- Requires excellent driving skills and knowledge of traffic regulations, and good customer service skills
- With experience, become a depot supervisor or manager, or train to become a driver instructor and examiner
- Holiday tours would involve being away from home for several days at a time
Bus drivers operate buses, transporting passengers from one place to another. They might also work in community transport, driving schoolchildren, hospital patients and the elderly to their destinations.
If you're a bus driver, your duties may include:
- Taking fares and checking tickets and passes
- Giving timetable or route information
- Driving safely while keeping to timetables
- Helping passengers who are having difficulty getting on or off the vehicle
If you're a coach driver, your duties may also include:
- Loading and unloading luggage
- Greeting passengers and checking documents
- Making sure passengers are back on board for return journeys and after scheduled stops
- Making announcements during the journey
- Keeping the coach clean and doing basic vehicle checks
- Recording driving hours and reporting any incidents and for trips abroad
- Keeping passengers up to date with travel information
- Dealing with border control authorities on overseas trips
There are regulations for weekly maximum driving hours. Every 5 years you'll need to take 35 hours of Driver CPC training and renew your bus driving licence if you're aged 45 or over.
On local bus services you could work up to 48 hours a week on shifts, including evenings and weekends, between 6am and midnight. As a coach driver, you could drive for up to 56 hours a week, with a maximum of 90 hours over any 2 weeks. If you take holiday tours, you could be away from home for several days at a time.
This role is ideal for someone with excellent driving skills and knowledge of traffic regulations, and good customer service skills.
For this role you'll need to have a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) - this is known as the Driver CPC, have a full UK driving licence and several years' driving experience and be over 18 years of age. Every 5 years you'll need to take 35 hours of Driver CPC training and renew your bus driving licence if you're aged 45 or over.
You'll usually apply to bus or coach companies and train on the job. You would be put through Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) driver training that normally lasts between 1 and 6 weeks. Your employer would also give you training for the Certificate of Professional Competence or Driver CPC.
You can also get into this job through a passenger transport driver intermediate apprenticeship. Some companies may prefer to take on trainees who have held their driving licence for 1 or 2 years or who are aged 21 or over.
With experience, you could become a service controller or inspector, depot manager or driver training instructor. You could also set up your own business. For this you'll need the Transport Manager CPC in Passenger Transport. This could be done through a local training provider.