Education and Training
More teachers will be needed as the population of students increases and current teachers retire. Teachers usually continue their education well beyond a four-year degree. University and college teaching careers usually require a master's degree or doctorate depending on field of study.
School Bus Drivers
Summary: School bus drivers transport elementary, middle, and high school students to and from school.
There are many important adults in a child's life. Parents, grandparents, the friendly neighbor, teachers, even babysitters. However, would you add school bus driver to the list? At first, most people probably wouldn't. But when you think about it, kids (and parents too) put a lot of trust in school bus drivers. For five days a week, drivers get kids to and from school safely. School bus drivers help kids board the bus, cross the street, and even settle disputes that may occur on the bus.
School bus drivers usually drive the same routes each day. They pick up students at their homes or nearby street corners and take them to school in the morning. In the afternoon, they pick up children from school and take them back home. Some drivers take students and their teachers on field trips and to sporting events. Occasionally bus drivers are late because of delays on their routes. They report these delays to their supervisors. In addition, bus drivers are occasionally involved in accidents. They contact their supervisors when this happens and make sure their passengers are safe.
Bus drivers must maintain order on their buses and enforce school safety rules. They must also follow local traffic rules. Bus drivers must always be alert to prevent accidents while driving, especially in heavy traffic or in bad weather. Bus drivers try to make trips comfortable for their passengers. They adjust the heating and ventilation so that passengers are not too warm or cold. They also take care not to jolt passengers with sudden stops.
School bus drivers submit reports every week. These reports list how many hours they worked, how much gas they used, and how many miles they traveled that week. In addition to their other duties, bus drivers also maintain their vehicles. In the morning, they inspect the condition of their buses and make sure that gas, oil, and other fluid levels are where they should be. They may also make minor repairs.
- Drive buses to transport students to and from schools.
- Maintain order among student passengers during trips.
- Comply with safety and local traffic rules.
- Report route delays or traffic accidents involving their buses.
- Control heating, lighting, and ventilation to keep passengers comfortable.
- Prepare weekly reports about the number of trips they make. Report the number of students transported, hours worked, and miles driven.
- Inspect buses and check gas, oil, tires, and fluid levels.
- Make minor repairs to buses.
- May escort small children across roads.
- Maintain knowledge of first aid.
- Operate vehicles or mechanized equipment.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Work with the public.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Assist and care for others.
- Resolve conflicts and negotiate with others.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Estimate sizes, quantities, time, cost, or materials needed.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Document and record information.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Repair and maintain mechanical equipment.
o School bus companies
In 2000, there were 11,040 people employed as school bus drivers in Indiana. Employment for school bus drivers is expected to grow more slowly than average through the year 2010. During this period, there will be an estimated 3,790 job openings. More than half of these openings will be created by the replacement of current workers.
Nationally, the number of jobs for school bus drivers is expected to grow about as fast as average through the year 2014.
The population of school age children is predicted to increase. Thus, more school bus drivers will be needed to transport children to and from school. Growth in this occupation may be slowed by budget limitations. Some school districts are cutting school bus service and requiring students to take city buses.
School bus driver jobs should be easy to get. In part, this is because of the large size of the occupation. In addition, this occupation has a high rate of turnover.
Getting Hired for School Bus Drivers
Employers look for school bus drivers who are even-tempered and emotionally stable. Drivers must have good communication skills and be able to manage large groups of people.
Working Conditions for School Bus Drivers
* Repeat the same physical and mental activities.
* Are responsible for the health and safety of passengers.
* Are sometimes exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable.
* Usually work outdoors. Generally work indoors only to fill out paperwork.
* Have a high level of social contact. They frequently deal with students and teachers.
* Make driving decisions that greatly impact their passengers. They do this on a daily basis.
* May work split shifts. For example, they might work from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., with time off in between.
* Work only when schools are in session.
* May be exposed to contaminants and the diseases and infections carried by school children.
* Communicate with passengers in person on a daily basis. They also communicate by telephone, but less often.
* Have the ability to make errors resulting in very serious consequences. Errors while driving can result in accidents and injury to passengers.
* Generally work a set schedule.
* May be exposed to hot or cold temperatures due to weather.
* Must keep control of the vehicle and keep pace with traffic.
* Are sometimes placed in conflict situations where they must deal with children who might be rude or angry.
* Can make most decisions without consulting a supervisor.
* Must meet strict schedules daily.
* Work within several inches of passengers that require assistance boarding.
* Work on a team. It is very important for bus drivers to work cooperatively with maintenance and scheduling coworkers.
* See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
* See details of objects whether they are nearby or far away.
* React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
* Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
* Determine from which direction a sound came.
* Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
* Repeat the same motions.
* Choose quickly and correctly among various movements when responding to different signals.
* Adjust body movements or equipment controls to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
* Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
* Use hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
* Sit for long periods of time.
* Determine the distance between objects.
* While looking forward, see objects or movements that are off to the side.
* Use fingers or hands to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
* Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects.
* Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.
* Move arms and legs quickly.
* Bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
* Keep or regain the body's balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
* Use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired.
* Be physically active for long periods without getting tired or out of breath.
* Understand the speech of another person.
* Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
* See objects in very low, bright, or glaring light.
* Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
* Transportation: Knowledge of ways to move people, goods, or materials. This may be by air, rail, sea, or road.
o complete a high school diploma or GED;
o complete driving instruction;
o have a commercial driver's license (CDL); and
o pass a background check.
School bus drivers receive between one and four weeks of driving instruction and classes. You learn state and local laws, rules, and policies for operating school buses. You also study safe driving practices, addressing the needs of students with disabilities, and first aid. In addition, you learn to deal with students and how to evacuate the bus in an emergency.
During training, you practice driving on closed courses. You practice turns, zigzags, and parking. You start by driving in light traffic and eventually drive in heavy traffic. On your first runs, an experienced driver instructor accompanies you.
School bus drivers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL). To qualify for a CDL, you must pass both a written and a driving exam. You also must have a good driving record.
Helpful High School Courses
Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this specific occupation. While you do not have to take all of them, you should consider them in planning for high school. Some of these courses are also available at the technical or college level.
English Language and Literature
English and Language Arts
Health and Safety Education
Safety and First Aid
Public, Protective, and Social Services
Second Language and Literature
Vocational Home Economics
* Listen to others, understand, and ask questions.
* Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
* Be aware of passengers' reactions and change behavior in relation to them.
* Watch gauges, dials, and output to make sure a machine is working properly.
* Know one's location in a physical setting and recognize where other objects are located in relation to oneself.
* Express ideas clearly when speaking.
* Persuade others to approach things differently.
* Operate and control buses and various equipment.
* Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
* Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns.
* Go back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information without becoming confused.
* Read and understand work-related materials.
* Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
* Solve problems by bringing others together to discuss differences.
* Maintain buses on a routine basis. Determine when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
* Teach others how to do something.
* Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
* Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
* Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
People who work in this occupation tend to:
* Have realistic interests. They like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like to work with plants, animals, and physical materials such as wood, tools, and machinery. They often prefer to work outside.
* Have social interests. They like work activities that assist others and promote learning and personal development. They like to communicate with others: to teach, give advice, help, or otherwise be of service to others.
* Consider support from their employer important. They like to be treated fairly and have supervisors who will back them up. They prefer jobs where they are trained well.
* Consider relationships important. They like to work in a friendly, non-competitive environment. They like to do things for other people. They prefer jobs where they are not pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Related Education Programs School Bus Driverstop
Federal law requires school bus drivers to have a commercial driver's license (CDL). Requirements vary by state.