Bus Driving

Helpful Information about Potential Bus Driving Jobs

  • bus driver standing in front of bus with children

    Discover if Bus Driving is Right for You

    In every city, there are bus drivers. The transportation of children via school buses has been popular since the 1930s, and continues to be a widely used medium of transportation. The demand for quality bus drivers is rising at a steady pace, especially in growing suburban areas. School bus transportation is safe, practical and economical for thousands of children to travel to and from school. Parents are busier than ever and having the school bus as a transportation option, is extremely valuable. With gas prices constantly shifting, more and more kids are traveling via bus to school every year. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider becoming a school bus driver:

    1. You Have Great People Skills.

    Having strong communication skills is a must for all bus drivers. A career as a bus driver means being around different types of people every day. This can include teachers, parents, school officials and of course, kids! Empathy and understanding is a must when it comes to helping anxious children or concerned parents. Being able to communicate and understand all types of personalities are important traits for successful bus drivers.

    2. You Enjoy Working with Kids.

    If you love kids, a career as a bus driver could be very rewarding. Having the ability to make the children feel comfortable is just as important as knowing how to drive the bus. The duties of a school bus driver aren't just confined to driving. You become an important and steady person in these young children's lives. Each day gives you the opportunities to get a child's day started off right and remind them that they are special and important.

    3. You Enjoy Driving.

    Controlling a large vehicle can seem intimidating to some, while others may love the idea. If the challenge of driving a larger bus on the road every day excites you, there are plenty of public schools out there eager to hire you as a bus driver.

    4. You Care about the Safety of Children.

    Fortunately, the number of school bus accidents per year is very small. This is because of careful drivers who make the safety of their passengers their top priority. Quality drivers make sure to monitor onboard conduct and see that the kids make it into their homes. They also enforce safe board and de-board procedures on a daily basis. The ability to balance concentration between the road and the onboard conduct of kids is a unique skill needed for the job. Putting the safety of children above all else is the most important aspect of the job.

    5. You're Calm Under Pressure.

    A lot goes on inside and outside of a school bus. Bus drivers face severe weather conditions, difficult children, and overwhelming road construction at any time on the road. Bullying, fighting, and even celebrations can get out of hand on the school bus. If you have a patient manner and are able to keep a clear head when unexpected issues come up, these situations may seem like less of a challenge.

    6. A Flexible Schedule is a Plus.

    A typical bus driver usually works early in the morning then late in the afternoon with a long break in-between. There is also the option of driving to and from field trips or other school activities for extra hours. A bus driving career could be the ideal solution if you're trying to avoid the ordinary 9 to 5 job.

    7. Looking for a Job with Benefits.

    More and more often, the term "work-life balance" is becoming an important factor in job searches. Certain benefits offered in your career are important in maintaining this balance. Public school bus drivers are usually employed by the county where the school is located. School systems show appreciation to their bus drivers by offering them bonuses. County benefits can include extended vacation days, health and life insurance, and retirement plans.

    8. No Interest in a Four-Year Degree.

    Starting a school bus career doesn’t require spending four years in college. Every driver must go through a training program and receive their CDL before employment. The program can be completed in as little as 8-weeks. Advanced Career Institute offers both day and evening training. No prior bus driving experience is needed in order to begin.

    9. Good Paying Job.

    A career in the bus driving industry can mean making up to $44,000 per year. Extra earning opportunities are usually available as well. There are also several opportunities to pick up extra hours, as well as receive employee benefits from the school. You will often see bus drivers pick up other positions within the school like substitute teaching.

    10. You Can't Afford Training.

    School bus drivers are essential employees with a very important job to accomplish. Many schools will cover their drivers’ official bus training programs to ensure top-quality employees. Besides general driving practices and vehicle maintenance, the training program teaches important safety rules and emergency procedures.   For more information about the requirements to become a school bus driver or to learn more about the Advanced Career Institute Bus Driver Training, check out our website. Bus driving is a rewarding career, so get started today but contacting ACI.
    *This blog was originally published in 2016 and has been updated according to industry standards.
  • Helpful CDL Study Habits

    Congratulations! You made it through trucking school and are now on the final leg of your journey towards a rewarding career. Do not run out of steam just yet! The written portion of your CDL exam is crucial. Let's take a look at 5 must-know tips to pass your written CDL exam the first time.

    Practice Makes Perfect

    The best way to physically and mentally prepare for the written exam is to take practice exams. This will give you a feel for the real deal. Start out by taking the practice exams as "open book" tests. Work your way up to giving yourself a time limit. Finally, before the big day, take a practice exam as if it is the real thing without notes or help of any kind. This will help you to gauge how well you actually know the material.

    Understand Instead of Memorize

    Memorizing is an extremely useful tool, and will certainly help you to a certain extent on the written exam. However, the key to being fully prepared is to understand the material and not just memorize it. The reason for this is if you truly understand the material. No matter how the question is asked on the exam, you will arrive at the correct answer. If you only memorize the material, an alternate wording on the exam can very well throw you and lead to an incorrect answer.

    Real World Applications

    For concepts, you are having difficulty with, come up with real-world scenarios. By doing so, instead of just being words on a page or random facts, you can create an association between the information and how it applies to the real world. Real world applications make the information more relevant to your life.

    Utilize Study Strategies

    Do not be afraid to utilize study strategies for the material you struggle with. Common examples of study strategies include flashcards, songs, rhymes, a phrase, or just about anything else that you can create an association with that will help you remember and understand the material come test time.

    Be Fresh and Alert

    Last but not least, the night before the exam is not the night to stay up late watching a movie or hanging with your buddies. Go to bed at a decent hour and get a good night's sleep. Eat a filling breakfast on the morning of the exam. A good night's sleep and a good breakfast will ensure you are fresh and alert to take your exam.   There is no substitute for hard work and putting in the time to make your dreams come true. Following these 5 tips will ensure you are well prepared for your written CDL exam and on your way to a fulfilling career. Contact us today for more information on our CDL training program!
    *This blog was originally written in 2015 and has been updated according to industry standards.
  • "My Driver - My Safety Hero!"

    October 15th - 19th is National School Bus Safety Week. Considering that over 25 million children ride a school bus to and from school each day, this is a great time for everyone to be on the same page far as safety goes. Participants include parents, children, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and school officials to come together to reinforce the basics of taking school bus safety seriously. Anyone else interested in partnering with their local schools to emphasize bus safety is also encouraged to join in. For 2018 the week's theme is "My Driver - My Safety Hero!" This is meant to commemorate the bus drivers who take safety precautions each day to help keep the children they drive to and from school as safe as possible. From enforcing safety walking to the bus stop to boarding, and exiting bus drivers are an important aspect in keeping students safe. This week seeks to give families way they can work with their children to help them abide by their bus driver's rules of conduct to keep them and their driver safe while on the road.

    What Are Some Ways to Help Keep My Child Safe on the School Bus?

    There are simple tasks that can be done to keep children safe while on their school buses each day. Many of them only take a moment and a little bit of thought to help keep children safe. The following are a few great tips to keep your child as safe as possible while using the school bus:
    • Keep every item in your child's backpack while entering and exiting the bus. Carrying loose items creates unneeded distractions.
    • Leave plenty of time to get to the bus stop so you are not running to chase or catch the bus.
    • If children are young, walk them to the bus stop in groups with several adults monitoring the group. This ensures that young children are safe and do not end up running out on the street or into danger by mistake.
    • Walk in crosswalks, not next to, near, or around them.
    • Always have children notify the driver if they drop or lose an item while entering or exiting the school bus. Stopping to try to pick the item up can be a very risky behavior.
    • Emphasize the importance of staying seated at all times when the bus is in transit.
    • Keep noise levels appropriate as to not provide unnecessary distractions for the driver while they are operating the vehicle.
    These are just a few tips to remind your children while they are on the school bus. School buses can be a wonderful way to help children get to and from school safely, but they need to be used correctly. For more information on school bus safety or how you can make a difference by becoming a school bus driver, contact Advanced Career Institute. ACI provides Class B CDL training to help prepare you to become a bus driver!
  • 4 Tips for Bus Drivers

    With school starting back, there are a lot of little ones that aren't happy about having to ride the bus to and from school each day. It's a little scary, there are those bigger kids who are mean, it can be excessively loud and overstimulating. As the bus driver, is there anything you can do to get the kids excited about being on the bus? There are several opportunities you can try to improve kids' enjoyment of their ride to and from school every day.

    Tip #1: Play Fun Music

    Look for music that the kids will recognize, dance to, and enjoy. Disney songs, songs from kids' television shows, and other music that kids already hear throughout the day will help increase their excitement and make them more likely to enjoy the ride. Make sure to keep music kid friendly and appropriate since you are a representation of the school.

    Tip #2: Assign Seating

    If you don't have problems on your bus, you don't have to be rigid about the seating. Even if things are going smoothly, consider keeping the littlest ones at the front of the bus, where they'll be close to you. This will allow you to get a head start on preventing any possible problems.

    Tip #3: Develop a Relationship

    Take the time to develop a relationship with your youngest riders, especially the ones that are looking a little nervous. Try a special handshake that will make them giggle when they first get on the bus. Ask about their days as they clamber on when the day is over. When the kids know you care about them, they'll be less afraid of the bus and more likely to look forward to it.

    Tip #4: Set Your Rules Early

    As a bus driver, it would be ideal if you could simply let the kids climb on and take them to their destinations without having to worry about specific rules. Unfortunately, that can quickly backfire--and setting rules later is a lot harder than setting them from the beginning. Set your rules early and let the kids know that you're going to stick to them to prevent bullying and other bad behavior on the bus.   Are you ready to climb onto the bus for back to school season? If you want a new career as a bus driver, contact Advanced Career Institute! ACI provides Class A CDL training for anyone interested in becoming a bus driver. We'll help you get the training you need to get started with your new job.
  • Bus Safety and Positivity for the New School Year

    'Back-to-School' is just around the corner, but kids aren't the only ones getting ready for the school year. Bus drivers are also gearing up (no pun intended) to make their first pick-ups of the season. They are the initial point of contact for new students and their parents on the first day of school. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure those first pick-ups go well for everyone - parents, students, and bus driver!

    Bus Safety First

    The safety of the students is the top priority for the bus driver. Every day, before leaving the garage, it is essential to ensure that the bus is in safe working condition. Checking the crossing lights, crossing arm, emergency exits, windshield wipers, and brakes help to provide a safe ride for the students. Students unfamiliar with safety procedures for embarking and disembarking may need instruction. Dave Butler, a seasoned bus driver, shares his method of teaching students in the article, School Bus Safety Checklist for Bus Driver. "I've been teaching them to... get off the bus...and go ten feet in front of the bus so my eyes can meet [their] eyes and I'll give [them] the universal cross signal for [them] to cross."

    Promoting a Positive Environment

    It is essential to create a positive environment in the first few days of a new school year. Detailing expectations gives the students boundaries for behavior and the bus driver a framework to enforce discipline when needed. Will students be permitted to sit wherever they wish? Is it be acceptable to change their seat mid-ride? Will the use of smartphones and other electronics be allowed? These are questions a bus driver will have to answer before the first day of school. Some bus drivers find that assigned seats help to maintain discipline. Veteran bus driver John Farr likes the assigned seating method since it increases accountability and cuts down on vandalism problems. In the Schoolbus Fleet article, Strategies for Discipline Problems on the School Bus, Farr also encourages bus drivers to compliment students on positive behaviors and not just single out the bad actors.

    Have Fun

    Driving a school bus is a rewarding and exciting career. Bus drivers are an extension of the school and have the critical task of ensuring that the school day begins and ends safely and positively. Bus drivers are not merely taxi drivers, ferrying students to and fro. Instead, bus drivers are among the most influential adults in their students' lives. They are part of the necessary support staff that makes up every successful school. If you are interested in becoming a school bus driver or have any questions, contact us today! Here at Advanced Career Institute, we strive to train adult learners for rewarding careers.
  • A Bus Driver's Goal is to Keep it's Passengers Safe

    Dear Motorists, As a bus driver, my first priority is ensuring that the students under my care arrive safely and securely at their destinations--and I need your help to make that happen. Road safety is my #1 priority. In order to accomplish those goals, can we reach an agreement? There are several common laws that have either been forgotten or which many of you simply choose not to follow.

    Rule #1: When My Lights Flash and Arm Extends, You Have to Stop

    Legally speaking, you're required to stop your vehicle when my stop sign is extended and my lights are flashing. This isn't a deliberate effort to inconvenience you; it's a safety measure for the students in my care. Keep in mind these key rules:
    • On a divided highway, only the traffic traveling on the same side of the road as the bus needs to stop. If you're on the opposite side of a divided highway, feel free to drive on through!
    • If we're not on a divided highway, all lanes of traffic must stop when I stop. This is for the safety of my students, who may have to cross the road to reach their homes.
    • If my yellow safety lights are flashing and my red stop lights aren't and my stop sign isn't extended, you need to proceed with caution. Make sure you're looking carefully around you, but you may not need to come to a complete stop.

    Rule #2: Don't Rush to Pass Illegally

    My bus takes up a lot of space on the road, and all too many motorists try to zoom around it without stopping to think about what it does for visibility. I know that you're in a hurry. You need to get to work on time, or complete your errands, or make it home before your own students get off of the bus. Rushing around me--especially illegally--is more likely to cause an accident, especially when you can't see what's going on--and that might impact more than you. It might also impact the dozens of children on my bus.

    Rule #3: Keep Your Distance

    When you're stopping behind me, take a minute to consider how close you are to the bus. Children are at the greatest risk for being hit in the zone about ten feet around the bus--and that can be a serious problem if you're edging closer. Check out our state's regulations for how far away from the bus you need to be stopped and proceed accordingly. With your cooperation, we can make students much safer and prevent accidents--and that's a win for everyone involved. Sincerely, A Concerned Bus Driver   If you have more questions about the rules of the road and maintaining proper etiquette and safety when dealing with a school bus, contact us! we'll make sure that you understand the key elements of road safety to keep both students and drivers safer.
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