Bus Drivers' Job Outlook

Opportunity for part-time and irregular hours

Bus drivers willing to work part-time or irregular hours will have good job prospects in the next decade. The better training a bus driver has and the cleaner his or her driving record, the more positions he or she will be eligible for. The job is fairly stable through economic dips, but some intercity drivers could have their hours cut or experience layoffs during hard times.

Local transit drivers are in a better position due to increased use of mass-transit to ease congestion and fight pollution in cities. As fuel prices rise, use of public transit is expected to do the same.

Where bus drivers will find jobs

  • Positions as school bus drivers will be most readily available due to high turnover and growing suburban areas. Employers also require the least training for these part-time, seasonal employees.
  • Local transit bus drivers will face keen job competition, but employment growth will be faster than average, while it will only be average for school bus drivers.
  • Job growth for intercity bus drivers will be average, but workers should expect less stability. Some areas experience layoffs in the winter or during other slow periods.

Bus driver wages (transit and intercity)

Aside from regular pay, intercity and local-transit bus drivers often have health and life insurance through their employers, as well as receiving vacation time and free rides on bus routes within their system.

  • Median hourly earnings - $14.30
  • Middle 50 percent - $10.74 to $19.31
  • Top 10 percent - over $23.53
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $8.66

Bus driver wages by industry

  • Local government - $17.10
  • Interurban and rural bus transportation - $15.86
  • Urban transit systems - $13.49
  • Charter bus industry - $10.81
  • Other transit and ground passenger transportation - $10.74

Bus driver wages (school bus)

School bus drivers are allowed sick leave, but since they have the summer months and school holidays off, they don't get traditional vacation time. Many are covered through their employers for health and life insurance.

  • Median hourly earnings - $11.18
  • Middle 50 percent - $8.10 to $13.92
  • Top 10 percent - over $16.81
  • Bottom 10 percent - under $6.23

Bus driver wages (school bus) by industry

  • School and employee bus transportation - $11.97
  • Elementary and secondary schools - $10.74
  • Other transit and ground passenger transportation - $10.62
  • Child day care services - $9.28
  • Individual and family services - $8.75

Statistics courtesy the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004