All You Need To Know About A Taxi Driver Career

You think about becoming a taxi driver but are not entirely sure whether this would be the right job for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about being a taxi driver in the following chapters.

Not only will you learn how much cab drivers can make, but you will also get lots of information on job satisfaction, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements, duties, future outlook and much more.

You will also find an FAQ section at the end of this article where I answer the most common questions about working as a taxi driver for you.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become a cab driver or rather want to go for a different career instead.

Table of Contents

What does a Taxi Driver do?

Taxi drivers make sure that people get from A to B in a safe and efficient manner.

They pick up and drop off many different people every day and it is therefore crucial that you have good people skills and that you are also a friendly and responsible person so that you can stay successful and happy with your job as a cab driver in the long run.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Taxi Driver

  • Picking up people
  • Bringing people from A to B in a safe manner
  • Dropping off people at the respective destination
  • Operating cabs in a safe manner
  • Helping people with luggage
  • Cleaning the taxi
  • Taking the fastest and safest routes
  • Giving clients cost estimations
  • Collecting fees from clients
  • Complying with laws, rules and regulations related to transporting clients

What a Typical Day of a Taxi Driver looks like?

Taxi drivers pick people up from home or from other locations and transport them to their desired destination.

Apart from your main duty of bringing people from A to B in a safe and efficient manner, you will also have to clean your cab, make sure that overall safety standards are met and that you also make the ride for passengers as convenient as possible.

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Really good cab drivers not only do their work in a robotic manner, but they also talk to their clients and make sure that they have a great time so that they don’t get bored and feel comfortable inside the taxi.

Thus, apart from good driving skills, you should also be good at dealing with people in general so that you can really enjoy your time at work and can also handle potential conflicts in a proper manner.

Taxi Driver Salary 2022

Taxi Driver salary brackets 2022

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $48,000> $23.95
Top 25 %$39,000 – $43,000$19.47 – $21.43
Bottom 25 %$26,000 – $29,000$12.88 – $14.49
Bottom 10 %$19,000 – $23,000$9.42 – $11.44
Range$19,000 – $57,000$9.42 – $28.47
Average (Mean)$35,000$17.45
Median$33,000$16.41

Taxi Driver salary 2022 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$19,000 – $24,000$9.42 – $11.89
Junior$23,000 – $29,000$11.47 – $14.46
Professional$28,000 – $37,000$13.93 – $18.48
Senior Professional$35,000 – $48,000$17.49 – $23.92
Expert$46,000 – $52,000$22.94 – $25.88
Top Expert$51,000 – $57,000$25.38 – $28.47

Taxi Driver salary by state 2022 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$31,600$15.78
Alaska$34,100$17.03
Arizona$33,500$16.72
Arkansas$30,800$15.37
California$38,700$19.33
Colorado$33,400$16.68
Connecticut$32,900$16.42
Delaware$33,200$16.59
District of Columbia$35,100$17.53
Florida$34,700$17.33
Georgia$32,800$16.39
Guam$30,900$15.44
Hawaii$34,500$17.23
Idaho$32,800$16.36
Illinois$31,300$15.62
Indiana$34,200$17.09
Iowa$32,100$16.03
Kansas$31,800$15.89
Kentucky$32,300$16.13
Louisiana$33,900$16.94
Maine$32,600$16.28
Maryland$35,200$17.59
Massachusetts$35,500$17.72
Michigan$33,100$16.53
Minnesota$32,800$16.37
Mississippi$30,600$15.28
Missouri$29,900$14.94
Montana$31,700$15.83
Nebraska$32,100$16.05
Nevada$30,800$15.37
New Hampshire$32,500$16.23
New Jersey$35,300$17.62
New Mexico$31,700$15.83
New York$37,900$18.94
North Carolina$32,600$16.27
North Dakota$33,100$16.53
Ohio$32,200$16.08
Oklahoma$33,700$16.82
Oregon$34,100$17.03
Pennsylvania$36,400$18.19
Rhode Island$31,700$15.84
South Carolina$30,600$15.28
South Dakota$32,500$16.24
Tennessee$31,800$15.89
Texas$33,700$16.83
Utah$34,900$17.42
Vermont$33,300$16.64
Virginia$32,800$16.37
Washington$35,100$17.52
West Virginia$34,200$17.09
Wisconsin$32,300$16.13
Wyoming$30,700$15.34

Job Security of Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers barely have any job security at all since educational barriers to entry are pretty low and almost everyone can work as a cab driver.

Thus, you will be replaceable pretty easily and will always have to worry about losing your job.

Moreover, due to the invention of ride-sharing services and other transportation alternatives, competition in this industry has become increasingly fierce and many cab drivers have a hard time finding enough clients to make a living from what they are doing.

Future Outlook of Taxi Drivers

Not only current job prospects are pretty poor, but taxi drivers also have a pretty poor future outlook since due to autonomous driving, many cab drivers will no longer be needed and many taxi drivers will lose their jobs just a few years from now.

Working Hours of Taxi Drivers

You should be pretty flexible when you want to work as a taxi driver since your schedule will change quite a lot and your working hours will greatly depend on the shift you work.

For instance, while some cab drivers work during the day, others work at nighttime and you should therefore be open to working exotic hours if you want to become and stay happy with your job in the long run.

Job Satisfaction of Taxi Drivers

Most taxi drivers are not happy with what they are doing for a living since they can’t make good money while they always have to fear losing their jobs and are also at significant risk of getting robbed or even attacked by customers sooner or later.

Moreover, due to the exotic working hours, cab drivers often don’t have enough time to spend with their families.

Promotion Opportunities of Taxi Drivers

There are almost no promotion opportunities for taxi drivers since they do the same job for many years or even decades and there are just no positions you could be promoted to since the cab driving business is just about bringing people from A to B and you will barely get any fancy additional responsibilities.

Career Levels of Taxi Drivers

  • Junior taxi driver
  • Senior taxi driver
  • Manager of a taxi firm
  • Owner of a taxi firm

Fields and Types of Taxi Drivers

  • Taxi drivers focused on urban areas
  • Taxi drivers focused on rural areas
  • Taxi drivers specialized in bringing business people from A to B
  • Taxi drivers focused on big events
  • Taxi drivers focused on party people
  • Taxi drivers with expertise in driving handicapped people from A to B
  • Taxi drivers focused on transporting politicians
  • Part-time taxi drivers
  • Full-time taxi drivers

Educational Requirements for Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers don’t need to spend many years on fancy education.

Instead, you can become a cab driver right after finishing high school as long as you have a valid driver’s license and are able to operate a vehicle in a safe manner.

How to become a Taxi Driver

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a taxi driver
  2. Get your driver’s license
  3. Practice driving at home until you feel like you can safely operate a vehicle
  4. Finish high school
  5. Get your taxi license
  6. Apply for jobs as a cab driver
  7. Master the job interview
  8. Work hard and save money
  9. Build contacts in the taxi industry
  10. Start your own taxi business

Character Traits you need as a Taxi Driver

  • Patience for difficult passengers
  • Ability to stay calm when people drive like crazy
  • You should be open and friendly
  • You should be reliable and trustworthy
  • Confidence helps you deal with snarky comments related to your career choice
  • You should be open to client feedback
  • Ability to deal with drawbacks in a healthy manner
  • Willingness to work in a low-wage environment
  • Willingness to work rather exotic hours

Taxi Driver Skills

Hard Skills for Taxi Drivers

  • Good knowledge of the region you live and work in
  • Ability to bring people from A to B in a safe manner
  • Knowledge of how to maintain a taxi
  • Ability to spot potential safety risks
  • You should know how the cab business works
  • Math skills help you collect fees properly
  • Good geographical knowledge
  • Expertise in using navigation systems
  • Digital skills help you stay in touch with well-paying clients
  • Good knowledge of local traffic laws

Soft Skills for Taxi Drivers

  • Empathy for passengers who have a bad day
  • Patience for traffic participants
  • You should be a good listener
  • You should have great people skills
  • You should know how to de-escalate conflicts
  • Ability to create a comfortable atmosphere inside your taxi
  • You should be able to start conversations with your clients
  • Good interpersonal skills help you connect with your clients
  • Good time management skills help you get many jobs done

Exit Options for Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers have pretty poor exit options.

While they can often work as chauffeurs or school bus drivers, cab drivers have a hard time finding a job in a different field due to a lack of hard skills.

Taxi Driver – Similar Careers

Taxi Driver Career FAQs

Is working as a taxi driver physically demanding?

Being a taxi driver is not heavily physically demanding since you will just sit in a car for most of your workday and will drive people from A to B without having to lift heavy stuff like roofers or welders often have to do on a regular basis.

Is working as a taxi driver mentally demanding?

While you will have to focus on traffic all day long to minimize the risk of traffic accidents, you will still not have to stress your brain as much as professors or financial analysts who often work have to work in a heavily demanding manner to solve complex problems and work with complex models on a daily basis.

Is it dangerous to work as a taxi driver?

Working as a taxi driver can be risky since you may get involved in traffic accidents and may also be at significant risk of getting robbed sooner or later, especially if you work at nighttime.

Thus, you will be at higher risk of suffering from serious accidents or incidents at work compared to most other people who often work in a rather safe office environment.

How long do taxi drivers stay in their jobs?

Taxi drivers stay in their jobs for many years since they are pretty specialized and don’t learn many things apart from driving a car.

Consequently, they often get trapped in this industry and have a hard time getting out of it due to a lack of hard skills needed in the job market right now.

Is it easy for taxi drivers to find a new job?

Due to increasing competition from alternative transport services and the invention of self-driving cars, many taxi drivers will lose their jobs in the near future and it will be pretty hard to find new jobs and to make a living as a cab driver in the long run.

Is it hard to switch from being a taxi driver to another field of work?

Since cab drivers are pretty specialized, they often have a hard time finding a job in a different field since they often just lack the skills to do so and get trapped in the taxi industry for many years or even decades, even though many taxi drivers secretly wish to work in a different industry.

Do taxi drivers have a high social status?

Taxi drivers have a pretty low social standing.

Even though they do an important job to keep our system running by bringing people from A to B in a safe manner, they are often belittled by the general public and many of your friends will not understand why you want to become a cab driver.

Can you help out your family and friends as a taxi driver?

Since you will not learn many practical skills, you will also not be able to provide significant value to your loved ones compared to carpenters or other people who are able to fix many things around the home.

Can taxi drivers work remotely?

Cab drivers are not able to work remotely since they have to pick up and drop off passengers in person.

Thus, while compliance officers and other people who work in classical office jobs will be able to work remotely quite often, you as a taxi driver will be far less flexible to manage your personal and your professional life at the same time.

Is it easy to find a partner as a taxi driver?

It is pretty hard for taxi drivers to find a partner for a long-term relationship since cab drivers make pretty poor money, have a rather low social standing and also have pretty poor job security.

Consequently, they are not considered good providers at all and will have a hard time competing with dentists or investment bankers in the dating market.

Do taxi drivers have to work on weekends?

Taxi drivers often have to work on weekends and while most other people will be able to enjoy those days with their families, you will often have to work to make enough money to make a living from what you are doing and will not have time to do nice things with your loved ones.

Do taxi drivers have to work on holidays?

Taxi drivers sometimes also have to work on holidays.

Thus, while most other people will have time to spend on their favorite hobbies, you as a cab driver may rather have to work and this can become really annoying in the long run.

Do taxi drivers have to work at nighttime?

Taxi drivers often have to work at nighttime.

In fact, many cab drivers work in the late evening and don’t come home before midnight.

Thus, you should not aspire to a taxi driver career unless you are willing to work those exotic hours if you want to make a living in the taxi industry in the long run.

Do you have to travel as a taxi driver?

There is no need to travel as a taxi driver.

While you will bring many people from A to B, you will also come back to your home after your shift is over and while consultants and other people will be away for business trips, you can spend your leisure at home instead.

Are taxi driver pensions good?

Due to the poor money taxi drivers make during their active careers, they are also not able to save and invest enough money for retirement and often struggle to pay their bills once they get older and don’t work anymore.

Are taxi driver salaries going up?

Taxi driver salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years since competition has become increasingly fierce and due to the invention of self-driving cars, the demand for human taxi drivers will significantly drop in the near future.

Consequently, many cab drivers will lose their jobs and wages will stay pretty low in this industry.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a taxi driver?

While you will do an important job to keep our system running, you will still not have the same high social impact as teachers or professors who can really alter the attitude towards life of many people out there on a daily basis.

How long does it take to become a taxi driver?

Since you don’t need to get fancy education, you can become a taxi driver within a few weeks.

In fact, all you need is a driver’s license and you will be able to get your cab driver’s license rather quickly without having to spend lots of time on additional qualifications.

Is it difficult to become a taxi driver?

Since educational barriers to entry to work as a taxi driver are pretty low, almost everyone can work in this field and it is therefore pretty easy to become a cab driver.

However, many taxi drivers still struggle with staying successful in this industry in the long run.

Do you need to be smart to work as a taxi driver?

You don’t need to be smart to succeed as a taxi driver.

What’s much more important is that you are good at driving a vehicle and that you are also trustworthy and reliable so that clients feel safe and comfortable in your cab.

Do taxi drivers have a good work-life balance?

Since taxi drivers often have to work on weekends and at nighttime, they have pretty poor work-life balance and often don’t have enough time to spend with their loved ones.

Do taxi drivers have to work many extra hours?

Taxi drivers don’t have to work many extra hours.

Instead, they have fixed shifts and once their shift is over, they just quit their workdays and get back to work the next day.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a taxi driver?

The better you are at operating a car in a safe manner, the higher your chance to get a job as a taxi driver.

Hence, you should improve your driving skills at a pretty young age to maximize your chances of getting employed as a cab driver in the long run.

Can taxi drivers work part-time?

While some cab drivers work part-time, most of them still work full-time since their hourly wage is pretty low and most taxi drivers are not able to make a living from working part-time.

Do taxi drivers work indoors or outdoors?

Taxi drivers spend most of their workday inside their cars and therefore don’t have to work outdoors during times of bad weather as garbage collectors or lumberjacks often have to do.

What does the workplace of a taxi driver look like?

You will just spend most of your time inside a cab and drive passengers from A to B or just wait for new clients to arrive.

Thus, you should have great people skills and should also be patient to stay content with what you are doing in the long run.

Do you have to look good for working as a taxi driver?

You don’t need to look good for succeeding as a cab driver.

However, you should still look groomed so that clients are not deterred by your appearance and trust you enough to enter your taxi.

Is a taxi driver career beneficial for your private life?

Working as a taxi driver is not greatly beneficial for your private life since you will often have to work at nighttime and during weekends and will therefore not have enough time to spend with your loved ones while you still don’t make good money and also worry about losing your job quite often.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a taxi driver?

You don’t need to go to college to be able to work as a cab driver.

Instead, educational requirements for working in the taxi industry are pretty low and finishing high school and having a driver’s license will often be enough to start your taxi driver career.

Do you need to be certified to work as a taxi driver?

In some states, you need official permission to be able to work as a taxi driver and you may also need to get certified before you are allowed to transport passengers.

However, those certifications and permissions are often easy to get and you should therefore not worry about passing those requirements that much since almost everyone will be successful with it.

How much does it cost to become a taxi driver?

Since you don’t have to get a fancy degree, you don’t have to spend lots of time and money on college education but can rather start making money as a cab driver from a pretty young age.

Is being a taxi driver a good career?

Since you will often have to work on weekends, holidays and often also have to work at nighttime while you don’t make good money and have a pretty low social status, being a cab driver is not considered a good career by most people out there.

Is it easy to start your own business as a taxi driver?

Since you would have to invest lots of money upfront, it would be pretty hard for you to start your own taxi business and you would also have to comply with many additional legal requirements and also do lots of additional paperwork regarding insurance, taxes, bookkeeping, etc.

Can taxi drivers teach themselves?

Taxi drivers can teach themselves most things they need on the job and don’t need to spend lots of time on fancy education.

In fact, what’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you are really passionate about driving so that you stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.

Do taxi drivers make good money?

Taxi drivers make pretty poor money from what they are doing.

In fact, many taxi drivers struggle to pay their bills from their jobs and are not able to afford any luxury.

Is it ever too late to become a taxi driver?

Since educational barriers to entry are pretty low and you also don’t have to work in a heavy physical manner, you can become a taxi driver at almost every age as long as you are able to operate a vehicle in a safe manner.

Do taxi drivers have to quit their careers early?

Since working as a cab driver is not physically demanding, many taxi drivers don’t have to quit their careers early and can rather work until they reach official retirement age.

What is the hardest thing about working as a taxi driver?

The hardest part about being a taxi driver is that you will have to deal with many difficult people and some of them may be drunk or high and you will often have to de-escalate those situations before they get out of control.

Can you provide for your family by working as a taxi driver?

It is pretty hard to provide for your family as a taxi driver since you will not be able to make good money and your spouse may therefore have to work as well to pay your bills and may not be able to stay at home to care for the kids.

Will taxi drivers suffer from old-age poverty?

Most taxi drivers don’t make good money from their jobs and are therefore also not able to save and invest enough for retirement.

Consequently, many of them suffer from old-age poverty and are no longer able to pay their bills once they quit their active careers and retire.

Can taxi drivers retire early?

Most cab drivers are not able to retire early since they don’t make enough money from their jobs and have to work until official retirement age and sometimes even have to work at retirement age in their 60s or 70s so that they are still able to pay their bills since their pensions will often not be enough to do so.

Do taxi drivers get a fixed or variable salary?

Your income as a taxi driver greatly depends on the number of passengers you bring from A to B.

Thus, you will not get a fixed salary but rather have to deal with huge income swings.

Can you get rich as a taxi driver?

It is almost impossible to get rich as an employed taxi driver since you will just not make enough money from your job.

If you want to make good money, you should start your own business in the transportation industry or rather become a judge or risk manager instead.

Do taxi drivers need a second job?

Many taxi drivers are not able to make a living from what they are doing and need a second job to pay their bills.

This is especially true in expensive regions where a cab driver’s salary will often not be enough to cover rent and other expenses.

Do you get training as a taxi driver?

You don’t get continuous training as a cab driver.

Instead, it will be on you to get better at driving if you want to make enough money to make a living from what you are doing.

Do you get sick pay as a taxi driver?

Taxi drivers usually don’t get sick pay.

Thus, you should save money during good times that you can use during bad times when you get sick so that you are still able to pay your bills and don’t get into financial trouble.

Do taxi drivers have a high level of responsibility?

Taxi drivers have a high level of responsibility since they bring many passengers from A to B and mistakes on their side may lead to serious traffic accidents.

Hence, you always need to stay focused to avoid personal or financial damage.

Can taxi drivers work abroad?

Taxi drivers are needed all over the world.

However, in many poor countries, working conditions and salaries are not comparable to what you are used to in industrialized countries and before migrating to one of those countries, you should inform yourself in this regard to avoid common issues later on.

Is it stressful to work as a taxi driver?

Working as a taxi driver can be stressful since you will often get stuck in traffic and will worry about bringing your clients from A to B in time.

Moreover, you always have to fear getting involved in accidents and this can really stress your nerves in the long run.

Is it boring to work as a taxi driver?

Since you will do the same things over and over again, being a cab driver may become boring if you are not passionate about bringing people from A to B and if this is the case, you should rather work in a different field to stay motivated with your job in the long run.

Is being a taxi driver hard?

Working as a taxi driver can be hard since you will have to work exotic hours and will often not have enough time to spend with your family while you also don’t make good money and may get frustrated with what you are doing in the long run since you will not see any progress in your career.

Are taxi drivers at risk of burnout?

Due to the significant stress taxi drivers have to deal with at work, many of them are at great risk of burnout or other mental problems related to their jobs.

Is there a dress code for taxi drivers?

Taxi drivers don’t have to comply with a certain dress code.

Instead of wearing fancy suits or dresses as in many other jobs, cab drivers can wear whatever they feel most comfortable with.

What kind of taxi drivers are paid the most?

The more experience you have as a cab driver, the more passengers you will be able to bring from A to B and the more money you can make in the long run.

What percentage of taxi drivers are women?

While 23% of all taxi drivers are women, around 77% are men.

Thus, this industry is still dominated by men, even though an increasing number of women aspire to a career in the taxi industry.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a taxi driver?

You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a cab driver.

What’s much more important is that you are client-focused and also have good driving skills so that you can bring your passengers to their destinations in a safe and comfortable manner.

Do taxi drivers have a high life expectancy?

Taxi drivers have rather low life expectancy since they are at significant risk of getting involved in serious traffic accidents and may also get robbed and attacked by passengers sooner or later.

Do taxi drivers suffer from sleeping problems?

Taxi drivers often suffer from sleeping problems since they often have to work at nighttime and are not able to maintain a steady sleeping pattern.

What states are best for working as a taxi driver?

As a taxi driver, you should choose a state and a region where living costs are as low as possible so that you are able to make a living from what you are doing and don’t have to work a second job to pay your bills.

Who do taxi drivers work with?

Taxi drivers work with many different passengers per day.

Thus, it is crucial that you are a friendly and trustworthy person so that passengers will trust you and will not hesitate getting into your car.

Is working as a taxi driver cool?

Working as a cab driver is not considered cool by the majority of the general public and you will often have to deal with snarky comments related to your career choice.

Can you start a side hustle as a taxi driver?

Taxi drivers often don’t have enough time to start a side hustle and often also lack the skills necessary to do so since they are pretty specialized and don’t learn many things apart from driving.

Do you have to be creative as a taxi driver?

Being creative may help as a taxi driver since the more creative you are, the easier it will be for you to de-escalate situations before they can get out of control.

Do taxi drivers suffer from being overweight?

Since taxi drivers just sit and drive their cars all day long, they don’t burn enough calories at work and many taxi drivers therefore suffer from being overweight.

How employable are taxi drivers?

Due to the invention of self-driving cars, many taxi drivers will lose their jobs in the near future and overall job prospects for cab drivers will be pretty poor just a few years from now.

Are taxi drivers happy with their jobs?

Most taxi drivers are not happy with their jobs since they are not able to make good money from what they are doing while they still have to work on weekends and at nighttime and also worry about losing their jobs quite often.

Is working as a taxi driver exciting?

Being a taxi driver is not that exciting since you will do many things over and over again and your daily routine will not change much over time.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a taxi driver?

Since you will mainly focus on bringing people from A to B in a safe manner, you will not have a significant positive effect on our environment as a taxi driver.

What are the pros and cons of working as a taxi driver?

If you still consider becoming a taxi driver, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a cab driver career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/944226/industries-with-the-highest-levels-of-employment-of-taxi-drivers-and-chauffeurs-us/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/944232/states-employing-the-most-taxi-drivers-and-chauffeurs-us/

Interviews and own research.

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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