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Career and Education Opportunities for School Bus Drivers in Chattanooga, Tennessee

School bus drivers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. There are currently 9,790 jobs for school bus drivers in Tennessee and this is projected to grow 21% to about 11,830 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for school bus drivers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.2% over the next eight years. School bus drivers generally transport students or special clients.

A person working as a school bus driver can expect to earn about $7 per hour or $16,380 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $12 hourly or $26,600 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for school bus drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Public Service in Tennessee, and not quite as good as 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 school bus driver. 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.


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 Chattanooga 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.


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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

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.