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Career and Education Opportunities for Taxi Drivers in Seattle, Washington

Taxi drivers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 5,140 jobs for taxi drivers in Washington and this is projected to grow by 21% to 6,220 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for taxi drivers are expected to grow by about 15.5%. In general, taxi drivers drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.

Income for taxi drivers is about $10 per hour or $22,180 annually on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $10 hourly or $21,550 per year. Incomes for taxi drivers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Small Vehicle in Washington, and not quite as good as the overall Small Vehicle category nationally.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as a taxi driver. The most common level of education 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.


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 Seattle 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.
  • 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.


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.


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.