Bus and Coach Driver Jobs – Young Jobseeker Info
Bus and coach driver jobs… did you know?
Once you’ve got a driving licence you can train to drive a bus or coach, driving regular routes through town or country. You’re also responsible for the safety of your passengers, but knowing exactly how to handle any situation is all part of the training.
DID YOU KNOW? As a coach driver you may get the chance to drive abroad as part of your job, and there is often a high demand for bus drivers. There are increasingly part-time opportunities open to you, too.
Industry: Transport and Logistics
Bus and coach driver job trends
How much money can you make as a bus or coach driver?
£14,000 – £25,000 (UK average)
Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £14,000 and £25,000 a year as a bus or coach driver in the UK.
Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary as a bus/coach driver will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.
What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?
School, college and training
Driving a bus or coach doesn’t require you to have any set academic qualifications, but employers may want you to have some GCSEs or the equivalent at grades 9-4 (A*-C).
To become a bus or coach driver you need to:
- Be at least 18 (or 21 if you want to drive a coach or bus abroad)
- Have held a full UK driving licence for at least a year (you’ll need this to train for your PCV licence)
You also need the following items, which you can get through training:
- Hold a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence
- Hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), also known as a Driver Qualification Card (DQC)
- For some jobs you’ll also need a digital tachograph card, a smart card which stores information about your daily work driving the bus.
You can get into this job through completing a bus driving apprenticeship, usually known as a Passenger Carrying Vehicle Driving Apprenticeship. This gives you the opportunity to earn a salary while getting structured learning that leads to an industry-recognised qualification.
Typical qualifications you can get through apprenticeships or training in the bus or coach industry include:
- Level 2 qualification in road passenger transport
- Level 2 QCF Award in knowledge of a professional bus and coach driver
- Additional specific qualification related to your work (e.g. first aid, health and safety)
Career progression and further qualifications
With time and experience you could become a service controller, service inspector, depot manager overseeing the whole bus depot, or a driver training instructor.
You could also train up for the Transport Manager CPC in Passenger Transport and start your own business.
You could also specialise in the type of goods you carry. For example, with an Advisory Dangerous Goods Certificate (ADR) you would be allowed to driver tankers full of hazardous goods like toxic chemicals.
What experience do you need for bus and coach driver jobs?
It can help your application if you have already got driving experience. If you did well on your driving test with only a few (or even no) minor points that is worth telling an employer as it shows you are a conscientious driver.
Any previous work you have done involving customer service will be important here. Sometimes you will need to use negotiation and communication skills with passengers who are being difficult, or are confused about an aspect of the service, or have fallen sick.
Previous work experience where you have been responsible for cash handling will also be relevant to the job.
What skills do you need for bus and coach driving jobs?
Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for bus and coach driving jobs include:
- Great driving skills and awareness of traffic rules, safety and security
- Good observation and concentration skills
- Good customer service and communication skills (you will need to be polite but assertive with difficult passengers, and generally able to keep calm and friendly)
- Good geographical knowledge of the route (this comes with training)
- HOT TIP: Some knowledge of foreign languages will help if you want to drive abroad
Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.
What does a bus or coach driver do?
Who can you work for?
You can be employed by local bus companies, holiday tour companies in the UK or abroad, or long distance operators. You could also work in community transport, where you might be driving schoolchildren or vulnerable people like hospital patients to where they need to go.
Most people employed in the bus industry work for one of these main companies: Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express, Stagecoach and Transdev.
Some day-to-day job responsibilities for a BUS DRIVER include:
- Taking fares
- Checking passes and tickets
- Driving a regular bus route
- Keeping to timetables so your bus reaches stopping points on time
- Paying attention to health and safety (e.g. only shutting and opening the bus doors when it is safe to do so)
Some responsibilities for a COACH DRIVER include:
- Driving longer routes which may involve rest breaks at motorway stations or tourism breaks at towns or landmarks
- Taking fares, checking passenger lists and making sure everyone is on board before setting off
- Loading and unloading lugging in the coach baggage compartment
- Giving advice and information to passengers (and sometimes even commentary about the sights they can see from the window)
- Ensuring the coach and its toilet facilities are clean, and that it is fully stocked with drinks and snacks
- Driving safely according to local laws (e.g. in many countries in Europe you need to drive on the right, not the left)
- Communicating with hotel, restaurant and service station staff (so it will help to have some ability to speak a foreign language).
Your first steps into bus or coach driving jobs
Bus driver jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:
- Passenger carrying vehicle driver apprentice
- Passenger carrying vehicle driving (bus and coach) apprenticeship
- Trainee bus driver
- Trainee PCV driver (Passenger Carrying Vehicle)