Taxi Driver: Job Description & Career Requirements
From bustling big cities to sleepy small towns, taxi drivers play an important role in transporting people from one location to another. Learn what licensing and training requirements are needed. Get information on salary data, career growth and similar jobs in the field.
Taxi drivers transport passengers from a pick-up point to a desired destination. They collect fares, keep logs of mileage and time and report to a central dispatcher via radio. A taxi driver picks up passengers at airports, private homes, city streets and public sites such as theaters, restaurants, hotels and shopping centers.
Become a Taxi Driver
No formal degree or secondary education is required to become a taxi driver. Driver's license requirements may differ from state to state, but in many cases taxi drivers must obtain a chauffeur license, or a license with passenger endorsement. Special license classifications such as A, B, C or E may also be needed. Completion of an employer-mandated training program is essential. Some driving schools might offer courses in taxi driving, which include map reading, federal and local regulations and customer service.
Job Skills Required
A taxi driver must have excellent written and verbal communication, decision-making and customer service skills. Basic math skills are needed due to a taxi driver's responsibility to handle customer fares. Knowledge of local geography and map-reading skills are essential. The ability to speak and understand several languages is helpful, but not required.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for taxi drivers is expected to reach 16% from 2012-2022, especially in cities which will experience population growth and in cities with the largest number of taxi drivers, such as New York, Las Vegas, and Chicago. The mean hourly salary for a taxi driver is $12.09. In May 2012, the BLS reported that 167,360 people worked as taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the U.S.
Alternative Career Options
In addition to a high school diploma, prospective bus drivers must complete a brief training program and secure a commercial driver's license. In general, 9% growth was estimated for all bus drivers, but those working as transit and intercity drivers could see a 10% rise in jobs from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS. Transit and intercity bus drivers had an average hourly wage of $18.50 in 2012, as reported by the BLS.
Delivery Truck Driver
Similar to bus drivers, delivery truck drivers must have a high school diploma and complete an employer-sponsored training. For the 2010-2020 projection period, delivery truck drivers were predicted to experience a 4% increase in employment, based on data from the BLS. They had a 2012 average hourly wage of $16.32.
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