Bus or coach driver

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would take people from one place to another whether that’s just a few streets, between towns and cities or on a holiday.

It’s a responsible job; passengers will rely on you to get them to the right place as safely as possible.

You might transport passengers on local, national or overseas journeys.

You would travel along planned routes, making scheduled stops along the way to pick up and drop off passengers.

You would:

  • Take fares and give tickets
  • Check transport passes
  • Give timetable or route information
  • Help passengers who are having difficulty getting on or off the vehicle

You could also work in community transport, where you would be driving schoolchildren, hospital patients and the elderly to their destinations.

If you are a coach driver you would do the same kind of work but the journeys would be longer. You could, for example, drive between cities, or drive people on day trips or holiday tours.

You would:

  • Load and unload luggage
  • Check tickets and passes
  • Make sure that all passengers are back on board for the return journey, and after any scheduled stops

You would be responsible for keeping the coach clean, doing basic vehicle checks before taking your vehicle out and reporting any incidents to inspectors back at the depot.

If you drive to overseas destinations you’d keep passengers up to date with travel information and work with foreign authorities, for example, when going through border controls.

You’d need excellent driving skills and knowledge of traffic regulations. Understanding health and safety issues would also be important.

Working conditions

Hours

There are regulations for weekly maximum driving hours. On local services you could work up to 48 hours a week on shifts, including evenings and weekends, between 6am and midnight. As a coach driver, you could drive for up to 56 hours a week, with a maximum of 90 hours over any two weeks.

Travel

If you take holiday tours, you could be away from home for several days at a time.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Following instructions
  • Helping customers
  • Being tactful
  • Time management
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5. 

Most employers value a good general education.

To start training with a company, you must hold a full EU driving licence and be aged at least 18. Some companies prefer to take on people who have held their driving licence for one or two years or who are aged over 21 (Check with them directly for details). 

You could also train independently by taking private lessons through a local driving school. Once you have your licence, you could then contact bus and coach companies about vacancies. 

You can apply for your provisional Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence through the .gov.uk website

 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Modern languages
  • Geography

You will also need

  • Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence
  • Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC)

To get these, you must hold a full EU driving licence. 

Helpful to have

Any qualifications and experience that demonstrate helping customers, navigation and driving abilities such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Bus and Coach Passenger Carrying Vehicle Driving (SVQ level 2) will be helpful.