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Hiring School Bus Drivers: 10 Must-Have Qualifications to Look For

School bus drivers are expected to have a vast hiring skill set in addition to their required certifications/licenses. As a school bus driver, one is responsible for getting children safely to and from school. This entails being authoritative as well as personable in order to get rambunctious children to listen. 

When hiring school bus drivers, it’s important to look beyond certifications in order to determine how effectively a candidate will perform on a daily basis. By understanding the 10 must-have school bus driver requirements, it’s easier to determine who would be and who wouldn’t be a good fit for the position. Let’s get started. 

1. CDL Certification

A commercial driver’s license with passenger and school bus endorsements is a necessity for school bus drivers. This is the most basic and important factor that determines whether or not a candidate will be able to fill the role. Always be sure that the candidate has a CDL certification prior to interviewing them.

2. Completed Training Course

When undergoing the process of hiring school bus drivers, be sure to only consider hiring bus drivers if they’ve completed a formal training program in bus driving. After all, the driver needs to understand the kind of vehicle they’re in and how to properly get it from point A to point B. This is another key qualification a candidate must have prior to even being considered for the position.

3. Clean Background Check

When you hire a bus driver, it is your responsibility to make certain that they meet school bus driver requirements. One of the most important requirements to keep in mind is a clean background check. This means spotless. School bus drivers are entrusted with the lives of dozens of children. Be sure that your potential hire’s background check comes back clean.

4. Negative Drug Screening

Again, school bus drivers are tasked with ensuring the safe transportation of children to and from their homes. Any drug screening that comes back positive is cause to turn away the potential hire. A negative drug screening is essential when hiring school bus drivers, plain and simple.

5. Proven People Skills

In a perfect world, school bus driver requirements would include proven people skills. Bus drivers need to be able to calmly communicate with children in order to keep them happy, calm, and in check. Parents trust the bus driver to keep their kids safe, and that trust begins with building a relationship between bus driver and parent. When you hire a bus driver, be sure to check their work experience. If a candidate has worked in a people/customer-oriented position before, they may possess good people skills.

6. Experience in Childcare

This may be hard to come by, but it’s definitely a plus! A school bus driver with either experience in childcare or one who has raised children of their own would fit in perfectly in an environment that is constantly filled with children. 

7. Low-Risk Level

Given good results from the drug screening, background check, and work experience, hiring a school bus driver can determine the risk associated with a prospect and how likely a situation is to occur. Always be sure to assess the risk that may come with a potential hire.

8. Accountability

Work history, experience, and prior schooling are the best ways to determine the accountability of a potential candidate. Your new driver will be responsible for more than just returning the bus – they’re responsible for lives. Be sure that your ideal candidate has proven accountability and reliability. 

9. Good Driving History

A bus driver who maintains a spotless personal driving history will always have a leg up over the competition, even if their vehicle is not a school bus. A clean driving history shows attentiveness, which is a necessity when operating a vehicle as large as a school bus.

10. Safety-First Mindset

This can be deduced from the interview. Be sure to meter how passionate a candidate seems about safety. Safety is the most important term when it comes to hiring bus drivers.

Are You Looking to Fill An Open Position?

Ultimately, there are only a handful of requirements a bus driver actually needs in order to get the job. But, that doesn’t always mean that having these select few requirements is enough to deserve the job. Delving into a wider variety of key qualifying factors will help you determine how successful a new bus driver will be. For more information or help in hiring a bus driver, contact KSM Consulting now! 

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