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Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for bus drivers. There are currently 4,460 working bus drivers in Maryland; this should grow by 12% to about 5,000 working bus drivers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for bus drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.2% over the next eight years. In general, bus drivers drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage.

Bus drivers earn about $16 hourly or $33,500 yearly on average in Maryland and about $16 hourly or $33,940 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Public Service, people working as bus drivers in Maryland earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Public Service nationally.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a bus driver. Bus drivers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Columbia 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

All-State Career School - Baltimore, MD

All-State Career School, 2200 Broening Hwy Ste 160, Baltimore, MD 21224. All-State Career School is a small school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 622 students and an admission rate of 65%. All-State Career School has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 537 students in 2008.

North American Trade Schools - Baltimore, MD

North American Trade Schools, 6901 Security Blvd, Suite 16, Baltimore, MD 21244. North American Trade Schools is a small school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 550 students and an admission rate of 40%. North American Trade Schools has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 144 students in 2008.

LICENSES

BUS DRIVER, TRANSIT AND INTERCITY

Licensing agency: Motor Vehicle Administration
Address: 6601 Ritchie Highway, NE, Glen Burnie, MD 21602

Phone: (800) 950-1682
Website: Motor Vehicle Administration

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.