“Finding a good bus driver can be as important as finding a good musician.”
Reba McEntire, Musician
Advantages & Disadvantages of Being a Bus Driver
You want to become a bus driver? Great!
However, before making your final decision, make sure to read this article since I show you all the pros and cons of being a bus driver in the following.
Maybe you’ll change your plans after evaluating all the advantages and disadvantages of a career as a bus driver.
Advantages of Being a Bus Driver
- You can work quite independently
- Feeling of freedom
- Bus drivers are crucial to keep our system running
- Most people will be grateful for what you are doing
- Your driving skills will improve
- Especially nice if you like driving
- You don’t have to sit in an office
- You can chat with your passengers
- Bus drivers know their city quite well
- No high formal requirements for bus drivers
- Rather short working hours
- Additional benefits
You can work quite independently
One advantage of being a bus driver is that you can work rather independently.
You will not have to follow commands from your boss all day long. Instead, you will have your route and your schedule and will drive your bus according to that.
Everything else will be up to you as long as you follow the rules and regulations.
This means that nobody will watch how you are doing all the time, you can just do your job in a rather relaxed manner.
Thus, if you are a person who needs enough space and independence to perform your work in the best possible manner, becoming a bus driver will be definitely one suitable option for you.
Feeling of freedom
Many bus drivers also feel a high level of freedom in general.
Similar to truck drivers, bus drivers are on the road all the time.
Most of the time, you will also have a great level of freedom regarding how you do your job and how you organize yourself as long as you are on time.
Bus drivers are crucial to keep our system running
As a bus driver, you can also make a great contribution to keeping our system running.
In fact, without public transport, many people would not be able to get to work and back.
The elderly would also not be able to travel longer distances.
Consequently, you as a bus driver can make a huge impact on the quality of life of numerous people and are also crucial to maintain the convenient state of the world we currently live in.
Hence, you can also make a significant positive contribution for society by becoming a bus driver.
Most people will be grateful for what you are doing
Most people also know how important your job really is to keep our system running.
In turn, many people will really appreciate what you are doing for them.
In fact, it is quite common to thank the driver when you get out of a bus in the US.
In turn, you will get a good feeling and will really feel like a valuable member of society.
Your driving skills will improve
Another benefit of being a bus driver is that you will become better at driving in general.
Since you will drive so many miles during your career, you will develop a certain automatism and driving will feel like the most natural thing on earth to you.
Consequently, not only your risk of accidents as a bus driver will decrease after a few years in your profession, also your risk of accidents with your car will drop significantly since you will spot potential dangers way in advance.
Especially nice if you like driving
One thing is for sure. Being a bus driver can be a dream job if you really love driving.
However, the opposite can be true if you don’t like driving at all.
Thus, don’t become a bus driver since you just urgently need money and this was the best job you found.
If you do that, you will probably not get happy in your profession and will quit sooner or later due to that.
Make sure that you are really interested in spending your whole workday in a vehicle before deciding for a career as a bus driver.
You don’t have to sit in an office
Another upside of becoming a bus driver is that you don’t have to sit in an office.
While some people like their office jobs, others really hate them.
In fact, even though office jobs often pay really good money, they can be mentally exhausting and many people who work in office jobs develop mental issues like burnout sooner or later.
Hence, becoming a bus driver can also be great if you rather want to be on the streets instead of sitting in an office in front of a computer all day long.
You can chat with your passengers
As a bus driver, you will also be able to chat with your passengers from time to time.
For instance, you can talk about the weather, the latest political developments and many other things you may be interested in.
If you are a rather communicative person who likes to talk to strangers and to start conversations, a career as a bus driver may also be suitable for you in this regard.
Bus drivers know their city quite well
Since you will drive many different routes as a bus driver over time, you will also get to know almost every spot in your city.
While the majority of the general public often only knows their own district well, you will get to know many different districts in great detail.
This also means that you will probably never get lost somewhere since you have seen every spot before and can navigate accordingly.
Moreover, by talking to many people, you will also soon figure out the best restaurants and pubs in the respective quarter.
Consequently, becoming a bus driver can also be a great way to get to know your own city in detail.
No high formal requirements for bus drivers
Another advantage of becoming a bus driver is that there are no high formal requirements for this job.
In fact, you just need to get some training and college education or other expensive schooling will not be necessary.
Therefore, even if you are on a budget right now and can’t afford to invest plenty of money in education, you can still become a bus driver.
Rather short working hours
Compared to other jobs, bus drivers also often work rather short hours.
While some of them work full-time, others just work as short as 20 hours a week.
Thus, it doesn’t matter whether you search for a full-time job or just want to work part-time, you will have both options as a bus driver.
Maybe you also want to start full-time and reduce your hours later on.
You will usually be rather flexible in this regard and especially if you have a good standing in your company, reducing or increasing hours will often not be a problem at all.
Many bus driving companies also offer great additional benefits to bus drivers.
In fact, many bus drivers are eligible for health insurance and get additional social security perks.
Consequently, while the salary of bus drivers may not be high, the additional advantages may compensate for this to a certain extent.
Disadvantages of Being a Coach Driver
- Job can be stressful during rush hour
- Irregular working schedule
- You may have to work at night
- Bus drivers have to work on holidays
- High level of responsibility for your passengers
- You may lose your job in the near future
- Salaries for bus drivers are rather low
- Coach drivers may get bored in the long run
- Passengers may try to mock you
- Lack of exercise
- Many bus drivers suffer from overweight
- You may have to drive under extreme conditions
- Mistakes can cost lives
Job can be stressful during rush hour
While being a bus driver can have many advantages as we have seen before, there are still some issues related to this profession.
For instance, one problem with being a bus driver is that the job can be stressful, especially during rush hour.
Since there will be so many vehicles on the streets, it will be hard to navigate through traffic and the risk for accidents increases.
Not only will you have to be aware of cars driving like crazy, you will also have to take care that you don’t hit bikers or pedestrians.
This can be quite demanding, especially if you drive a city bus in a large metropolitan area.
Irregular working schedule
Another disadvantage of working as a bus driver is that you often have irregular schedules.
While you will have the first shift one day, you will have the second or third shift another day.
In fact, schedules can change rather quickly and you should be prepared that you might have to change your plans pretty often.
For instance, you might have a date in a few days.
If you are unlucky, your shift may change and you may have to cancel your date last-minute.
Of course, this is not only true for dates, but also for various other occasions and you should be willing to make those sacrifices before deciding for a career as a bus driver.
You may have to work at night
Sooner or later, you will also have to work at nighttime.
In fact, in most big cities, buses run until midnight or even throughout the night.
While some bus drivers like working at night since it is much emptier on the streets, others hate it since it can destroy their natural sleeping rhythm.
In turn, many bus drivers who have to work night shifts suffer from sleep problems or even from insomnia.
Consequently, make sure that you are also willing to work at nighttime before deciding to work in this profession.
Bus drivers have to work on holidays
Another downside of becoming a bus driver is that you also have to work on holidays.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to work on all holidays.
However, if there is demand for it, you might even have to work during Christmas Eve and this can be quite problematic, especially if you have kids waiting for you to come home and to celebrate with them.
High level of responsibility for your passengers
Being a bus driver is also not as easy as you might think.
Especially the emotional component of it can be quite challenging.
You will always have a huge responsibility for your passengers and mistakes from your side can lead to horrible outcomes.
Consequently, before deciding for a bus driver career, make sure that you have a calm and safe driving style so that you can minimize the risk, not only for your passengers but also for road users.
You may lose your job in the near future
Bus drivers will also not have high job security, especially not in the future when artificial intelligence and self-driving cars will become the standard.
Even today, buses would be able to navigate through traffic in a safe manner most of the time.
When the technology behind autonomous cars matures, many bus drivers will become obsolete since buses will drive autonomously and bus drivers will no longer be needed.
Thus, if you search for a long-term career, becoming a bus driver may not be the right way to go for you in this regard.
Salaries for bus drivers are rather low
Also the salary for bus drivers is rather low.
In fact, most bus drivers earn less than 50,000 dollars a year in the US while the average is lower than 40,000 dollars.
In most cities, this will be barely enough to pay all of your expenses and with rents increasing with rapid speed, it may also not be a good idea to become a bus driver.
Coach drivers may get bored in the long run
Sooner or later, you will have driven every route in your city and over time, your job as a bus driver may become rather boring since you will simply not see any new areas anymore.
In fact, the initial excitement from your first months of your bus driver career will be gone soon and a certain level of boredom will replace it rather soon.
Passengers may try to mock you
While most passengers will be nice and appreciate your work, a minority of them will also try to mock you or to bring you down.
Moreover, a fraction of your passengers will also just have a pretty bad day and you may become the scapegoat for their frustration.
Consequently, be prepared that not all people will be nice and that you have the patience to also deal with rather difficult passengers in a proper manner.
Lack of exercise
Since bus drivers will be sitting in the driver’s seat all day long, they will also often suffer from a lack of exercise.
This means that you will have to go to the gym after work if you want to stay fit or that you have to do some other sports.
Many bus drivers suffer from overweight
Due to a lack of exercise, many bus drivers also suffer from overweight or even obesity.
While many people are overweight in our current state of the world right now, this is still a big problem since the risk of all sorts of serious diseases increases if you suffer from overweight.
Consequently, being a bus driver may also be quite bad for your health, at least if you don’t take any countermeasures to mitigate the problem.
You may have to drive under extreme conditions
As a bus driver, you will also have to drive under extreme conditions.
It doesn’t matter if there is heavy rain or snowstorms outside.
You still have to bring people to work and back to keep our system running.
Driving under those extreme conditions is not fun at all and if you are not willing to do that, you should also not decide to become a bus driver.
Mistakes can cost lives
Last but not least, every mistake you make as a bus driver can also cost the lives of people.
In fact, if you don’t pay attention for a second, you might hit a pedestrian or biker and it will often be too late to rescue those people in case of accidents.
Unfortunately, everyone of us makes mistakes and sooner or later, chances are that you will be the one who makes a horrible mistake as a bus driver.
Top 10 Being a Bus Driver Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Bus Driver Pros||Being a Bus Driver Cons|
|Bus drivers can work independently||Being a bus driver can be stressful|
|Driving a bus can give you a feeling of freedom||Salaries of bus drivers are rather low|
|Bus drivers often don’t work long hours||Bus drivers often have irregular work schedules|
|Option to also work part-time||Some passengers can be difficult|
|You will get to know your city||Risk for accidents|
|Bus drivers can chat with passengers||You are responsible for your passengers|
|You can keep our system running||Problematic during rush hour|
|You can improve your driving skills||You may have to work at nighttime|
|No sophisticated education required||Bus drivers often work on holidays|
|Additional perks for bus drivers||Lack of exercise|
Should You Become A Bus Driver?
As we can see from the discussion above, there are many advantages and disadvantages to being a bus driver.
In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether you still want to become a bus driver or if you rather want to go for other professions instead.
If you are looking for an alternative career path, make sure to also check out the pros and cons of being a journalist or the pros and cons of being a construction worker.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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