How to become a Bus Driver

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Do you enjoy driving? Would you like to become a friendly, reliable face within your community? Then read on to find out how you could train to become a Bus Driver.

What do they do?

become a bus driver

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 and 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?

The right person will:

  • be calm and confident behind the wheel.
  • 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.
    be a safe driver.

What will I love about the job?

  • The social aspect of the job – you’ll get to meet new people everyday!
  • 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?

  • At times you may have to deal with difficult or badly behaved passengers, but you should 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.
  • You must be able to concentrate for long periods of time.

How much will I earn?

Bus Drivers just starting out can earn an average annual base salary of around £24,000, although this may vary depending on location. In some big cities e.g. London, you may reap the benefits of a regional premium.

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 Senior Bus Driver positions once they have built up a few years of experience. A Senior Bus Driver role typically carries a salary of £30,500 – £33,500.

How do I get started?

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. 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:

  • route familiarisation
  • basic vehicle maintenance
  • familiarisation with ticket types and how to issue them

There are a number of bus providers all across the country that are willing to take on trainees so it’s worth reaching out to the local firms in your area.

One great example is First Group who are one of the UK’s largest bus operators, running one out of every five local bus services. They are an age-diverse employer who have a comprehensive training program to enable those new to driving a bus to get all the training and support required. They are currently working with Rest Less to recruit bus driving trainees of all ages across the country.

Hear first-hand from Jayden what it’s like to work as a Bus Driver for First Group

Video provided by Rest Less client, First Group.

You can find out more about First Group and what they have to offer here.

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


Alternatively, if you’re interested in reading about and exploring other driving opportunities, you may find it useful to read our guide on driving roles that offer flexibility and freedom for further ideas and inspiration.

Have you recently changed career? Or are you looking to do something different? We’d love to hear your story at [email protected] or on the friendly Rest Less community forum.

Links with an * by them are affiliate links which help Rest Less stay free to use as they can result in a payment or benefit to us. You can read more on how we make money here.

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Good luck with your application

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Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get the latest jobs, learning, volunteering, financial planning and lifestyle resources sent straight to your inbox.

By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.