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Career and Education Opportunities for Taxi Drivers in Tucson, Arizona

For those living in the Tucson, Arizona area, there are many career and education opportunities for taxi drivers. About 3,640 people are currently employed as taxi drivers in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow 16% to 4,220 people employed. This is better than the national trend for taxi drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.5% over the next eight years. Taxi drivers generally drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.

Taxi drivers earn about $9 hourly or $20,260 annually on average in Arizona and about $10 hourly or $21,550 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for taxi drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Small Vehicle in Arizona, and not quite as good as the overall Small Vehicle category nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can study to be a taxi driver, among twenty-one schools of higher education total in the Tucson area. Given that the most common education level 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.


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

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 Tucson 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.


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.