People in this career drive buses, subway trains and light rail transit vehicles so that passengers can get from place to place without a car. They drive planned routes on a schedule and people buy tickets to ride on the bus, subway or light rail train.
Bus drivers work for urban transit systems, school boards or transportation authorities and private transportation companies. Subway and light rail transit operators work for urban transit systems.
Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a bus driver is like.
People in this career must have great driving skills and should be able to follow instructions carefully. They also need to think and act quickly in different situations. Good communication and people skills are important because they speak and deal with passengers throughout their shift.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 4,390
School bus drivers:
Subway train and light rail transit operators:
Bus drivers and transit operators spend most of their working day driving vehicles, which usually have comfortable driver seats.
Entry level bus drivers and transit operators can expect to work part time through evenings, weekends and sometimes holidays before working full time. Those who have been in the job longer can expect more regular shifts and full-time hours (40 hours per week). Some in this job work split shifts, which means working for several hours in the morning, having a break for a few hours, and coming back to work for a few more hours.
Public transit operators are more likely to be part of a union and work full time.
As bus drivers and transit operators must sit for long periods, they can get back and neck injuries. These workers may also have to handle angry or upset passengers from time to time.
Source: 2016 Census
Bus drivers and transit operators must have some secondary school education. However, a high school diploma is generally preferred. They must have a valid Class 5 B.C. driver’s licence or Canadian equivalent. They may also need a Class 2 driver’s licence with airbrake endorsement, and at least one to five years of safe driving experience. In addition, people in this career may need to take on-the-job training that could take up to three months to complete. People in this job need basic first aid training (this may be included in on-the-job training) and have some computer skills.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
There are usually a lot of applicants for these jobs. Post-secondary education, good communication and people skills are an advantage when applying for this job.
Bus drivers and transit operators work alone, which means that they need to make decisions, take responsibility and do a good job without direct supervision.
People in this job must be patient with passengers who may be confused or lost, as well as in response to traffic, accidents, construction and bad drivers. They need to remain professional and calm even when a passenger is being rude or aggressive.
It’s important for people in this career to always pay attention – anticipating problems on the road or with a passenger.
Bus drivers often have previous experience as truck drivers. Most workers start by working part time, evenings, weekends and holidays, as well as split shifts before getting a full-time position.
With additional training or experience, people with this career can be promoted to supervisor or manager, or into non-driving jobs such as dispatcher, safety officer or driving trainer.