School Bus Drivers Climbing the Career Ladder

Written By: LaJuan Bobo - May 3rd, 2019

Pupil transportation offers numerous opportunities for staff members to do a job they love. While some bus drivers prefer to continue transporting students, others move into mid-level jobs or management and leadership.


As Baby Boomers leave the workforce, other pupil transportation staff will have more opportunities to advance. To help them achieve their career goals, many school districts provide education, training, and mentorship — investments that pay off in employee retention and satisfaction.

Drivers can move into any position within transportation if they’re willing to get some additional education.  Drivers who want to advance, first become a driver mentor and/or driver trainer. The drivers get additional training and work more hours in each of these positions.  After serving in those jobs, more doors open: they can become a lead driver trainer, dispatcher, or router. The next step from these positions is area manager.

Alternately, school bus drivers can move into maintenance and advance from mechanic’s helper to mechanic to lead mechanic to shop manager.

Finally, drivers who have a bachelor’s degree can become an assistant director, and, if they have a master’s degree, a director.

For school bus drivers who want to stay in the department, they can seek extensive training, including certification courses and classes in communications and management. The drivers can receive a salary increase for each certification they earn.

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