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Job sheet: Bus Driver

Just The Job on TV2

Job description:
The passenger transport sector is an exciting growth industry and more and more people are turning to buses for their transport option especially in urban areas.

Bus drivers play a vital role that comes with the challenges and responsibilities of transporting an important cargo - people.

Drivers need to have good people skills as well as a sound driving ability and can choose between a range of roles including urban, school, inter-city or charter (tour bus) jobs.   

As a growing industry there is a good demand for bus drivers and there will be for the foreseeable future.

Qualifications required:
Before you can become a bus driver you need to have held a Class 1 driver licence for at least two years.

Anyone employed to drive a passenger vehicle such as a bus also needs to hold a Passenger [P] driver licence endorsement.

For most bus driving jobs, you will need to hold a Class 2 driver licence especially for driving buses that, when loaded, weigh over 4,500 kg.

To get a P endorsement you must submit a medical certificate, eyesight certificate, and undergo a "fit and proper person" check.

Training costs:
Skills are gained on the job and some companies may provide training programmes that lead to a formal National Certificate.

Training for the P endorsement is carried out by New Zealand Transport Agency approved training providers and may cost between $300 and $700 plus licensing fees.

Location of job:
Bus drivers work out on the roads and there are job opportunities throughout New Zealand.

Career path:
There are good career opportunities in the passenger transport industry and Tranzqual offers a qualification providing a structured career path.

The National Certificate in Passenger Service (Large Passenger Service Vehicle) includes options in:
- School Bus 
- Urban or Local Route  
- Long Distance.

Drivers gain key skills including:

- Driving a large passenger service vehicle lawfully, safely and efficiently
- Looking after the comfort and well being of passengers
- An awareness of fatigue and work time requirements
- An ability to write incident reports and record driving hours as required by law
- Ability to check the vehicle before use.

Salary range:
Pay varies, but bus drivers usually earn between $14 and $19 an hour, depending on experience, the region they work in and the company they work for.
Some bus companies also offer incentives and the number of hours a driver may work also varies.

Other careers this profession could lead to:

- Truck driver
- Operations Manager
- Driver trainer/instructor

Tips on how to increase the chances of successfully entering this industry:

- Gain a driver licence as early as possible
- Be keen and have a can do attitude
- Talk to a bus company and see if you can spend some time with the drivers

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