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Career and Education Opportunities for Taxi Drivers in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for taxi drivers. Currently, 7,270 people work as taxi drivers in Maryland. This is expected to grow by 19% to about 8,680 people by 2016. 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. In general, taxi drivers drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.

Taxi drivers earn approximately $11 per hour or $23,640 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $21,550 yearly. Incomes for taxi drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Small Vehicle in Maryland, and not quite as good as the overall Small Vehicle category 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 taxi driver. Taxi drivers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Columbia 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.


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.



Licensing agency: Public Service Commission (PSC)
Address: Division of Transportation, 6 St. Paul Center, 18th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: (410) 767-8128
Website: Public Service Commission (PSC) Division of Transportation


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.