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Do you enjoy driving? Fancy a change of career? Would you like to become a friendly, reliable face within your community?

If so, then read on to find out how you could train to become a bus driver.

What do bus drivers do?

Bus drivers transport people to and from various different locations, taking popular routes and stopping regularly to allow passengers to get on and off the bus. 

Each bus driver takes full ownership of their bus whilst making sure that passengers have a safe, comfortable experience and get to their destination on time.

Other responsibilities include…

  • Memorising bus routes.
  • Taking payment from passengers or checking their passes.
  • Issuing tickets.
  • Offering guidance to passengers who may be unfamiliar with the local area and need directions to help them get to their final destination after they leave the bus.
  • Looking after the bus and knowing what to do if it breaks down or isn’t running smoothly.

What skills do I need to become a bus driver?

The right person will…

  • Have a valid UK car driver’s license 
  • Be warm, friendly, and always ready to offer up a smile.
  • Have patience and be able to remain calm under pressure.
  • Have excellent communication skills.

What will I love about being a bus driver?

  • The social aspect – you’ll get to meet new people every day! Some passengers will become regulars, making it a great chance to build solid connections within the community.
  • The freedom that comes with constantly being on the move. It can be a breath of fresh air for people who hate sitting within the same four walls.
  • Flexibility. Bus services operate at all times of the day and night, meaning shifts will vary.
  • Driving, if you’re someone who loves being behind the wheel.

What are the challenges of being a bus driver?

  • At times you may have to deal with difficult passengers, but you’ll receive guidance and support on how to manage situations like these.
  • Traffic. Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding it as it’s part and parcel of life on the road.

How much will I earn as a bus driver?

Bus Drivers just starting out can earn an average annual base salary of around £23,310, rising to £28,454 after three years of service.

You may also be able to earn more by doing overtime.

Are there opportunities to progress?

People typically start off in trainee positions, before becoming a fully qualified bus driver. Some enter master bus driver positions once they’ve built up a few years of experience, whilst some enter management roles within the garage.

How do I get started as a bus driver?

how to get started as bus driver

If you like what you hear and you think you’re ready to get started, then the most common way to do this is to apply for a role as a trainee bus driver – for example, with National Express

Here, you will be given support and training as you work towards your Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence – which you’ll need to have before you can drive a bus by yourself.

Your training will also cover areas, such as…

  • Customer service
  • Avoidance of conflict
  • Incident and breakdown procedures 
  • Vehicle familiarisation

Hear first-hand from Diane what it’s like to work as a bus driver for National Express

Video provided by Rest Less client, National Express.

You can find out more about National Express and what they have to offer using the button below.

Or perhaps you want to dive right in and search for trainee bus driver roles near you?