transportation 150,400 7,200 7%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 57,500 3,200 3%

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