School Bus Driver Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A School Bus Driver, or Bus Driver, is in charge of s providing safe transport for school children based on a schedule and route. Their duties include helping students board the bus, learning which students take their route and planning around traffic during trips.

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School Bus Driver duties and responsibilities

A School Bus Driver interacts daily with children and serves as their trusted transportation to and from school. As such, a School Bus Driver should be free of any traffic or criminal violations and should have an authoritative, yet calming demeanor and a strong understanding of traffic laws. In your job description, it is important to list the responsibilities and duties of the School Bus Driver position, which may include the following:

  • Transport children and other passengers to and from school
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Maintain a clean and mechanically sound bus at all times
  • Ensure the safety of all students
  • Verify permissions for children who ride home with friends
  • Assist students with getting on and off the bus as needed
  • Discipline children as needed to maintain a safe environment
  • Perform inspections of the bus before and after each route
  • Attend safety meetings as required
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What does a School Bus Driver do?

School Bus Drivers usually work directly for a school district but they may also work for a third-party transportation company to make it easier for kids to get to and from school. They supervise students as they cross the street and enter or exit the bus, greet them and manage their behavior during the bus ride. School Bus Drivers usually take the same routes in the morning and afternoon each day but may adjust their schedules for extracurricular and special events. Their other key role is to maintain the bus by keeping it clean, fueling it regularly and recording mileage.

School Bus Driver skills and qualifications

If there are certain skills your School Bus Driver must have for your school and position, provide a bulleted list of what is required and the preferred skills you need. This can include a School Bus Driver’s education level and years of experience. School Bus Drivers are not required to have a college degree, but having a high school diploma or GED is often a standard prerequisite. Other qualifications of many School Bus Drivers may include:

  • Commercial driver’s license
  • A chauffeur’s license may not be necessary, but may be helpful
  • One or more years of experience
  • Clean driving record with no at-fault accidents or traffic citations within the last five years
  • Two or more years of experience working with children preferred
  • Ability to carry out assigned route on time

School Bus Driver salary expectations

No salary data could be found on Indeed Salaries.

School Bus Driver education and training requirements

School Bus Drivers must have an active commercial driver’s license (CDL) and should be clear of at-fault accidents and traffic citations on their driving record, as they are maintaining the safety of children. A minimum of a high school diploma or GED is required. Many school systems require all employees who work with children to undergo and pass a criminal background check. Additional physical, hearing and vision testing may be required.

School Bus Driver experience requirements

Previous School Bus Driver training is needed but may be provided to new employees by your school district. This may include on-the-job shadowing and training as needed.

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Frequently asked questions about School Bus Driver


What is the difference between a School Bus Driver and a City Bus Driver?

School Bus Drivers work exclusively with students while City Bus Drivers serve the general public. School bus Drivers are more involved with their riders because they communicate with parents and teachers about the childrens’ behavior on the bus and work to resolve interpersonal issues. They may also have to check student IDs and perform other security measures. City Bus Drivers usually collect a fare and continue on their route. City Bus Drivers have a more fast-paced work environment and tend to have longer routes that cover more area.


What are the daily duties of a School Bus Driver?

School Bus Drivers tend to start their days early in the morning to inspect the lights, brakes, alarms and seats, put gas in their bus and leave to pick up the students who live farther away from the school then return along a route. They remind students of safety rules when sitting in their seats and exiting the bus. School Bus Drivers drive several routes a day to serve schools that start as different times. They return their bus to a terminal, pick up trash, wipe down the seats and perform other light maintenance at the end of the day.


What are the characteristics of a good School Bus Driver?

It is important for School Bus Drivers to enjoy working with children and socializing with others so they can build trust and respect with the groups of students who ride the bus. They must be good drivers who obey traffic laws and practice cautious driving habits to keep their passengers safe. School Bus Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings, not only in traffic but to identify students who need help or are misbehaving. They also have a good memory that allows them to carry out multiple different routes without forgetting a stop or making a wrong turn.


Who does a School Bus Driver report to?

School Bus Drivers report to the school district’s Director of Transportation, although smaller schools and districts may have School Bus Drivers report directly to the Superintendent. They track details about their route and submit reports so the Director of Transportation can notice patterns and improve their overall logistics. They coordinate with other School Bus Drivers to plan efficient routes, provide assistance to one another during peak school commute hours and cover unfilled routes.

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