United States Truck Driving School > Career Training > What’s it Like to be a School Bus Driver?

What’s it Like to be a School Bus Driver?

An Outline of a Typical Day on the Job

A school bus driver is responsible for safely transporting students to and from school and home. This can be a dangerous task, and it takes a special type of person to drive an 8 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 20,000 pound vehicle.

Many bus drivers are work part-time and get paid only for when they are driving. So, what is it that bus drivers do during the day? Here is an outline of a typical bus driver’s day.


Some bus drivers have the luxury of keeping 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 usually have to clock-in.

Inspect The Bus

Before driving each day, the bus driver inspects:

  • lights are properly working
  • tires are at the right pressure
  • doors are functioning
  • fluid levels are normal
  • brakes work properly
  • Start 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. The drivers repeat this process until each stop has been made.

Keep the Children Safe

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

Check road conditions before starting 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 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

Many bus drivers are part-time workers, meaning they only get paid for their two bus trips during the day. Some bus drivers are full-time, and they may work at the bus lot repairing and working on the buses. Some part-time drivers have other jobs during the day to make extra money. Here are a few ways part-time drivers make extra money at school:

  • Drive the bus for field trips or sporting events
  • Drive the bus for the technical schools
  • Work for the school’s food service
  • Janitorial work at the school
  • Teacher’s aide
  • Drive Students Home

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. They safely drop each student off at their stop.

Return Bus

After all of the students have been dropped off, the driver will return the bus back to the lot or back to their home. Any necessary inspections or repairs will also be completed at this time, and the bus may need to be washed and cleaned as well.


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 or would like to learn more information about earning your license to do so, contact United States Truck Driving School for more information on getting your Class B CDL!