What is the Salary for a Bus Driver?

By Steven P. Reynolds

So you're interested in the salary for bus drivers. Well, if you want to truly figure out how much they make, or how much you can make as a bus driver, you need to look at the different types of drivers and where they work. We should start with the different types of drivers.

The Averages for School Bus Drivers:

Mean yearly salary = $28,660 Mean hourly rate = $13.78

Don't forget, the pay varies depending on the state of employment. These are the top states in terms of school bus driver pay:

State Mean Wages Per Hour

1. Washington $17.18

2. New York $17.15

3. Nevada $16.91

4. Alaska $16.88

5. Massachusetts $16.24

* Lots of employers are going to give their bus drivers insurance and other benefits. So, when you're trying to figure out your salary, don't forget to add this in. It all amounts to something at the end of the year.

City Bus Drivers National averages:

Mean annual salary = $37,060 Mean hourly pay = $17.82

Same as before, it's going to depend on where you work. So, here are the five highest paying states:

State Average Hourly Rate

1. New York $22.10

2. Washington $21.94

3. Ohio $20.07

4. Hawaii $19.92

5. California $19.75

* Let's not forget about the benefits here either.

Charter Bus Drivers National averages:

Mean yearly salary = $31,990 Mean hourly rate = $15.38

* This is obvious now, but remember the benefits.

Now there are some other things that come into account when your factoring your bus driver salary. You already know the first couple of them for sure.

1. The type of bus you work with

2. Where you drive that vehicle

But those aren't everything. Let's take a look at a few of the rest:

1. What company or district you work for

I know this seems like i'm repeating the "what type of bus you drive line," but this really is something different. If you're a school bus driver, you're going to get paid differently depending on if you're working for the district or a company that they hire. Districts sometimes hire independent contractors like First Student to provide busing for their schools. I can't tell you who pays better, because each district is different from the next.

3. Who are your customers (passengers)

Let's say your the school bus driver again. You may be compensated more if you are transporting students with special needs and you are completely trained to take care of those student's special needs. Or, say you're driving a bunch of musicians around. If you are working for a successful and famous musician, you will get paid a lot better than a "normal" tour bus driver. Hey, you might even be having a lot more fun too.

3. How much experience you've accumulated over the years

If you have been doing this a while, you'll get paid more because you're more valuable. Also, if you stick with one employer for the long haul, they'll pay you better too. For example, city bus drivers get cost of living pay increases every few years.

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