Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Bus Drivers in Seattle, Washington

Bus drivers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Seattle, Washington area. About 6,520 people are currently employed as bus drivers in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to about 7,530 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%. Bus drivers generally drive bus or motor coach, including regular route operations, charters, and private carriage.

Bus drivers earn about $20 hourly or $43,050 yearly on average in Washington and about $16 per hour or $33,940 per year on average nationally. Incomes for bus drivers are better than in the overall category of Public Service in Washington, and better than the overall Public Service category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a bus driver, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Bus drivers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bus driver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bus Driver

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 Seattle 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

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a less than one year program in Truck and Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operation which graduated eighty-nine students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.