Although many people might not expect it, driving a school bus can be a rewarding career. School bus drivers make a decent salary, get good benefits, have a desirable schedule, and often find their work satisfying. Not to mention, there has been a consistent shortage of school bus drivers over the last few years, which means if you’re thinking about getting started now, you’ll have your pick of jobs and job security once you’re hired.
Becoming a school bus driver is not as easy as just applying and showing a driver’s license though. Check out our overview of the trainings and certifications required, so you know what you need to do to launch your career!
First, you will have to get your Commercial Learner’s Permit.
The process for getting your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) is very similar to getting a regular learner’s permit. You must take a written knowledge exam and pay a small fee. To drive a school bus, you must also take a knowledge test for your School Bus (S) Endorsement. Additionally, medical and vision exams are usually required to obtain your CLP.
After having your CLP for two weeks, you can begin the process of getting your Commercial Driver’s License.
Once you have your CLP, you should begin practicing for your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). You can only practice while someone with their CDL is in the vehicle and on public roads. After logging a certain amount of classroom and road time, you can sign up for your CDL skills tests. These will cover vehicle inspection, basic controls, and driving. Once you pass your skills tests, you will take your road test in a school bus.
Finally, you will need to add a Passenger (P) and School Bus (S) Endorsement to your CDL.
In order to transport students, you must pass the knowledge exams and road tests for your P and S endorsements to demonstrate skills specific to driving a passenger and school bus. Most people obtain these at the same time as their CDL knowledge and road tests. Be sure to look into endorsement requirements for your state, which often include a criminal background check, drug test, and first-aid certification.
It’s tough for school districts to hire more bus drivers if they don’t have enough quality vehicles for them to drive. Northwest Bus Sales offers a solution with our new and used school buses for sale! We have a wide variety of affordable school buses in our inventory that are ready and waiting to get your students to and from their school safely and soundly.
Browse our inventory online and contact us today to learn more about any vehicles that interest you!