Bus drivers work with large vehicles designed for public transport such as buses, coaches and trams. They usually work alone as a driver, but if operating a tourist coach, they may work alongside a tour guide. Some urban bus drivers may also be joined by security personnel on occasions. They usually work in shifts, which may include early mornings, late nights, weekends and public holidays. Their work may be stressful at times, as they may have to deal with difficult passengers, and drive during peak hour and in bad weather conditions. Uniforms are required in this occupation.
Bus and coach drivers can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Bus drivers may be required to drive several different models of buses. In addition to this they may need to use maps, Global Positioning Systems, log books and ticket machines.
You can work as a bus driver without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.
You must be at least 21 years old to become a bus driver in Western Australia. You must obtain the relevant licence class, along with an F (bus extension), and have at least four years unrestricted driving experience. You may be required to obtain a Heavy Rigid licence depending on the size of the bus you want to drive.
You can also become a bus driver through a traineeship in driving operations. The traineeship takes 24 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.