To work as a bus driver, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training;
- have a good driving record; and
- have a commercial driver's license.
Education after high school
Anyone who drives a vehicle that holds 16 or more passengers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) from the state in which they live.
Bus drivers learn their skills through formal training given by their employers. Most intercity bus companies and local transit systems provide four to eight weeks of instruction. In the classroom, you study safety rules, driving rules, and safe driving practices. You learn to read schedules, determine fares, keep records, and deal with passengers. You also study safe driving practices, first aid, the special needs of passengers with disabilities, and evacuation procedures in case of an emergency. In addition, you learn how to drive buses.
You must be able to read and speak English well enough to read road signs, prepare reports, and talk to law enforcement officers. You must also pass a written exam on the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations of the US Department of Transportation.
Drug tests and background checks are routinely required for bus drivers.
Some branches of the military train people to be vehicle drivers. Training lasts seven to eight weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job.