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

If you want to be a school bus driver, the Huntsville, Alabama area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 7,600 working school bus drivers in Alabama; this should grow 14% to 8,680 working school bus drivers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for school bus drivers are expected to grow by about 6.2%. School bus drivers generally transport students or special clients.

The income of a school bus driver is about $7 hourly or $14,770 per year on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $12 hourly or $26,600 annually on average. 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.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Huntsville 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

John C Calhoun State Community College - Tanner, AL

John C Calhoun State Community College, 6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, AL 35671. John C Calhoun State Community College is a medium sized college located in Tanner, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,754 students. John C Calhoun State Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation.

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: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.