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Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in Tucson, Arizona

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for bus drivers in the Tucson, Arizona area. About 3,320 people are currently employed as bus drivers in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to 3,890 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for bus drivers are expected to grow by about 8.2%. In general, bus drivers drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage.

Bus drivers earn about $11 hourly or $24,390 per year on average in Arizona and about $16 hourly or $33,940 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Public Service, people working as bus drivers in Arizona earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Public Service nationally.

The Tucson area is home to twenty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree as a bus driver. The most common level of education for bus drivers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.


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

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 Tucson 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.


HDS Truck Driving Institute - Tucson, AZ

HDS Truck Driving Institute, 6251 S. Wilmot Road, Tucson, AZ 85706. HDS Truck Driving Institute is a small school located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 57 students. HDS Truck Driving Institute has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 114 students in 2008.

Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.


Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.