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Working as a bus driver can be a rewarding career and lead to advancement into other careers. With the bus sector in the UK employing approximately 120,000 employees in total, there is often a good variety of bus driver employers and jobs in most major towns and cities. Working as a bus driver will involve a variety of different duties. Whilst you will often be working alone, you will also be part of a much larger team. Your role as an ambassador for the bus company will be a large part of your role, and you will have to match your customer-relation skills with excellent driving abilities. Read on to learn more about being a bus driver and what you will need to be successful. Read on to learn more about the role and what you will need to be successful.
Working as a bus driver involves a variety of duties. You will of course be expected to drive a bus, sometimes across a variety of different routes. Bus driver employers will expect you to drive carefully to ensure passengers get to their destinations safely, but also on time, meaning you will have to adhere to strict timetables.
On top of driving, bus driver jobs will also involve taking fares from passengers and providing change if needed, as well as checking tickets and passes for validity, providing timetable/route information to passengers and giving assistance to those getting on/off the bus who need it.
Many bus driver employers and jobs do not require any formal qualifications or experience other than being over 18-years of age and having a clean UK driving license. Many bus driver employers provide apprenticeships for people, with these requiring a minimum of GCSEs in math and English. Before qualifying and working as a bus driver, you will also be expected to pass the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence – also known as the Driver CPC. You will also need to complete training for your Passenger Carrying Vehicle license.
Other industry requirements include retaking the Driver CPC every five years and the need to renew your bus driving license if you are over 45-years old. In terms of personal skills, bus driver employers will often look for the following qualities:
- Customer service skills
- Ability to work alone and as part of a wider team
- Patience and ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- Understanding of public safety and traffic laws
Working as a bus driver offers a number of career opportunities. With public transport still widely used across the UK, a good selection of bus driver jobs and employers can often be found, helping to increase long-term job security.
With experience, bus driver jobs can lead to a variety of senior positions, such as service controller, inspector, depot manager and bus driving instructor. In addition, the skills you will learn as a bus driver are very transferable. This means you can take the skills you gained working as a bus driver and easily move to another sector, such as the tourism industry.
There are a variety of pros and cons to working as a bus driver, with these often depending on the employers and types of bus driver jobs you are looking for. Starting salaries for bus driver jobs can be low, whilst inner city routes may involve driving in busy, sometimes stressful traffic. Other negative issues to working as a bus driver can include dealing with disgruntled passengers and the possibility of working shifts, including nights and weekends.
However, bus driver jobs can also be very rewarding, providing you with a trained profession without the need of expensive, lengthy training. Salaries are often dependent on experience, meaning the more experience and skills you get the more you will be paid. Other benefits include the satisfaction of helping people on their journeys and keeping them safe.