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Bus or coach driver

Bus and coach drivers transport passengers on local, national or overseas journeys.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need to complete training for a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC Driver). You'll usually apply to bus or coach companies and train for these on the job.

You must hold a full EU driving licence and be aged at least 18 before you can begin training.

Some employers may prefer to take on trainees who have held their driving licence for 1 or 2 years or who are aged 21 or over.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent driving skills and knowledge of traffic regulations
  • good customer service and clear communication skills
  • an assertive but polite approach to difficult passengers
  • good geographical knowledge

If you travel abroad, you'll also need an understanding of overseas traffic laws and have some basic foreign language skills.

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • taking fares
  • checking tickets and passes
  • giving timetable or route information
  • helping passengers who are having difficulty getting on or off the vehicle

If you're a coach driver, your duties may also include:

  • loading and unloading luggage
  • making sure passengers are back on board for return journeys, and after scheduled stops
  • keeping the coach clean
  • doing basic vehicle checks
  • reporting any incidents

You may drive to overseas destinations. This would involve extra duties like keeping passengers up to date with travel information and dealing with foreign authorities, for instance at border controls.

You might also work in community transport, where you'd drive schoolchildren, hospital patients and the elderly to their destinations.

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £17,000

Experienced: £18,000 to £23,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

There are regulations for weekly maximum driving hours.

On local services you could work up to 48 hours a week on shifts, including evenings and weekends, between 6am and midnight. As a coach driver, you could drive for up to 56 hours a week, with a maximum of 90 hours over any 2 weeks.

If you take holiday tours, you could be away from home for several days at a time.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a depot supervisor or manager, or train to become a driver instructor and examiner.

You could also train to work as a heavy vehicle mechanic.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016