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Career profile Transit Bus Driver

Also known as Bus Driver, Bus Operator, Charter Bus Driver, Coach Operator, Motor Coach Driver, Motor Coach Operator, Transit Bus Driver, Transit Coach Operator, Transit Driver, Transit Operator

Transit Bus Driver

Also known as Bus Driver, Bus Operator, Charter Bus Driver

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Social
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$28,330 - $72,750 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Transportation
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Drive vehicles over specified routes or to specified destinations according to time schedules, complying with traffic regulations to ensure that passengers have a smooth and safe ride.
  • Park vehicles at loading areas so that passengers can board.
  • Inspect vehicles and check gas, oil, and water levels prior to departure.
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What does a Transit Bus Driver do?

Transit Bus Drivers drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage.

In addition, Transit Bus Drivers

  • may assist passengers with baggage,
  • may collect fares or tickets.

What kind of tasks does a Transit Bus Driver perform regularly?

Transit Bus Drivers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Drive vehicles over specified routes or to specified destinations according to time schedules, complying with traffic regulations to ensure that passengers have a smooth and safe ride.
  • Park vehicles at loading areas so that passengers can board.
  • Inspect vehicles and check gas, oil, and water levels prior to departure.
  • Announce stops to passengers.
  • Assist passengers, such as elderly or disabled individuals, on and off bus, ensure they are seated properly, help carry baggage, and answer questions about bus schedules or routes.
  • Collect tickets or cash fares from passengers.
  • Report delays or accidents.
  • Handle passenger emergencies or disruptions.
  • Advise passengers to be seated and orderly while on vehicles.
  • Regulate heating, lighting, and ventilating systems for passenger comfort.
  • Record information, such as cash receipts and ticket fares, and maintain log book.
  • Maintain cleanliness of bus or motor coach.

The above responsibilities are specific to Transit Bus Drivers. More generally, Transit Bus Drivers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Transit Bus Driver salary?

The median salary for a Transit Bus Driver is $45,900, and the average salary is $48,110. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Transit Bus Driver salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Transit Bus Drivers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Transit Bus Drivers earn less than $28,330 per year, 25% earn less than $35,160, 75% earn less than $60,630, and 90% earn less than $72,750.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Transit Bus Drivers is expected to change by -100.0%, and there should be roughly 24,600 open positions for Transit Bus Drivers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$28,330 - $72,750
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Transit Bus Drivers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Transit Bus Driver are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Transit Bus Drivers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Transit Bus Driver tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Transit Bus Drivers strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Transit Bus Drivers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Transit Bus Drivers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Transit Bus Drivers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, self-control, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Transit Bus Drivers, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Transit Bus Drivers need?

Working as a Transit Bus Driver usually requires a high school diploma.

Transit Bus Drivers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Transit Bus Drivers

  • 8.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 42.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 28.8% completed some college coursework
  • 9.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 9.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Transit Bus Drivers

Transit Bus Drivers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as transportation, customer and personal service, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Transit Bus Drivers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Transit Bus Drivers

Transit Bus Drivers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Transit Bus Drivers need abilities such as far vision, control precision, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Transit Bus Drivers, ranked by their relative importance.

Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Depth Perception
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.

Critical Skills needed by Transit Bus Drivers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Transit Bus Drivers frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Transit Bus Drivers, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.