Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in Birmingham, Alabama
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for bus drivers in the Birmingham, Alabama area. About 2,390 people are currently employed as bus drivers in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 2,760 people employed. This is better than the national trend for bus drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.2% over the next eight years. Bus drivers generally drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage.
The income of a bus driver is about $8 per hour or $18,650 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 per hour or $33,940 annually on average. Incomes for bus drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Public Service in Alabama, and better than the overall Public Service category nationally.
The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a bus driver. Bus drivers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bus Driver
In general, bus drivers drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage. They also may assist passengers with baggage.
Bus drivers regulate heating and ventilating systems for passenger comfort. They also park vehicles at loading areas so that passengers can board. Equally important, bus drivers have to drive vehicles over specified routes or to specified destinations in line with time schedules in order to move passengers, complying with traffic regulations. They are often called upon to examine vehicles, and check gas, oil, and water levels before departure. They are expected to advise passengers to be seated and orderly while on vehicles. Finally, bus drivers report delays or accidents.
Every day, bus drivers are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to judge how far and close objects are from one another and themselves. It is also important that they respond quickly in general.
It is important for bus drivers to assist passengers with baggage and collect tickets or cash fares. Somewhat less frequently, bus drivers are also expected to load and unload baggage in baggage compartments.
Bus drivers sometimes are asked to record cash receipts and ticket fares. They also have to be able to make minor repairs to vehicle and change tires And finally, they sometimes have to report delays or accidents.
Like many other jobs, bus drivers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:
- Delivery Driver. Drive a truck or van with a capacity of under 26,000 GVW, primarily to deliver or pick up merchandise or to deliver packages within a specified area. May require use of automatic routing or location software. May load and unload truck.
- Paramedic. Drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. Assist in lifting patients.
- School Bus Driver. Transport students or special clients.
- Subway Train Operator. Operate subway or elevated suburban train with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar to transport passengers. May handle fares.
- Taxi Driver. Drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers. May occasionally carry cargo.
- Truck Driver. Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 GVW, to transport and deliver goods, livestock, or materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form. May be required to unload truck. May require use of automated routing equipment. Requires commercial drivers' license.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Bus Driver Training
Bevill State Community College - Sumiton, AL
Bevill State Community College, 101 State St, Sumiton, AL 35148. Bevill State Community College is a small college located in Sumiton, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,860 students. Bevill State Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated ninety-five students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.