How to become a Bus Driver

Bus drivers transport passengers over established or special routes and on chartered journeys or tours.

Personal requirements of a Bus Driver

  • Courteous and helpful when dealing with the public
  • Able to pass a company or government medical examination, including eyesight and colour vision tests
  • Responsible attitude

Education & Training for a Bus Driver

You can work as a bus driver without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. You will probably get some informal training on the job. To become a bus driver, you need to obtain the appropriate drivers licence and any special accreditation required by your state or territory. You may also need to undergo medical and eyesight tests, provide a current National Police Certificate, complete additional training, supply character references and have a satisfactory driving record. Contact the transport department in your state or territory for more information. You can also become a bus driver through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Driving Operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2.

Duties & Tasks of a Bus Driver

Bus drivers may perform the following tasks:

  • stop at designated locations to pick up or set down passengers
  • adhere to set bus timetables and routes
  • open and close doors before and after passengers board or disembark
  • control lighting, heating and ventilation on buses
  • collect fares, give change and issue tickets
  • advise passengers on destinations
  • use a public address (PA) system to provide information or tour commentaries to passengers.

Working conditions for a Bus Driver

Bus drivers are required to wear uniforms and must be willing to work shifts. Contact with the public is an important part of the job.

Employment Opportunities for a Bus Driver

Bus drivers are employed by scheduled bus, charter and coach services. The majority of work is full time, with some casual and part-time employment and shiftwork also available. With experience, and sometimes further training, there may be opportunities for bus drivers to move into supervisory or higher administrative positions.


Charter Services Driver

A charter services driver drives a group of people (for example, a community club) to a particular destination. The bus is usually hired for a fee and individual passengers do not pay fares to the driver.

Coach Tour Driver

A coach tour driver drives tour buses to tourist sites or provides long-distance services between towns. Their tasks may include researching routes; planning food and toilet stops; providing commentary on the history, culture and industry of particular locations; conducting inspections; and performing minor maintenance of the coach.

School Services Driver

A school services driver transports school children between home and school, collects fares and checks that travel passes comply with school routes. School services drivers may be required to pass a national Working with Children Check prior to commencing employment.

Tram Driver

A tram driver drives trams over established routes to transport passengers on urban tramway systems. Their tasks may include operating controls to change the direction of a tram, negotiating traffic, advising passengers on routes and stops, and stopping at set locations to allow passengers to board and disembark.

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