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.
Specialisations include: Minibus driver, School bus driver
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
You can work as a bus driver without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.
You can also become a bus driver through a traineeship in driving operations. The traineeship 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
You must be at least 21 years old to become a bus driver in Western Australia. You must obtain the relevant licence class, along with an F (bus extension), and have at least four years unrestricted driving experience. You may be required to obtain a Heavy Rigid licence depending on the size of the bus you want to drive.