Synovia Solutions Blog

How to become a school bus driver

Posted by Bill Westerman on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 @ 11:55 AM

shutterstock 85419637 1Do you love spending time on the road? Do you get excited about the idea of driving a vehicle bigger than a car? Do you enjoy being around kids? Could you benefit from some extra income? If you answered “Yes” to the above questions, you might be a great candidate to become a school bus driver.

While training guidelines vary state to state, some requirements remain constant, regardless. These policies dictate bus driver eligibility requirements, such as driving record and level of education. In the event that you are interested in this opportunity, read on for some general direction of how to become a school bus driver.

Complete high school

All applicants must show their high school diploma before being hired, so finish that degree!

Be at least 24 years old

In addition to age requirements, many districts also require that applicants have some form of experience in driving buses, big trucks or other large vehicles.

Complete a first aid course

Becoming first aid certified is imperative. First and foremost, bus drivers must ensure the safety of their students.

Hold a CDL

All districts require their us drivers to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This is a license for driving a bus that is obtained from the local Department of Motor Vehicles. You have to pass a written test in addition to a driving test in order to pass. Your school district might pay for your CDL, so check with them before taking the test.

Pass a written test

In addition to the DMV test, you have to pass a written test with the district where you’ll be driving buses. Some districts require an ability test as well.

Complete a criminal background check

All applicants must pass a background check before they can be hired. This includes obtaining a set of fingerprints at the local police station and completing and signing a release of information

Be good with kids

Working with children come with the territory when it comes to driving a school bus, so loving kids is a major perk. All school bus drivers must be able to monitor kids’ behavior and always be courteous to them. (After all, you are their advocate.) You also need to make sure that all riders follow the bus rules, so being stern is probably a plus.


Apply at your local school district’s Board of Education office. You will likely have to fill out an application and conduct an interview with the person responsible for bus drivers (or district superintendent).

A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Your education does not stop once you are licensed and hired as a bus driver. Most states require bus drivers to complete ongoing training in order to renew your license.
  • Your personal driving record is just as important as your professional one when it’s your livelihood. Once a bus driver, these records are viewed as one and the same. When driving your personal vehicle, exhibit as much caution as when driving the bus.
  • Any instance of criminal offense, drug or alcohol-related incidents or reckless driving could result in your school bus license being revoked. Always exhibit professionalism in your personal life. 
Becoming a bus driver can be a rewarding career and well worth the effort to make it happen.

How to Increase School Bus Safety

Tags: k-12, school bus