Bus driver

What they do

Bus drivers transport people to and from various locations in buses and coaches using established routes. They collect passengers at intervals along their route, and stop so that passengers can disembark at scheduled stops. They maintain radio contact with a base, control the lighting, temperature and ventilation of the bus, collect fares, issue change, and provide information to passengers about scheduled stops and destinations. Some bus drivers may also help passengers with their luggage, or use public address systems to issue important information to passengers.

Working conditions

Bus drivers work with large vehicles designed for public transport such as buses, coaches and trams. They usually work alone as a driver, but if operating a tourist coach, they may work alongside a tour guide. Some urban bus drivers may also be joined by security personnel on occasions. They usually work in shifts, which may include early mornings, late nights, weekends and public holidays. Their work may be stressful at times, as they may have to deal with difficult passengers, and drive during peak hour and in bad weather conditions.  Uniforms are required in this occupation.

Tools and technologies

Bus drivers may be required to drive several different models of buses. In addition to this they may need to use maps, Global Positioning Systems, log books and ticket machines.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a bus driver without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.

You can also undertake a traineeship in driving operations. The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a bus driver in Western Australia you will need to hold a relevant driver’s licence class and obtain a Passenger Transport Driver authorisation from the Department of Transport. You may also be required to obtain a Heavy Rigid licence depending on the size of the bus you want to drive.