What do Bus Drivers do?
Bus Drivers are responsible for safely driving public or private buses along pre-determined routes, stopping at scheduled locations (and times) to pick-up and drop-off passengers.
If you get along well with anyone, have a great sense of direction and would be confident behind the wheel of a large vehicle, then bus driving could be the job for you.
- You’ll need to be reliable, punctual and able to manage your schedule independently
- Focused and responsible while driving to ensure safety of your passengers and stick strictly to the road rules at all times
- Be approachable, calm and friendly
- Great at communicating with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, as well as having good problem-solving abilities
- Check the bus is fuelled, in working order, clean and tidy at the beginning and end of each shift, report any problems to the relevant department
- Be familiar with routes, stops, fares, and the timetable and provide this information to passengers
- Greet passengers, check their tickets or passes, or issue them with the required item(s)
- Pick up and set down passengers, assisting those that need help, and monitoring passenger capacity and their behaviour
Lifestyle Impact: Medium
- Part Time opportunities: Medium (40% of Bus Drivers work part time – Source: joboutlook.gov.au)
- Average hours for full-time workers (average 43 per week)
- Bus Drivers salary (average) *$72,600 per year (Source: gov.au) *Full-time positions
- Future career growth: Moderate (Source: joboutlook.gov.au)
- Flexible employment hours (may include shift work and work outside of normal business hours), you’ll learn transferrable skills that could be used in other driving or customer service roles. You may have to deal with some stressors such as traffic related issues, sticking to a timetable, breakdowns, or dealing with unacceptable behaviour from your passengers.
Bus Drivers are most in demand in these locations:
Bus Drivers are required across Australia, there is generally more demand for them in areas where populations are largest e.g. cities. But there are also opportunities to work in remote locations and as a chartered or tour bus driver, which could take you anywhere.
How to become a Bus Driver in Australia
You can work as a Bus Driver without any formal qualifications, Year 10 is the requirement for most employers, (plus the relevant licensing and checks).
Step 1 – Successfully complete Year 10.
Step 2 – Hold an unrestricted manual drivers’ license issued in the state where you’ll be employed.
Step 3 – Apply and qualify for a large vehicle license. Contact your local motor registry to find out which license/s you need in your state.
Step 4 – Complete any Driver Authority Training courses required in your state
Note: You may have to be 21 to apply, requirements vary between states and employers.
Step 5 – Depending on the specific job you’re applying for you may also need to obtain one or more of the following:
- forklift licence
- medium rigid (MR) driver’s licence
- heavy ridged (HR) driver’s licence
- national police check
- working with children check
- first aid certificate
- medical and/or eyesight test
- Psychometric or aptitude tests
Step 6 – Consider completing a VET qualification which could boost your application success when applying for jobs. E.g.
These qualifications could also make you eligible to apply for other roles within the transport industry.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Do I need qualifications to become a Bus Driver?
No, you don’t need formal qualifications to become a bus driver. You’ll need to hold the relevant licensing and make sure you meet any other requirements before you apply though.
Where do Bus Drivers work?
Bus Drivers may work in many different sectors including:
Public bus services, private bus services including tour operators, charter buses, school buses, long distance coach services. They can be employed in one of many sectors such as transport, postal, warehousing, public administration and safety; or education and training.
Is a Bus Driver a good job?
There are plenty of jobs for Bus Drivers currently and that’s not predicted to change. In fact, as the population grows, and congestion increases bus drivers and other transport service jobs may become more in demand than ever. So, there is some job security, plus there are options for flexible working hours and part time work is also an option.
Is Bus Driving a stressful job?
If you’re a people person who’s confident behind the wheel and able to diffuse conflict easily then bus driving probably won’t be any more stressful than lots of other jobs. Things that could potentially cause some stress include:
- Responsibility for passenger safety
- Traffic jams
- Dealing with unexpected issues like detours and breakdowns
- Learning new routes
- Handling tricky situations with passengers
But with time and experience you could probably learn to deal with these stressors more easily.