How To Become a Charter Bus Driver
Becoming a charter bus driver may seem intimidating and hard at first with all the steps that need to be taken. But we are here to assure that it is actually not as difficult as you think. At TTS Charter Buses we aim to work with the most successful and qualified drivers in the business. Being a bus driver can come with many surprising and rewarding experiences. You can have the great opportunity to meet new people from all over the world and travel to new places. If you enjoy driving, meeting new people, and traveling then maybe a career as a bus driver will be perfect for you. Just follow these steps we have provided down below and you are good to go!
1. Meet the Basic Requirements for a Bus Driver
Usually most charter bus drivers have to meet a certain standard of requirements to even be qualified for a position in a bus rental company. While it may depend on various companies, there are a few basic standard rules that must be met:
Minimum age of at least 21 years old
At least 3 years of experience in driving large vehicles
Pass drug/alcohol test
Pass background check
Pass physical examination
There could me more requirements depending on the company so make sure to contact them or check your local job listings.
2.Attend Driving School/Training Course
After you research and find out the exact requirements of the bus company that you are interested, your next logical step would be to find a training program near you. It is common for most drivers to get their CDL permit before their license. A CDL permit is a Commercial Learner’s Permit which allows you to practice on public roads while a qualified CDL holder is next to you. Even if you are interested in becoming a charter bus driver, there are many CDL training programs that are available that focus on truck drivers. A great website that helps you find CDL driving schools near your area is Schneider. Just enter your state and click “Search Schools”. However, if you are more interested in looking for independent CDL training schools instead then we recommend looking up “[your state] CDL training” in Google and scroll down the list.
3.Get a DOT Physical Examination
A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination may seem overwhelming but with the right steps you can simplify the process. With the help of Concentra, we have compiled a list that will help you in this process.
You should bring a complete list of your medications, dosage regimen, dosage, and doctor’s names and addresses.
Save time by filling out the health history questionnaire before going to the clinic.
However, if you do have certain medical issues then you are required to bring the appropriate documents or items.
If you have any vision or hearing problems then you must bring your prescribed eyeglasses, contacts, or hearing aids.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes then it is required that you bring the most recent lab results from your Hemoglobin A1C and blood sugar logs.
If you have any heart-related problems you must bring a letter from your cardiologist that both shows your medical history and current medications, and also specifies that you are safe to work.
More examples can be found here.
Typically a DOT physical exam covers: vision, hearing, blood pressure/pulse rate, urinalysis, and physical examination. A DOT physical exam is usually valid up to 24 months but it can be shorter when it is required to monitor a specific conditions such as high blood pressure. If you are not sure where to find a medical examiner near you, don’t worry! The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has connections with registered Medical Examiners who can examine you before you get your certificate. Look in the directory to find someone near you today!
4.Get Your CDL Permit
It is common for most bus drivers to get their CDL permit prior to getting their license. When you arrive at the DMV you will take a written and driving test. Once you get your permit you have to spend six months next to a CDL license driver in order to take a test for the license. In order to pass, you have to get a “P” passenger endorsement on your CDL license. Then you are authorized to drive vehicles that can hold 16 or more passengers.
5.CDL License and Passenger Endorsement
After you practiced for six months with your permit, you are now ready to take your CDL license test. Head on over to the closest DMV and you can take your CDL test.
6. Work Experience
A majority of the bus companies will look at your resume and see if you have any experiences with driving charter buses. It is recommended that after you obtain your driver license that you get at least 2 years of experience of driving either school or commercial buses before you start driving charter buses. You can start getting experience for driving equipment, merchandise, and delivery because they do not require passengers to be on board. Thus, there is less of a risk that is involved and employers will be more willing to give you a chance.
7.Apply for Jobs
After gaining some experience, start researching for bus rental companies that are hiring near you. There are plenty of websites that can help you find a job such as Indeed, Craigslist, and much more.
We hope all this exciting information was helpful and helps guide you in the right direction. So what are you waiting for? New worlds and new roads are waiting for you to explore!