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.”
Women are becoming key members of the welding profession. Now, welding requires both physical strength and knowledge of new technology and equipment. Because of the new technology, welding jobs are becoming more complex. The energy and health sectors, especially, need more welders. Lucky for us, women welders can meet these demands. One of our ACI graduates, Sheila Pruitt, shares her journey through her new welding career.
Where Sheila's Welding Career Started
Before becoming a welder, Sheila was an administrative assistant. About four years ago she decided to make a career change and become a professional welder. She has worked in Louisiana, Texas, and is now based in Oklahoma. Her decision to switch careers and become a trained welder is one of the best moves she has ever made.
In talking about the welding job she has now, Sheila says:
“There is a lot to love about this job and it’s much more than just doing grunt construction work,” Pruitt said. “It’s challenging work and can be demanding at times, but it is also something you can take a lot of pride in doing, which I was really lacking in my previous job as a secretary.”
Pruitt received formal welding training before starting her career as a professional welder. She believes this was crucial because many welding and construction companies are looking for workers that have thorough knowledge of the welding industry.
Not only is Pruitt helping to meet the growing need for welders across the country, she is also a part of a growing number of women that are choosing welding as a career.
Advanced Career Institute teaches both women and men through their welding program. Students will learn everything they need to know in order to obtain a welder certification. ACI students graduate with the skills necessary to become great job candidates, like Sheila Pruitt.
Interested in our welding program and becoming a woman welder? Contact us today!
The National Association of Manufactures estimates that an additional 14 million welders will be needed by 2020 but the demand for professional welders is already great as baby boomers enter retirement and the amount of welding project grows. However, construction and welding companies are finding it hard to fill those vacant positions with the right type of worker. (more…)
One of the fastest growing career fields today is the welding industry. Welders play a crucial part to the construction of buildings, pipelines and other infrastructures needs. They are also required to adapt as this industry faces new challenges and updated standards.
The recession of 2008 slowed the need for welders a bit but some manufactures said it was actually a good thing.
In a recent article appearing in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a Green Bay manufacture said he was actually glad the recession happened because it slowed down the amount of work his welding company was being asked to do. With a shortage of experienced welders the recession briefly slowed down the need for construction, but with the economy slowly on its way to a recovery the lack of experienced welders is once again becoming a problem across the country that has the industry scrambling to find experienced and trained welders.
"If we don't plan for the future, we aren't going to have one," Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in the same article. "Without a skilled workforce, we can say goodbye to those jobs."
Some say there is a crisis in the welding industry because there are not enough skilled workers to meet the growing demand for new building construction. The economy continues to face some challenges, but a full recovery will eventually take place, and when it does manufactures will be scrambling to meet the demand.
Joseph McNally is a professional welder in Oklahoma and he said his company is scrambling to find new workers.
“I know we are looking to get ready for what people think will be a building boom,” McNally said. “But even today there are not enough people to fill the jobs we have open, at least not enough people with the right kind of training.”
At the Advanced Career Institute students are being prepared to fill those vacant positions in the welding industry by learning the skills and procedures needed to obtain American Welding Society performance certifications.
“The worker with the right kind of training and experience could probably have no problem finding a job, even in today’s economy,” McNally. “But eventually things are going to get even better and this (industry) is going to have even more positions to fill.”
Welders are required to understand how to properly use equipment but there is also a need for welders than can correctly read blue prints and site plans, especially as the regulations related to building practices change to become more cost effective and environmentally sound. The Advanced Career Institute trains its students to enter the field with the knowledge to succeed and be in high demand from welding companies across the nation.
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.
Career college counselors are not the only ones encouraging employment in the welding industry. An article written today from redOrbit News announcing President Obama’s strong support of the industry. He put together a "Weld-Ed program" event at the Northern Virginia Community College Campus with both the Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers. During his speech, he emphasized what actions need to be taken to produce a larger force of skilled manufacturers to fit the increasing holes in welding employment.
With over 50 percent of daily U.S. products requiring some type of welding work, the industry is booming with job opportunities. These products range from cell phones to bridges to laptops. Yet, there is a shortage of workers who possess the qualifying certification to do the type of work needed. Recent research shows a predicted need of 250,000 certified manufacture workers within the next 10 years.
At the event, President Obama revealed a goal of 500,000 skilled workers for the manufacturing industry by the next five years. This wave of workers should put a dent in the substantial workforce needed to overcome the shortage.
There are several different routes a trained welder can take on as new inventions and improvements in technology appear. They can be trained to create powerful systems that use lasers and explosives to mesh metals, or educated to work with high-tech robots. Improving infrastructure safety is one of the most stable and rewarding career paths for a welder. The importance of public safety is something that will always be necessary, even in the midst of economic downfall.
The article mentions a quote from Jay Leno, a passionate welder employer: “Welders…are skilled technicians, they can do the work that most people cannot do…This country was built by welders and somewhere along the line we kind of lost our focus.”
Look over the entire article by clicking on the link above for the all of the event details.