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Bus Driver Profile

 
Introduction


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Bus Driver. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Bus Driver
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Bus Driver Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Bus drivers drive regular routes within one town or city, or between cities. They stop at bus stops and bus stations to pick up and drop off passengers. Coach drivers may drive regular routes, or they may drive different routes every time, depending on the job they are given.

Some drivers take their coach overseas, crossing the channel by ferry or rail, driving in other countries with different traffic laws and with road signs in other languages. Other bus and coach drivers operate community transport, usually driving minibuses, taking groups of schoolchildren, hospital patients, elderly or handicapped people to their destination.

At the start of their shift, they check that the bus or coach is in good working order, ticking off each point on a checklist. On route, they make sure they arrive at each stop on time. They answer enquiries from passengers and most drivers on regular routes take money and issue tickets. They operate doors and may operate special lifts for wheelchair users if their bus is fitted with them.

Hours and Environment:

Drivers on local routes are legally permitted to work up to ten hours on a shift, and those driving longer distances up to nine hours. Many bus and coach drivers work shifts in the evenings and at weekends. Local bus routes begin at about 6.30am and finish at about midnight.

Coach drivers taking tours are away from home for one or more weeks at a time. Work for holiday and excursion coach drivers may be seasonal.

Bus and coach drivers spend most of the day sitting at the wheel of their vehicle. Coach drivers get out of the cab to load and unload luggage, or to assist disabled or elderly passengers. Bus drivers may only get out at tea and meal breaks. It may get hot in summer, unless you have an air-conditioned bus or coach.

Skills and Interests:

To be a bus driver, you should:

  • be a skilled, patient and responsible driver
  • have sufficiently good eyesight
  • have good hand-eye co-ordination
  • be literate, to read traffic signs and instructions and to complete checklists and other forms
  • be able to handle cash
  • be friendly, approachable
  • be assertive enough to ensure passengers behave safely
  • be able to keep calm under pressure
  • have some knowledge of other languages if you are driving overseas.


Entry:

You do not need any particular educational qualifications to become a bus or coach driver. However, you will need a good standard of general education, particularly reading and writing. You also need a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence. To enter for this, you must already have a full EU driving licence and be at least 21 (or 18 to drive minibuses and on certain bus routes).

Some people start as volunteers, driving for community transport, which they may combine with another job, for example as a teacher or care assistant. To do this for non-profit-making community organisations, you need to have held a full EU driving licence for two years and be aged at least 21.

You can get a PCV licence at any age, providing you can pass the test and meet the necessary medical and health requirements.

Training:

PCV driver training lasts around four or five weeks. You receive bus driving lessons and also induction training, which includes learning to operate ticket machines, route familiarisation, customer care, and health and safety matters. You have to pass a practical theoretical driving test and a medical examination. You can obtain details of the PCV test from the Driving Standards Agency (in Northern Ireland from DVLNI).

Some bus and coach companies will take people with a driving licence and train them to achieve the PCV licence. They may then ask you to repay the cost of training if you leave within a year of completing.

You can arrange and pay for your own lessons and test. You can get a list of approved assessment centres for S/NVQs from the awarding body, Automotive Management and Development (AMD). If you are unemployed, you may be able to train and obtain a PCV licence through the New Deal Scheme - contact your local Jobcentre Plus office for details.

Once in a driving job, you can work towards S/NVQs at Level 2 or 3 in Road Passenger Transport. This is at Level 2 for those driving ‘short itineraries’ and at Level 3 for ‘long itineraries’. All S/NVQs require drivers to show skills in driving, customer service, maintaining good relationships with colleagues, an understanding of how to keep their vehicle roadworthy, knowledge of appropriate documentation, and health and safety issues.

Opportunities:

There are over 100,000 drivers working in over 6,000 bus and coach companies, some very large and some with just a few buses.

Companies vary, from those running mainly local bus services to those running long distance express coaches or both. Some drivers work for tour companies, driving groups on holidays lasting just a day or several weeks, in the UK or overseas.

Promotion could be to a service controller or inspector, a manager or a driving instructor. Some people become self-employed. In this case they need to obtain a Certificate of Professional Competence (Passenger Transport).

Annual Income:

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Bus drivers earn between £9,000 and £14,000.

Wages may vary depending on what part of the country you work in and on whether you take fares or are helped by a conductor.

Further information:
 
Driving Standards Agency
Stanley House
56 Talbot Street
Nottingham
NG1 5GU
Tel: 0115 901 2515
www.driving-tests.co.uk

DVLNI
County Hall
Castlerock Road
Coleraine
BT51 3TB
Tel: 028 704 1200
www.doeni.gov.uk/dvlni

GoSkills
Concorde House
Trinity Park
Solihull
Birmingham
B37 7UQ
Tel: 0121 635 5520
www.goskills.org.uk


Other Useful Bus Driver Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Bus Driver job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Bus Driver Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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