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Bus Driver Training and Education Program Information

Training programs for aspiring bus drivers can help them obtain a commercial driver's license, which is necessary to work in the field. Learn about admission requirements and the topics you'll study in these training programs, and take a look at employment data for bus drivers.

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Essential Information

Bus companies, school districts and transit organizations offer training programs to prepare new employees to pass their CDL exams and safely operate buses. Courses usually take several weeks to complete. Transit bus drivers are required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) plus a passenger endorsement, and school bus drivers need a CDL plus a passenger and school bus endorsement. Endorsements permit drivers to operate buses and are earned through state licensing agencies by passing a skills test.

Prerequisites

Candidates typically must be hired before beginning bus driver training; a valid driver's license and clean driving record are the essential factors for employment consideration. Employers may prefer a high school diploma or its equivalent. Also, because safety is a primary concern for transit organizations and school districts, applicants must be in good physical and mental health. Passing a drug test is also a common requirement. Effective communication skills are an informal prerequisite for interacting with school children as well as adult passengers.

Program Coursework

Coursework for bus driver training programs covers driving rules, safety regulations, vehicle inspection and bus operation. Students receive classroom instruction as well as behind-the-wheel practice on driving courses. Students may also study route maps and accompany experienced bus drivers on their routes. School bus training may include instruction on how to communicate with children, enforce bus rules and respond to bad behavior. After training, students should be knowledgeable in:

  • Department of Transportation regulations
  • Emergencies and first aid
  • Trip planning and route reading
  • Bus operation and inspection
  • Safety procedures

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job opportunities for bus drivers are expected to increase 13% from 2010-2020. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for school bus drivers was $29,150 in 2012, whereas public transit and intercity bus drivers earned a mean annual wage of $38,470 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Continuing education courses are offered to keep drivers up to date on state traffic and safety regulations. Depending on a driver's employer or state, continuing education courses may be a requirement every few years. Such courses may focus on issues such as driving distractions, emergency response and passenger communication. Courses generally require a valid CDL license.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Ground Transportation
        • Truck, Bus and Commercial Driver
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New Castle School of Trades include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Ground Transportation
        • Heavy Equipment Operation
        • Truck, Bus and Commercial Driver
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baker College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Ground Transportation
        • Truck, Bus and Commercial Driver
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics