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School Bus Driver Job Description
School bus drivers pick up students at stops along established routes and drop them off at school. They may also transport students and faculty to special events, such as field trips or sporting events. School bus drivers are typically employed part-time during the school year (approximately 180 days) working split shifts of mornings and afternoons.
School bus drivers must be attentive to traffic and weather conditions while staying on schedule and ensuring the safety of passengers. They must ensure that their bus is operating properly each day by completing pre-trip and post trip inspections. Drivers are also responsible for maintaining a safe environment within the bus by enforcing rules of conduct and responding to emergencies. They must keep track of numerous things including the number of students transported and miles driven, which they typically report to supervisors each week.
School Bus Driver Requirements:
School bus drivers must complete a training program. Training programs generally consist of both classroom and on the road instruction. They learn basic federal and state rules and regulations, as well as clerical and customer service skills. Trainees complete driving exercises, such as turning, parking and controlling the bus. They may practice driving routes under the supervision of qualified bus drivers. Bus drivers are also trained to deal with special needs students and student management issues such as bullying and sexual harassment.
Commercial Driver's License:
School bus drivers are required to hold class B commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), obtained through their state department of transportation. Earning a Class B CDL requires passage of knowledge and skills tests regulated by the federal government. Drivers may also be subject to background checks, physicals and random drug screenings.
Along with a CDL, school bus drivers are required to earn first a passenger endorsement and then a school bus endorsement. These endorsements, mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, can be obtained through a candidate's state licensing agency. Obtaining these endorsements entails passage of driving tests and written exams that cover applicable topics, such as loading and unloading children, emergency procedures and state and federal regulations. Drivers take the skills test in the same type of vehicle they'll be operating on the job.