Close to 500,000 school buses travel America’s roads each day and more than 2.3 billion gallons of fuel is saved each year in the process, according to an American School Bus Council Report. Over 25 million students ride on school buses each day and school buses are considered the safest way to travel to and from school. Thus, school buses play an important role in the nation's education.
“The school bus industry has a long history of safely and reliably transporting children to and from school each day,” John McKinney, Vice President of Operations at International Truck and Engine Corporation and member of ASBC, said in a press release. “Importantly, however, school buses are also the most economical and environmentally-friendly way to transport students too.”
If America’s school buses were shut down it would take over 17 million additional cars to transport children to school and an additional 62.4 billion miles of car travel, according to the ASBC.
School buses play an important role in America’s education system each day by transporting kids to and from school. A career as a school bus driver is a noble and important profession, and the value of school bus drivers has school districts all across the country constantly searching for more drivers, especially those that have received professional training and can demonstrate a commitment to safety.
The Advanced Career Institute’s school bus driver training program introduces the students to the procedures and skills found in the school bus driving industry while preparing each individual to obtain a Class B bus CDL with school bus certification and endorsements.
Michael Cross has worked as a school bus driver for over 20 years and has been the director of school bus driving departments at three different school districts. He says the demand for quality school bus drivers is large and each district he has worked for is constantly hiring more drivers. But, while a good career can be found as a professional school bus driver, Cross also says potential applicants should be aware that the job requires a certain type of person.
“It’s a great job in terms of scheduling and being able to not have to work from behind a desk,” Cross said. “But it also requires some skill because driving a school bus isn’t just like driving your car.”
Cross said the first piece of advice he would give a person considering a career as a school bus driver is to get some form of professional training.
“Training is important because different situations come up all the time and trained drivers are much better at handling those situations,” Cross said.
Cross also said a good school bus driver training program can better prepare drivers when it comes to vehicle care and maintenance.
“It’s true that a lot of companies and schools have maintenance professionals,” Cross said, “but believe me, we are always interested in drivers that know how to take care of their bus because it helps everyone out.”
Cross said school bus drivers are more than chauffeurs but also act as “teachers.”
“We encourage our bus drivers to interact with students, safely, of course, and there is a lot of problem solving on the job,” Cross said. “It’s not for everybody but a lot of people who have the right personality can be very successful and find a lot of enjoyment in (being a school bus driver).”
The growth of school districts, new transportation regulations and the upcoming retirement of many current school bus drivers have created a great need for new drivers. A shortage of school bus drivers exists across the country but students of Advanced Career Institute’s school bus driver program are helping to meet the demand.
The school bus driver program at Advanced prepares students to obtain Class B bus CDL with school bus certification and endorsements. Students are also taught the skills to operate a school bus safely and to provide proper care and maintenance for a school bus.
“I really encourage people to consider this as a line of work and it’s something I have enjoyed doing for over 20 years,” Cross said. “If you can get some good training and experience behind the wheel of (a school bus) it can really put you ahead of the pack when looking for a job.”
Do you like job flexibility and security? Enjoy working with children? Looking for a new career that offers daily challenges and can leave you feeling like you made a difference? Driving a school bus may be the perfect career choice.
School bus drivers are in demand these days as schools across the country continue to look for professionally trained drivers. The Advanced Career Institute’s bus driving program offers the type of CDL training that schools are looking for and can help those looking for a new job find a rewarding career as a school bus driver.
School bus drivers are not just chauffeurs. They are responsible for safely transporting children to school and events, making it one of the most important positions in a school system.
But beyond the personal sense of accomplishment a school bus driver receives each day, the position offers many personal benefits that make it a great career choice. Most school districts offer good benefits and pay, schedules are flexible and allow drivers to pursue other interests, and drivers are not required to have a high school diploma or college degree. The only required education is training that can help a driver earn his or her CDL. Most school districts also offer the chance to gain extra work, such as driving athletic teams and clubs or signing up for routes over the summer.
The perks of becoming a CDL trained school bus driver through Advanced Career Institute can help students achieve a position in this growing field.