Being a School Bus Driver: 15 Pros and Cons

A School Bus Driver is a professional who is responsible for carrying children from and to school. They ensure safe drop-off and timely pick-up in the process.

Buses may go in routes in remote rural places with bad road conditions to high traffic urban, highly populated areas. Irrespective of the area, drivers have to provide transport for events like excursions, expeditions, school outings, school trips, and field trips, outside or during school hours.

When on the road, they are responsible for ensuring safety for everyone in the bus.

Advantages of Being a School Bus DriverDisadvantages of Being a School Bus Driver
Opportunity to work with kidsRelatively low salary
No college degree is requiredEarly morning shifts
Time off when kids aren’t in schoolNo chance of working from a remote location
Not a monotonous jobDisciplinary issues
Perfect for driving enthusiastsLimited physical movement

Advantages of Being a School Bus Driver

Opportunity to work with kids

Many of us crave to spend time with children.  Interacting with children brings a lot of joy in the lives of people.

Along with teachers and daycare workers, school bus drivers are able to spend a good amount of time with children. School students carry positive energy; it makes bus rides filled with adventure unpredictable and fun. 

Due to kids’ impetuous nature, school bus drivers have to constantly be on the vigil and have to ensure all the kids are not misbehaving and are disciplined.

It allows them to explore different viewpoints on life. It also helps them nurture their inner child.

No college degree is required

Unlike people of other professions who work in their profession requiring college degrees and have to bear fees, school bus drivers do not require to have a degree. Moreover, in most cases, they do not even require completing a high school diploma.

In turn, after they join their profession a bus driver has to undergo generally three months of pre-employment training. It combines driving training, managing students on the bus, and patience.

In the course of training, they grasp topics varying from safety rules and driving outlined by the respective Transportation Department of state to Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPS) and first aid.

Usually, there are also specialized driving curricula where drivers improve driving skills like reversing, parking, and turning the bus; developing patience and understanding of children’s mindset.

Time off when kids aren’t in school

As children have winter and summer vacation, holidays on national holidays bus drivers enjoy a frequent and good winter and summer break. It is a luxury compared to people in most other professions.

Bus drivers also have days off on Saturday and Sunday, so bus drivers have much more days off every year as compared to people in most other professions.

Consequently, they can more easily get engaged in part-time jobs or just get the benefit of more leisure time because of the longer time off.

Not a monotonous job

Becoming a bus driver is mundane or never boring. A driver has to be constantly vigilant while driving, especially in heavy traffic.

One should develop defensive driving and practice thoroughly. They have to keep in mind the safety of the children on board. It is their responsibility to make sure that all the children act properly and treat all others nicely speaking of safety.

Problems like disciplinary, outbreaks of violence, may erupt spontaneously when one least expects them therefore they have to always be prepared.

Perfect for driving enthusiasts

Many of us like driving. A bus driver drives a school bus to and fro school. They are commuting students and most students rely on them.

They are the one who is responsible that safety needs are followed and maintaining an overall discipline in the vehicle. A bus driver who does not like driving will be stressed and lack the motivation and energy to do their job, and it may be detrimental to the student’s mental and physical health.

Whereas a driver who likes driving and is thrilled about driving will be more prompt to carry out their work nicely, and the students on the school bus will be handled by the school bus driver well.

Disadvantages of Being a School Bus Driver

Relatively low salary

As per available online surveys, the average salary of a school bus driver is USD 35,000. It is much below the national average of USD 58,000.

Even senior and experienced school bus drivers are not able to cross USD 45,000. It is detrimental for most of us as income is the force that drives us to work to meet our expenses and to save for the future.

Early morning shifts

The normal day of average bus driver begins at around 6:00 a.m. as one school bus driver has to do multiple rounds to different routes. It means that they have to rise between 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. every morning.

However, it does depend on how long one takes to get ready and the region where they profess school bus driving. As many of us are not early risers it is very tough for us to wake up early.

Though, if one develops the practice of sleeping early at a fixed time every night, one may develop themselves into an early riser and regularly go to work well in time.

However one must consider the risk of running late, sleeping, ignoring their alarm, and problems for all the students on their bus.

No chance of working from remote location

A big drawback of the job of a school bus driver is that working from a remote location is not possible.

When school is run virtually like during the riots, extreme weather or the current COVID-19 pandemic school bus drivers do not have students to transport. It translates that they become literally jobless.

Therefore many schools or contractors stop the pay of school bus drivers. In a financially backward district, even permanent full-time bus drivers who are on salary have the risk of being sent to the bench.

Disciplinary issues

The profession of a bus driver is not for the weak hearted people. In turn, it needs confidence, physical and emotional strength, a lot of thick skin, and dedication to assist students. Students may act notoriously from time to time.

As their minds are not fully developed they are at risk of making irrational acts impulsively. This negative etiquette may range from oppressing peers to begin flights to shouting lewd remarks.

Limited physical movement

Though a school bus driver is constantly on the vigil and has to keep an eye on the road and that bus drivers often have to stop the bus to handle discipline problems, it is an established fact that most of their time at work is to be seated on the driver’s seat.

Though this may appear good for those who like being sedentary, it is not good for the health of the drivers.

It makes this profession unpopular for people who choose to be physically active in their work. 

bus driver pros cons

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