“In our Nation, approximately 22.5 million children ride school buses to and from school each day, which accounts for 54 percent of all students attending grade school.”

Kenny Marchant, Politician

Pros and Cons of Working as a School Bus Driver

advantages and disadvantages of being a school bus driver

You think about becoming a school bus driver but are not entirely sure yet? Great! Then this article is exactly for you.

In fact, I show you all the pros and cons of being a school bus driver in the following chapters.

Being a School Bus Driver – Key Facts

Short Job DescriptionSchool bus drivers bring kids to work in the morning and bring them back once school is over.
Salary$30,000 – $45,000 per year, average around $35,000.
Job SecurityPoor, self-driving buses will make bus drivers obsolete.
Job SatisfactionGood if you are passionate about driving buses.
Work-Life BalanceGood work-life balance, plenty of leisure.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Mentally demanding, especially during rush hour.
Future OutlookMany bus driver jobs will vanish due to self-driving vehicles in the near future.
RequirementsNo special requirements, sometimes additional certificates required.

Advantages of Being a School Bus Driver

  1. School bus drivers keep our system running
  2. You can work with kids
  3. School bus drivers don’t have to work many hours
  4. Relatively relaxed job
  5. School bus drivers don’t have a boss sitting next to them
  6. You can work in a rather independent manner
  7. School bus drivers can improve their driving skills
  8. You can avoid having to work in an office job
  9. You don’t need to go to college for becoming a school bus driver
  10. Free weekends
  11. Time off whenever kids don’t have school
  12. Especially suitable if you love driving

School bus drivers keep our system running

One important advantage of being a school bus driver is that you can keep our system running. In fact, you will be part of the important infrastructure without the system like we know it today would collapse.

Imagine a world without school bus drivers. Many parents would have to bring their kids to school themselves and can’t work their normal schedule. Moreover, it would also be pretty inefficient to use a private car for every kid and it would also be pretty bad for the environment.

Using school buses makes much more sense since it makes our overall life just much easier and you as a school bus driver will be the one who can make an important contribution to strengthen the local economy and to protect the environment at the same time.

You can work with kids

Another upside of being a school bus driver is that you will be able to work with kids. While some people don’t like children and rather want to work in a mature environment with adults, others really love working with kids. In fact, working and communicating with kids can be pretty funny and can just make your day so much better.

It also shows you life from a different perspective and you can really learn on an emotional level through daily interactions with children. Thus, especially if you like children, becoming a school bus driver can also be great in this regard.

School bus drivers don’t have to work many hours

As a school bus driver, you will also not have to work many hours a week. You will just bring kids to school and take them back from school once their school day is over. This means that school bus drivers never work more than 40 hours a week and some of them even work far less.

Since you will start early in the morning, you will also have plenty of time off during the day to use for your hobbies or to do your laundry and other things for your household.

You can even work in a second job during this time if you want to. However, in general, being a school bus driver is not that stressful from a pure working hours perspective.

Relatively relaxed job

Working as a school bus driver is also pretty relaxed from an overall perspective. Sure, there can be times where it is annoying to drive, especially during times when streets are crowded and traffic jams are quite common. Also children may be in a bad mood and may try to bring you down.

However, compared to many other jobs where you will have to deal with plenty of stress, being a school bus driver is much more relaxed since you will just have a certain standardized routine and time pressure will also be pretty limited.

School bus drivers don’t have a boss sitting next to them

As a school bus driver, you will also have a high level of freedom since you will not always have to worry about your boss sitting right next to you and observing what you are doing like in many office jobs. In fact, it can be pretty annoying if you always have someone you have to report to and where you can’t work on your own for an extended period of time.

In contrast, as a school bus driver, nobody will sit next to you when you do your work and this makes your work much easier since you can just do it the way you want as long as you obey local laws.

You can work in a rather independent manner

You can also experience a certain level of independence and freedom as a school bus driver. Since you will always be on the road, you will sit in a moving workplace and no day will look the same. Subconsciously, you will often get the feeling as if you were on vacation rather than at work by driving a school bus.

It can also be pretty fun to drive a school bus and many people will also wave at you and secretly wish that they were in your position since it is the childhood dream of many people to just drive a school bus.

In fact, driving a school bus is pretty cool and if you love working in an independent manner, the career as a school bus driver can be a great way to go for you.

School bus drivers can improve their driving skills

Another benefit of being a school bus driver is that you can really improve your driving skills. Sure, you should have decent driving skills even before you start your job since you will be responsible for the lives of many children.

However, you will still be able to improve your driving skills significantly if you drive all day long and you can improve from an intermediate to an excellent driver in the long run.

This can also lead to a state where your risk of getting involved in traffic accidents decreases and therefore, also your car insurance premium may drop in the long run.

Good driving skills are not only important from a financial perspective, they can also save your life and the lives of others in the long run.

You can avoid having to work in an office job

By becoming a bus driver, you can also avoid working in an office job. While some people like the idea to sit in an office and sit in front of a computer all day long, many people just get quite frustrated with those jobs since they feel like they are just wasting their time. Moreover, it is also not good for our eyes to just stare at a computer screen for an extended period of time.

As a school bus driver, you can be on the road instead and also have to focus on the traffic to avoid accidents. Since you will see many different things every day, time will usually fly and you can also spend your time in a more enjoyable manner compared to most office jobs where you just have to prepare useless presentations that often have no value at all.

You don’t need to go to college for becoming a school bus driver

Another advantage of becoming a school bus driver is that you don’t need fancy education for going this career path. You also don’t need a college degree to work as a school bus driver. This means that you don’t have to spend many years of your life on your education and also can avoid taking on student loan debt.

In turn, while many of your friends will have to deal with large sums of student loan debt which they have to pay off later on in their lives, you will not have to deal with these financial problems related to college and you will even be able to earn money from the first day in your job as a bus driver.

Free weekends

As a school bus driver, you also don’t have to work on weekends. Instead, you can just enjoy your leisure and you also don’t have to be available for any calls during this time.

For instance, instead of having to work, you can make nice weekend trips with your family and friends or you can just sit in your garden and enjoying the sun.

You will also have plenty of time to follow your hobbies as a school bus driver and work-life balance in this field is pretty decent in general.

Time off whenever kids don’t have school

You will not only have a few weeks of vacation as most people do, but you will have much more than that. In fact, school bus drivers will have time off whenever kids don’t have to go to school.

This not only includes national holidays, but it also includes various additional weeks or even months since school kids have far more vacation than adults do in their jobs.

Consequently, you can have more weeks off as a school bus driver compared to most other people and this can be great to start side-hustles or just to enjoy your leisure.

Especially suitable if you love driving

One thing is for sure. You need a certain interest in driving. Even better would be a real passion for this field. Without a certain passion for driving a school bus, you will get bored pretty soon and will switch to a different work instead. You will also only become happy as a school bus driver if you have an inner motivation for what you are doing.

Hence, make sure that being a school bus driver is what you want to do for many years or even your whole life before choosing this career path.

Disadvantages of Being a School Bus Driver

  1. Relatively low salary for school bus drivers
  2. Many school bus drivers need a second job to pay their bills
  3. Teleworking is not possible
  4. Kids can be annoying
  5. You have a high level of responsibility
  6. School bus drivers often suffer from overweight
  7. School bus drivers don’t have a high social standing
  8. Hard time on the dating market as a school bus driver
  9. You may need to get some special qualification
  10. Rather low level of job security
  11. Self-driving vehicles can make school bus drivers obsolete
  12. Can be pretty annoying during rush hour
  13. You may get bored after a while
  14. Hard to get into other industries

Relatively low salary for school bus drivers

Apart from the various advantages of working as a bus driver, there are still some downsides to it. For instance, one problem with being a school bus driver is that you will only earn pretty limited amounts of money. In fact, many school bus drivers in the US don’t make over 40,000 dollars a year and many of them earn less.

The average salary of a school bus driver is around 35,000 dollars and this will barely be enough to pay your bills, especially if you live in a big metropolitan area where rents are quite high.

Many school bus drivers need a second job to pay their bills

Many school bus drivers even have to work in a second job to pay their bills and to avoid getting into debt. If you live in an expensive region where property prices skyrocketed over the past decade, chances are that you will simply no longer be able to afford living there as a school bus driver.

In fact, while a small minority of people who work in the tech industry, as doctors, lawyers or in some other elite professions earn really good money, the general public often does no longer know how to pay their bills. The same is true for bus drivers.

No school bus driver will be able to pay more than 1,000 dollars in rent for a small apartment and those prices are real in many big cities in the US right now. Near Silicon Valley or in LA and New York, it can even be much more than that.

Some bus drivers even become homeless since they simply can no longer afford living there. Hence, be prepared that you might have to work in a second job as a bus driver to cover your expenses, especially if you live in one of those fancy places where rent and property prices are ridiculously high.

Teleworking is not possible

Another downside of being a school bus driver is that you will not be able to work remotely. While teleworking is possible in many other jobs, you will just have to be on your bus all day long without the chance to work from home.

This also implies that you will be less flexible regarding how your day will look like and that you may also have more problems coordinating your family life compared to people who just can work from home whenever they want.

Kids can be annoying

While many kids are nice, difficult children can just be a nightmare. In fact, if kids are not well brought-up, they often try to bring people down, often due to their own insecurities.

While you can ignore this to a certain extent as a school bus driver, it may still lower your overall quality of life since you will always have to scream and show those kids how to behave.

Hence, make sure that you have a certain level of patience and that you are fine to deal with difficult children sooner or later in your career before deciding for working as a school bus driver.

You have a high level of responsibility

You also have a pretty high level of responsibility as a school bus driver. You will be the one driving the bus and mistakes on your side can lead to serious injuries or may even take away the lives of children. You will not only be responsible for the children inside your bus, you will also have to be very careful not to hurt any other traffic participants.

While some people love having those high levels of responsibility, others just don’t want to deal with these things. Thus, before deciding for a career as a school bus driver, make sure that you really have the stomach to take on this emotional burden.

School bus drivers often suffer from overweight

As a school bus driver, you will often also suffer from overweight or even obesity since you will simply lack exercise. In fact, you will often just sit in your driver’s seat for an extended period of time and will not move sufficiently to burn enough calories.

Consequently, you should also make sure to go to the gym or to exercise in a certain manner to avoid the adverse consequences related to being overweight.

School bus drivers don’t have a high social standing

In general, school bus drivers also don’t have a high social standing. While they do an important job to keep our system running, they are still regarded as replaceable by many people. In turn, many people don’t have respect for school bus drivers since they are still not regarded to be that important.

While fancy managers of big corporations will be admired by most people, you as a school bus driver will have a hard time getting admiration and you should be fine with this fact.

Hard time on the dating market as a school bus driver

It can also be pretty hard for school bus drivers to succeed in the dating market. Since you will not earn that much money and your social status will also be rather low, you will often struggle to find a suitable partner.

In fact, people who work in consulting or in other fancy jobs will have it much easier in this regard and those people often have the freedom of choice on the dating market.

However, you will often make significant compromises in this regard and can’t be picky at all.

You may need to get some special qualification

While you don’t need a fancy degree for becoming a school bus driver, you will still need a certain level of qualification in most states. How demanding this education really is depends on the region you live in and you should inform yourself how long it takes and how much it costs to become a school bus driver in your area.

Rather low level of job security

School bus drivers are also rather replaceable. Since there are no high barriers to entry, almost everyone can become a school bus driver and this also means that there are many other people who could do your job and replace you one day.

Hence, becoming a school bus driver can also be problematic in case job security is really important to you.

Self-driving vehicles can make school bus drivers obsolete

Job security will become even worse in the future since self-driving vehicles can make you obsolete within the following years or decades. While the technology behind self-driving cars and buses is not mature yet, it may be in a few years and at this point in time, you may simply no longer be needed since self-driving buses will be cheaper and will also be more reliable than humans could ever be on average.

Can be pretty annoying during rush hour

While driving a school bus can be fun, it can also be quite annoying. Especially during rush hour, you will frequently curse inside and you will often be happy when your workday is finally over and you can just relax on your couch.

You may get bored after a while

Many school bus drivers also get bored sooner or later. Sure, driving a school bus can be interesting and exciting for a certain period of time. But doing this for a lifetime is a thing not many people want to do.

Therefore, make sure that driving a school bus is really your passion before choosing this career path.

Hard to get into other industries

As a school bus driver, you will also have serious problems with finding a job in another industry. Especially if your education level is rather low, it can be quite hard to switch to a different career path.

Top 10 Being a School Bus Driver Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a School Bus Driver ProsBeing a School Bus Driver Cons
School bus drivers can work with kidsSchool bus drivers have low salaries
You can keep our system runningBeing a school bus driver can be boring
Good work-life balanceCan be annoying during rush hour
Being a school bus driver can be funYou may need a second job
You have free weekendsTeleworking is not possible
School bus drivers have plenty of time offQuestionable job security
You can improve your driving skillsMany jobs will vanish in the future
You don’t have to sit in an officeHigh level of responsibility
School bus drivers are rather independentYour mistakes can cost lives
Driving a school bus is not that stressfulChildren can be annoying

Should You Become A School Bus Driver?

Now that you got all the advantages and disadvantages of being a school bus driver, it is on you to decide whether you still want to become a school bus driver or if you rather want to go for an alternative career path instead.

Make sure to inform yourself properly to avoid any mistakes regarding this important topic since it can vastly determine how good or bad your future will look like.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a carpenter

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a baker

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/295092/transportation-means-used-by-school-children-to-travel-to-school-uk/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/196342/total-number-of-registered-buses-in-the-united-states-by-state/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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