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Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in San Jose, California

San Jose, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for bus drivers. There are currently 37,000 working bus drivers in California; this should grow by 22% to 45,300 working bus drivers in the state by 2016. 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.

The income of a bus driver is about $19 hourly or $39,510 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 per hour or $33,940 annually on average. Earnings for bus drivers are better than earnings in the general category of Public Service in California and better than general Public Service category earnings nationally.

The San Jose area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of San Jose 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. It will take only a short time to learn to be a bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bus Driver

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 San Jose 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Bus Driver Training

College of Alameda - Alameda, CA

College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. College of Alameda is a medium sized college located in Alameda, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,576 students. College of Alameda has a two to four year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation.

CET-Gilroy - Gilroy, CA

CET-Gilroy, 7800 Arroyo Cir, Gilroy, CA 95020. CET-Gilroy is a small school located in Gilroy, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Gilroy has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated seventy-one students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.