Bus drivers provide transportation for passengers who wish to travel short or long distances.
To train as a bus driver, candidates need to be at least 18 years of age and have a full, clean driving licence. The majority of employers of bus drivers prefer to employ candidates with some GCSEs, particularly in English and maths. Bus drivers can study for further qualifications, such as NVQs in Road Passenger Transport, while in employment.
All employers provide training for their newly recruited bus drivers. Drivers tend to be teamed up with experienced staff and receive induction training, which may include customer care, ticket machine use, disability awareness, health and safety, and defensive driving. Drivers also work towards obtaining their passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) licence.
Under EU laws, all PCV drivers, including bus drivers, are required to obtain a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), which comprises a medical examination and practical and theoretical tests. Once a CPC has been granted, drivers must agree to undertake at least 35 hours of training once every five years.
The majority of employment in the bus industry is provided by Arriva, Go-Ahead, First, National Express, Transdev and Stagecoach, with vacancies being found throughout the UK. Most bus driver jobs involve working shifts covering evenings, weekends and public holidays. Jobs may be advertised through recruitment agencies specialising in bus driver vacancies.
Trainees working towards gaining their PCV licence may earn salaries of around £10,000 a year. Experienced bus drivers can earn considerably more than this, particularly if they work evening and weekend hours. Bus drivers can progress into supervisory or management roles. Alternatively, they can become driving instructors.