Career and Education Opportunities for Taxi Drivers in Birmingham, Alabama
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for taxi drivers in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 1,500 jobs for taxi drivers in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 18% to about 1,770 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for taxi drivers are expected to grow by about 15.5%. In general, taxi drivers drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.
Income for taxi drivers is about $8 per hour or $18,290 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $10 hourly or $21,550 annually. Incomes for taxi drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Small Vehicle in Alabama, and not quite as good as the overall Small Vehicle category nationally.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a taxi driver, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for taxi drivers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a taxi driver if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Taxi Driver
In general, taxi drivers drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers. They also may occasionally carry cargo.
Taxi drivers test vehicle equipment such as lights or windshield wipers, to insure proper operation. They also notify dispatchers or company mechanics of vehicle problems. Equally important, taxi drivers have to communicate with dispatchers by radio or computer to provide data and receive requests for passenger service. They are often called upon to furnish passengers with assistance entering and exiting vehicles, and help them with any luggage. They are expected to perform routine vehicle maintenance such as regulating tire pressure and adding gasoline, oil, and water. Finally, taxi drivers vacuum and clean interiors, and wash and polish exteriors of automobiles.
Every day, taxi drivers are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. It is also important that they quickly make decisions and take actions based upon external signs and signals.
It is important for taxi drivers to complete accident reports when needed. They are often called upon to follow regulations governing taxi operation and insure that passengers follow safety regulations. They also record name and taxi identification data on trip sheets, along with trip data such as time and place of pickup and drop-off, and total fee. They are sometimes expected to arrange to pick up particular patrons or groups on a regular schedule. Somewhat less frequently, taxi drivers are also expected to decide on fares on the basis of trip distances and times, using taximeters and fee schedules, and announce fares to passengers.
Taxi drivers sometimes are asked to turn the taximeter on when passengers enter the cab, and turn it off when they reach the final destination. and perform minor vehicle repairs such as cleaning spark plugs, or take vehicles to mechanics for servicing. And finally, they sometimes have to pick up or meet employers in line with requests or schedules.
Like many other jobs, taxi drivers must be reliable and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.
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.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Taxi 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.