July 28, 2014 @ 9:31 AM

Have you ever considered becoming a school bus driver? There can be many perks to driving the yellow bus such as: having the summer off, personal time in-between morning and afternoon runs, a chance to visit new places when taking students on field trips, and being part of a team on athletic trips. Many school transportation employers even offer benefits such as insurance, retirement, and paid holidays. What's not to like?

But becoming a school bus driver is not just simply filling out an application, taking a driving test and you're ready to go. There are many steps to go through before you are even allowed to pick-up your first passenger. In many states you will need to be fingerprinted, have a physical, apply for a CDL license, and take tests to get endorsements on your license which enable you to transport passengers.

Once you become a school bus driver you will be required to take classroom training (for example in New York State all school bus drivers must complete a 30-hour Course within the first year of employment ). Depending on what state you are licensed in you may be subject to behind-the-wheel testing, biennial written tests, physical performance tests and a yearly physical.  You will need to know how to safely evacuate a bus in case of an emergency and you will be required to practice this with your passengers.

One of the biggest responsibilities of being a school bus driver is keeping your passengers safe. This means enforcing the rules on the bus, driving defensively, and taking care of you by living a healthy lifestyle. You need to be alert to the dangers your students face when getting on and off the bus at home and at school. As a professional school bus driver you are held to a higher standard.

You will wear many hats from driver to nurse to psychiatrist and police officer. All students on your bus just want to be happy but sometimes they have bad days. Compassion is a big part of being a school bus driver. Being a school bus driver is more than just driving the bus, it takes a special person to become a school bus driver. 

Have a safe day!