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Career and Education Opportunities for Taxi Drivers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for taxi drivers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 10,050 working taxi drivers in Pennsylvania; this should grow 7% to 10,750 working taxi drivers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for taxi drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.5% over the next eight years. Taxi drivers generally drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.

Income for taxi drivers is about $9 hourly or $20,040 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,550 yearly. Incomes for taxi drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Small Vehicle in Pennsylvania, and not quite as good as the overall Small Vehicle category nationally.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including two within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh 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 studying to be a taxi driver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Taxi Driver

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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • 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

All State Career School - North Versailles, PA

All State Career School, 97 Second St, North Versailles, PA 15137. All State Career School is a small school located in North Versailles, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 290 students. All State Career School has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 304 students in 2008.

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics - West Mifflin, PA

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, 5 Allegheny County Airport, West Mifflin, PA 15122. Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is a small school located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 257 students and an admission rate of 94%. Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 382 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.