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Career and Education Opportunities for School Bus Drivers in Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for school bus drivers. There are currently 6,830 working school bus drivers in Mississippi; this should grow by 14% to about 7,780 working school bus drivers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for school bus drivers are expected to grow by about 6.2%. School bus drivers generally transport students or special clients.

A person working as a school bus driver can expect to earn about $7 hourly or $15,010 yearly on average in Mississippi and about $12 hourly or $26,600 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for school bus drivers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Public Service in Mississippi and not quite as good as general Public Service category earnings nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Gulfport where you can study to be a school bus driver, among six schools of higher education total in the Gulfport area. Given that the most common education level for school bus drivers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a school bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, school bus drivers transport students or special clients.

School bus drivers follow safety rules as students board and exit buses or cross streets near bus stops. They also keep bus interiors clean for passengers. Equally important, school bus drivers have to check the state of a vehicle's tires and safety apparatus to insure that everything is in working order. They are often called upon to maintain order among pupils during trips to insure safety. They are expected to report any bus malfunctions or needed repairs. Finally, school bus drivers read maps and follow written and verbal geographic directions.

Every day, school bus drivers are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. They need to judge how far and close objects are from one another and themselves. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for school bus drivers to escort small children across roads and highways. They are often called upon to regulate heating and ventilation systems for passenger comfort. They also ready and submit reports that may include the number of passengers or trips or fares received. They are sometimes expected to drive gasoline or electrically powered multi-passenger vehicles to move students between neighborhoods and school efforts. Somewhat less frequently, school bus drivers are also expected to pick up and drop off students at regularly scheduled neighborhood locations, following strict time schedules.

and comply with traffic regulations to use vehicles in a safe and courteous manner. And finally, they sometimes have to report delays or other traffic and transportation situations, using telephones or mobile two-way radios.

Like many other jobs, school bus drivers must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Gulfport 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.
  • 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: School Bus Driver Training

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Perkinston, MS

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS 39573. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is a medium sized college located in Perkinston, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,215 students. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated six and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi photo by Charlie Brenner

Gulfport is located in Harrison County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 70,055, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gulfport, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Gulfport are valued at $108,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-two new homes were constructed in Gulfport, down from three hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gulfport are health care, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.1% of Gulfport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gulfport is 9.3%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Gulfport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Saint Johns Catholic Church, Saint James Baptist Church and Broadmoor Baptist Church are all churches located in Gulfport. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Gulfport is home to the Harrison County Courthouse and the West Side Community Center as well as Cowan Road Field and Harbor Square Park. Shopping centers in the area include Great Southern Shopping Center, Gulf Mart Shopping Center and Hardy Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Gulfport can choose from Best Western Seaway Inn, Crystal Inn and Best Western Seaway for temporary stays in the area.