First Student school bus company is hiring school bus drivers across Western New York.
Dawn Tighe, the company's recruitment and training manager, said the pay for new drivers starts at $16 an hour. Current commercial driver's license holders are eligible for an up to $3,000 sign-on bonus.
"To be a school bus driver you have to like to drive, you have to like to work with children," Tighe said.
Other requirements include:
- at least 21 years old
- pass a background check
- pass a drug test
- good driving record
- obtain a commercial driver's license from the state
The next step is training, both in the classroom and behind the wheel. Tighe said the amount of training is what surprises new drivers the most.
"Drivers that come in they go through at least 50 hours of training," she said. "So in order to be a pilot and fly a plane you only need 40 hours of training, so you can actually fly a plane before you can drive a school bus."
Of course driving is an essential component of the job, but Deana Sanders, a training manager with the company, said driving isn't the favorite part for most drivers.
"The favorite part of the job is working with the kids," Sanders said.
Tighe said a typical day for a driver starts at around 6-6:30 a.m. to prepare the bus for a morning route that will consist of one to three schools. Drivers get a break in the middle of the day between the morning and afternoon routes where they are free to go home.
First Student hires year round. Click