What Do School Bus Drivers Do?

It’s a given that school bus drivers are responsible for safely transporting students to and from school in the morning and afternoon. But what about the rest of the day?

What exactly does a school bus driver do every day? Here is an outline of a typical bus driver’s day.

Clock In

Some bus drivers get to keep their bus at home, while others meet at a lot where the buses are stored. Those who drive from home typically do not have to clock in, but those who meet at a lot will usually need to clock-in.

Inspect The Bus

Before driving each day, the bus driver inspects the bus carefully to make sure:

  • Lights are properly working
  • Tires are at the right air pressure
  • Doors are functioning
  • Fluid levels are normal
  • Brakes work properly

Morning Route

Each bus driver has a unique route, picking students up and taking them to school. The driver opens the door at each stop, waits for the students to be seated, and then closes the door before driving to the next stop. Drivers will repeat this process until each stop has been made.

Keeping Children Safe

While completing the route, the driver takes the right precautions to keep their students safe:

  • Check road conditions before starting their route.
  • Keep an eye out for strange vehicles and people.
  • Use the stop arm at each stop to let other vehicles know that the bus stopping.
  • Safely make detours around wrecks and other road hazards.

Return the Bus

After the students have been dropped off at school, the driver will return the bus to the lot or their home.

Between Morning and Afternoon Trips

Some bus drivers are full-time, and they may work at the bus lot repairing and working on the buses during the day.

Many bus drivers are part-time, and only get paid for their two bus trips during the day. Some part-time drivers have other jobs during the day to make extra money.

Part-time drivers can make extra money at school by:

  • Driving the bus for field trips or sporting events
  • Driving the bus for technical schools
  • Working for the school’s foodservice
  • Doing janitorial work
  • Working as a teacher’s aide

Afternoon Route

All of the students load the bus at the end of the school day, and the driver reverses their morning route to take the students home. 

Return Bus

After all of the students have been dropped off, the driver will return the bus back to the lot or to their home. They will also complete any necessary inspections or repairs at this time. The bus may also need to be washed or cleaned.


Most bus drivers are required to complete paperwork about their routes. The time this paperwork is completed can vary depending on the driver and school, but many will complete it at the end of their day.

If you have ever considered driving a school bus and would like to learn more information about earning your Class B CDL, contact United States Truck Driving School!