Career and Education Opportunities for Taxi Drivers in Port St. Lucie, Florida
Taxi driver career and educational opportunities abound in Port St. Lucie, Florida. There are currently 11,800 working taxi drivers in Florida; this should grow 12% to about 13,180 working taxi drivers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for taxi drivers are expected to grow by about 15.5%. In general, taxi drivers drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.
A person working as a taxi driver can expect to earn about $9 per hour or $20,580 annually on average in Florida and about $10 hourly or $21,550 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for taxi drivers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Small Vehicle in Florida and not quite as good as general Small Vehicle category earnings nationally.
There are five schools of higher education in the Port St. Lucie area, including one within twenty-five miles of Port St. Lucie where you can get a degree to start your career as a taxi driver. 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 training to become a taxi driver if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Taxi Driver
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 Port St. Lucie 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Taxi Driver Training
Indian River State College - Fort Pierce, FL
Indian River State College, 3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, FL 34981-5596. Indian River State College is a large college located in Fort Pierce, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 15,366 students. Indian River State College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated ninety-six students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Port St. Lucie is located in St. Lucie County, Florida. It has a population of over 154,353, which has grown by 73.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Port St. Lucie, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Port St. Lucie are valued at $113,200 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five hundred thirteen new homes were built in Port St. Lucie, down from 1,281 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Port St. Lucie are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 15.0% of Port St. Lucie residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Port St. Lucie is 13.0%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.
The percentage of Port St. Lucie residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 38.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Port Saint Lucie Methodist Church, Saint Lucie Catholic Church and Unitarian Universalist Church Indian River are among the churches located in Port St. Lucie. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.