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Career and Education Opportunities for School Bus Drivers in Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for school bus drivers. There are currently 5,840 working school bus drivers in Arkansas; this should grow 16% to 6,790 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.

School bus drivers earn approximately $10 hourly or $21,380 annually on average in Arkansas. Nationally they average about $12 hourly or $26,600 yearly. Incomes for school bus drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Public Service in Arkansas, and not quite as good as the overall Public Service category nationally.

There are twenty-five schools of higher education in the Little Rock area, including one within twenty-five miles of Little Rock 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 studying to be 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 Little Rock 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

Ouachita Technical College - Malvern, AR

Ouachita Technical College, One College Cir, Malvern, AR 72104-0816. Ouachita Technical College is a small college located in Malvern, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,600 students. Ouachita Technical College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas photo by Broooooooce

Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.