How Do You Become a School Bus Driver?

Before you can become a school bus driver, you need to have some experience working with kids and a commercial driver’s license too. Most schools use large buses that pick up dozens of kids each morning and drop those kids off safely at home after school. Bus drivers are also responsible for transporting kids and teachers on field trips and special trips. Once you have the requirements needed for the job, you’ll need to apply at each individual school or school district.

Have the Right License

You cannot become a school bus driver without first having a commercial driver’s license. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you will need to take a short test to get your CDL permit first. The FMCSA found that many states require that commercial license holders get a physical from the Department of Transportation (DOT) in their home state and present a copy of that physical before applying for a permit or a full license. Once you have your permit, you’ll need to take a driving test on the road to get your CDL. You’ll also need an endorsement on your license that shows you can operate a school bus.

Look for Open Jobs

There are two different ways in which you can look for open bus driver jobs. The first is at the local schools in your area. Check the schools’ websites to see if they offer job postings online. You can also check with the school district in your city. Many school districts hire bus drivers and ask those drivers to work in different cities or neighborhoods throughout the year. You will typically need to submit a copy of your most recent resume and show proof that you have a CDL with a school bus endorsement.

Get Experience Working with Kids

Bus drivers are responsible for the safety of all children riding on their buses. If you want to work as a bus driver, you need to show that you have experience working with kids of all ages. Many bus drivers formerly worked as camp counselors, in daycare centers and in other positions that required they spend a lot of time around kids. Even if you have little professional experience working with kids, you might consider doing some volunteer work like becoming a scout leader or volunteering at a pediatric hospital.

Pass a Criminal Background Check

Schools hire bus drivers to work during the school year, and some hire drivers willing to act as substitutes and fill in when full time drivers are sick. Both full time drivers and substitutes must pass a criminal background check before they can become a school bus driver. The police department will process your fingerprints to determine if you are the person you say you are and decide whether you have a clean background. Some of the crimes that may disqualify you from working as a school bus driver may include a DUI, drug possession charge or an assault charge.

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Bus drivers are responsible for the safety of students on their way to and from school and on field trips. If you want to become a school bus driver, you must apply at local schools or school districts and have a CDL with a school bus endorsement that shows you are capable of operating one of these buses.