Driving a charter bus for a living is not a desk job, it’s not 9 to 5 and there’s no break room. But for some people, those things make it the perfect job. In fact, some people who have already had successful careers in other fields have found driving a charter bus to be fulfilling and considerably more fun than crunching data or filing reports. So, if you’re thinking you’re ready for a change of scenery, here’s eight more reasons to consider becoming a charter bus driver.
Why You Should Be a Bus Driver
1) You are able to pass these two physical exams. Driving a large modern charter bus full of people requires that you pass certain physical tests. Like many driving jobs, to become a charter bus driver you must be able to pass a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam, including drug and alcohol screening. Indian Trails also requires a physical assessment to show you have the ability to do the job (including being able to lift up to 75 pounds of luggage 14 inches to store it in the baggage compartment).
2) You stayed in school and have the high school diploma to prove it. Training for becoming a charter bus driver requires the ability to speak, read and write English, so having your GED or high school diploma is mandatory. Of course, if you also went to college, that shows you’re a candidate who knows that good things come to those who work for them. All education is good education so even on-the-job training from your past can improve your ability to be a great charter bus driver.
3) Your employment history is something to be proud of. You’ve had great jobs, good jobs and not-so-good jobs and your solid work record speaks for itself — you have a consistent employment history showing you are reliable and a good worker. Most people don’t stay at the same job for decades so even having several positions exemplifies your ability to stick with it and be responsible.
4) You have stayed on the right side of the law. The pre-employment screening for new charter bus drivers includes a criminal background check of the National Sex Offender Registry, Motor Vehicle Registry and other criminal records for felonies and certain crimes. Indian Trails accepts only those candidates without prior drug- or alcohol-related convictions.
5) You enjoy hours that vary and you’re a bit of a night owl. Driving a charter bus, especially on extended trips, may require driving at night, during the day or both on a schedule that is designed to fit the trip and the passengers’ needs. Being able to accept hours that vary (within federal requirements) is an important attribute for a prospective charter bus driver.
6) You look forward to learning new things and enjoy the prospect of training to drive a charter bus. Indian Trails provides the training and testing you will need to get a Class B CDL with a passenger endorsement. Indian Trails also provides the training needed for the additional portion of the CDL test required to drive a vehicle with air brakes. Drivers in training receive a minimum of 40 hours of classroom instruction combined with three to four weeks of instruction in the bus (consisting of course work and on-the-road driving with a driving instructor).
7) You have a passport and/or an enhanced driver’s license. Michigan is just a bridge (or tunnel) away from Canada, so it’s common for our drivers to need one or both to ensure the fastest possible passage between the U.S. and Canada.
8) You’re 21 or older. Federal law requires charter bus drivers be at least 21 years old and some companies, including Indian Trails, have higher minimum ages. Ours is 24 so if you are 24 or older, and can meet the above qualifications, please check out our careers page and download our guide, “Explore Charter Bus Driver Jobs.”