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Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in Rochester, Minnesota

If you want to be a bus driver, the Rochester, Minnesota area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 3,960 people are currently employed as bus drivers in Minnesota. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 11% to about 4,390 people employed. 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.

Bus drivers earn about $15 hourly or $31,630 yearly on average in Minnesota and about $16 hourly or $33,940 annually on average nationally. Bus drivers earn more than people working in the category of Public Service generally in Minnesota and more than people in the Public Service category nationally.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Rochester area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rochester where you can get a degree to start your career as a bus driver. Given that the most common education level for bus drivers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Rochester 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.


Riverland Community College - Austin, MN

Riverland Community College, 1900 8th Ave NW, Austin, MN 55912-1473. Riverland Community College is a small college located in Austin, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,068 students. Riverland Community College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester, Minnesota photo by Jonathunder

Rochester is located in Olmsted County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 100,413, which has grown by 17.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rochester, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rochester are priced at $233,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty-seven new homes were constructed in Rochester, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Rochester are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 38.1% of Rochester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rochester is 5.8%, which is less than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Rochester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Faith Family Church, Faith Harbor Church and Saint Francis Catholic Church are all churches located in Rochester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Rochester is home to the Soldiers Field Golf Course and the Guggenheim Building as well as Mohn Park and Manor Park. Shopping centers in the area include Apache Mall, Miracle Mile Shopping Center and Crossroads Shopping Center. Visitors to Rochester can choose from Best Western, Maria's and Econo Lodge Downtown for temporary stays in the area.