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Career and Education Opportunities for School Bus Drivers in Birmingham, Alabama

School bus drivers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 7,600 jobs for school bus drivers in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 14% to about 8,680 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for school bus drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.2% over the next eight years. School bus drivers generally transport students or special clients.

School bus drivers earn approximately $7 hourly or $14,770 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $12 hourly or $26,600 per year. Earnings for school bus drivers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Public Service in Alabama and not quite as good as general Public Service category earnings 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 school bus driver. Given that the most common education level for school bus drivers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a school bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, school bus drivers transport students or special clients.

School bus drivers follow safety rules as students board and exit buses or cross streets near bus stops. They also keep bus interiors clean for passengers. Equally important, school bus drivers have to check the state of a vehicle's tires and safety apparatus to insure that everything is in working order. They are often called upon to maintain order among pupils during trips to insure safety. They are expected to report any bus malfunctions or needed repairs. Finally, school bus drivers read maps and follow written and verbal geographic directions.

Every day, school bus drivers are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. They need to judge how far and close objects are from one another and themselves. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for school bus drivers to escort small children across roads and highways. They are often called upon to regulate heating and ventilation systems for passenger comfort. They also ready and submit reports that may include the number of passengers or trips or fares received. They are sometimes expected to drive gasoline or electrically powered multi-passenger vehicles to move students between neighborhoods and school efforts. Somewhat less frequently, school bus drivers are also expected to pick up and drop off students at regularly scheduled neighborhood locations, following strict time schedules.

and comply with traffic regulations to use vehicles in a safe and courteous manner. And finally, they sometimes have to report delays or other traffic and transportation situations, using telephones or mobile two-way radios.

Like many other jobs, school bus drivers must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Bus Driver. Drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage. May assist passengers with baggage. May collect fares or tickets.
  • 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.
  • 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: School 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.

LICENSES

School Bus Driver

Licensing agency: AL Department of Education
Address: Transportation Section, P O Box 302101, Montgomery, AL 36130-2101

Phone: (334) 242-9730
Website: AL Department of Education Transportation Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

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.