Bus Drivers are the people who transport Britain’s passengers around the country’s roads, offering a huge public service in the process. If road safety and mastering different routes are of interest to you, becoming a bus driver would be a great way to make sure your interests are reflected in your profession!
Transporting passengers safely and quickly from stop to stop is the name of the game, so your primary focus is always on the road, but you’ll get to meet some interesting characters along the way and can relish in the knowledge that you’re giving a wonderful public service at the same time!
Salary & benefits
Trainee bus drivers tend to earn between £13,000 and £16,000 a year, depending on the company that they work for and whereabouts they are based. Once training is completed, the industry average for qualified drivers is around £18,000, but can be as much as £20,000.
Like any shift work, however, the amount you earn is dependant on the amount of shifts that you’re undertaking, and with overtime payments, bus drivers can earn as much as £25,000 per year.
There are certain regulations in place which relate to the maximum amount of hours that bus drivers are allowed to work per week. On local bus routes, the maximum hours you can work per week is 48 hours, which is usually split into rotational shift work, including weekends and night shifts.
To become a bus driver, you need to train for and then pass the Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PVC) licence, and then the Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence, although depending on the company you choose to work for, this can be made into part of your training and is therefore often paid for.
You will (obviously) need a full EU driving license and be over 18 years of age, although there are some employers who require their trainees to have held their license for at least 2 years, meaning that their minimum age rises to 20.
Training & progression
Once you join a company, you’d receive the standard industry training as part of your induction, including how top operate the ticket machines that are in use, and learning how to use the equipment that is part of the job – radio and map work especially.
They’d then help you prepare for the two qualifications listed above, which would take a number of months to complete. You might also be encouraged to work towards a qualification like the NVQ Diploma in Passenger Carrying Vehicle Driving, or even into a customer service qualification, in order to make sure your passengers receive the best possible care in your vehicle.