Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for bus drivers. There are currently 3,230 working bus drivers in Tennessee; this should grow 17% to about 3,780 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 approximately $9 hourly or $20,320 yearly on average in Tennessee. Nationally they average about $16 per hour or $33,940 per year. Incomes for bus drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Public Service in Tennessee, and better than the overall Public Service category nationally.
There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga 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 training to become a bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bus Driver
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 Chattanooga 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
Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA
Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated 128 students in 2008.
Licensing agency: Division of Driver License Issuance
Address: Department of Safety, 1150 Foster Av, Nashville, TN 37249
Phone: (615) 251-5303
Website: Division of Driver License Issuance Department of Safety
LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.
The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.
Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.