How Do Bus Drivers Get Paid | Statistical Guide for USA Drivers

As a bus driver, you can earn a competitive salary and benefits. Many factors affect how do bus drivers get paid. When you think about the career of a bus driver, your salary can vary depending on the region you work in. Bus drivers in the United States are typically paid by the mile. A bus driver’s wage is usually based on experience and qualifications.

Some bus companies may offer benefits such as health insurance and retirement savings plans. Bus drivers must maintain a certain level of insurance to keep their job and protect themselves and their passengers. Bus drivers who work for private companies have more opportunities to earn money than those who work for public buses. 

Factors that Affect the Income of the Company’s Drivers

How Do Bus Drivers Get Paid | Statistical Guide for USA Drivers

Bus drivers paid by the mile only earn money when their vehicle moves forward. Many factors can consume much time on the road and decrease potential earnings. 

  • Waiting at border crossings or customs can be a frustrating waste of time for drivers who are eager to get to their next destination. The same goes for being stuck in heavy traffic, which can cause significant delays and reduce the miles covered.
  • Overloaded vehicles increase fuel consumption and put additional strain on tires and other components, leading to longer maintenance times and repair costs. Conducting a circle inspection on the trailer and truck is another essential task that takes up valuable time while adding no extra pay to the driver’s paycheck.
  • Waiting for loading or unloading delays and waiting for a bus or car maintenance can significantly affect company drivers’ income. These factors are often overlooked when calculating driver pay, but they can add up quickly and drastically reduce a driver’s overall earnings. For example, a driver who waits an hour for their truck to be loaded or unloaded may not receive compensation for that time. If drivers wait several hours for their bus or car maintenance, they may miss out on potential fares or deliveries. This lost income can harm drivers paid per load or mile.
  • Federal safety standards significantly limit the amount of time company drivers can spend on the road. These regulations are implemented to ensure the safety of drivers and others sharing the road with them. According to these standards, drivers cannot drive for more than 11 hours each day during a 14-hour drive.
  • Longer routes tend to pay more but may require more extended periods away from home or family, while frequent destinations may mean less travel time but potentially lower pay rates overall.
  • Maximize the distance you can travel while staying within the legal limits set by authorities. It not only helps in increasing your efficiency but also ensures that you stay safe on the roads.
  • Choose routes with minimal traffic congestion and road works. These factors can significantly slow your journey time and negatively impact your fuel efficiency, resulting in lower income for yourself and the company.
  • Passenger safety and comfort affect a company driver’s income. When designing routes, it’s essential to consider how many stops are necessary along the way and their impact on passengers’ experience.
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To mitigate these factors, companies should consider incorporating waiting times into their calculations of driver pay. Drivers could be compensated by the hour while they wait for loading and unloading or vehicle maintenance. This time limit affects the income of company drivers as they have fewer hours on the road, which can translate into lower pay. Downtime between drives can also impact how much money a driver makes. If there is too much downtime between trips, it may not be worth it for a driver to continue working for that company.

How much do Bus Drivers Make?

Bus driving is a stable and respectable profession that offers a decent salary for its workers. The average income of a bus driver in the United States is around $41,833 per year, with salaries ranging from $36,558 to $46,803 annually. The amounts you earn as a bus driver depend on factors such as education level, additional certifications or talents acquired over time, and years of experience.

Having prior work experience in driving can also affect your starting salary. If you already have a driver’s license before applying for this job role, then it is likely that you will start with a higher salary than someone without any experience in driving. It is an added advantage for those looking to switch to the bus-driving industry from another sector.

How Do Bus Drivers Get Paid | Statistical Guide for USA Drivers

The longer a bus driver works, the higher their salary will be. For instance, a bus driver with less than two years of experience can earn around $17,400 annually. Someone with two to five years of experience has already gained enough expertise in driving large vehicles and handling challenging situations on the road. They are rewarded with a higher salary of about $22,700 per year – which is 31% more compared to those with less than two years of experience! This pay raise shows employers value and recognize the importance of experienced drivers behind the wheel.

For bus drivers looking to increase their earnings over time, gaining experience should be top of their list. Bus driving is a demanding job that requires a lot of skill and experience. As such, it’s no surprise that the pay scale for bus drivers varies greatly depending on their level of experience. Statistics show that in the future, someone with five to ten years of experience as a bus driver can expect to earn $ 31,700 per year. It is an impressive figure, 40% more than someone with two to five years of experience would make.

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It isn’t where the salary figures end for experienced bus drivers. Bus drivers who have between 10 and 15 years of experience can expect to see their salaries increase even further. On average, they earn around $38,200 per year – an impressive figure 20% more than drivers with five to ten years of experience make. Bus driving is a profession that has been around for decades. It involves safely transporting passengers from one place to another. 

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If you are considering becoming a bus driver, you may wonder how much money you can expect to make based on your years of experience. According to recent statistics, the money earned as a bus driver will depend largely on the years spent in the field. If you have 15 to 20 years of experience as a bus driver, you can earn an average salary of $41,400 per year. It is nine thousand dollars more than someone with only 10 to 15 years of experience, making an average salary of $32,400 annually. While this may not seem like a significant increase in pay over time, it still represents steady growth and progression within the industry.

What are the Steps to Becoming a Bus Driver?

How Do Bus Drivers Get Paid | Statistical Guide for USA Drivers

Becoming a bus driver in the USA requires several steps, including obtaining a full driver’s permit and having at least one year of driving experience. Prospective drivers must be prepared to work non-traditional hours, including weekends and holidays. This job also requires holding a PCV card, which stands for Passenger Carrying Vehicle.

  • Driver’s license: To become a bus driver, you must first obtain your full driver’s license. It will require passing written and practical exams to demonstrate your knowledge of road laws and safe driving practices. Once you have your license in hand, it is recommended that you gain some experience as a professional driver before pursuing bus driving opportunities.
  • Navigate through traffic: Working as a bus driver, not only do you need to navigate through traffic while operating a large vehicle safely, but you also become responsible for the well-being of passengers while driving long distances.
  • Completing course: One step is completing a course to teach you how to operate a bus safely. It will require you to invest time and money into your training. Whether you choose a PCV agency or a training school, the cost can vary between $1,000 and $3,000. This investment will be worth it in the long run as it will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to become an excellent bus driver.
  • CDL: After completing your training course, the next step is to obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL). It involves passing written and practical driving tests to prove you have the skills needed for this profession.

How do Bus Drivers Get Paid?

How Do Bus Drivers Get Paid | Statistical Guide for USA Drivers

The earnings of a bus driver can be impacted by various factors that affect their work and income. There are several steps one must take before beginning this career path.

Bus type

It’s important to understand that the compensation for school buses and transit drivers differs. Transit drivers, transporting passengers through cities and towns, typically earn more than school bus drivers. This difference in pay can be attributed to various factors, including the type of driving involved, the experience level required, and union contracts.

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Transit drivers have more responsibilities than school bus drivers. They operate larger vehicles in high-traffic areas with multiple stops throughout their routes. Bus drivers must have commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) with passenger endorsements and undergo extensive training before they can hit the road. In contrast, school bus drivers typically work on shorter routes with fewer stops and are responsible for transporting students between home and school.


Bus drivers are an integral part of our day-to-day lives, as they help people reach their destinations safely and on time. But have you ever wondered how bus drivers get paid? Just like any other employment, a bus driver’s income is directly influenced by various factors such as experience, skills, and performance. If you’re a seasoned driver with years of experience under your belt, you may be eligible for some rewards. 

It could include higher pay rates or more company advancement opportunities. If you’ve driven a tractor-trailer before becoming a bus driver, that experience might help you get a better job and earn a higher wage. Many factors can affect how much a bus driver earns per hour or year. For example, drivers who work in busy metropolitan areas often earn more than those in rural locations.


When it comes to earning a living as a bus driver, your location can significantly impact your profits. The size of the city, regional economy, and cost of living are all factors that determine how much you can expect to earn behind the wheel of a bus. Higher living expenses do not always result in greater profits for drivers.

A bus driver working in major metropolitan areas such as New York City or Los Angeles may earn more due to the high cost of living in those regions. It is not always the case. Bus drivers working in smaller cities or rural areas may earn comparable wages due to lower overall expenses and less competition for jobs. 


Bus drivers in the USA are paid according to a statistical guide ”How Do Bus Drivers Get Paid”. Their salaries vary depending on experience, certifications, and other factors. For most bus drivers, the median salary is $32,000 per year. Many bus drivers also receive benefits such as healthcare, retirement savings, and vacation time. Due to the high demand for bus-driving jobs and the competitive wage market, wages can be higher or lower in certain areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average wage for bus drivers in the United States?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for bus drivers in the United States is $25.72 per hour.

How much do bus drivers earn in the United States?

According to the National Transportation Statistics Report, bus drivers earn an average of $24,000 annually. It is lower than the average wage for all occupations, which is $37,500.

What are the benefits of being a bus driver in the United States?

There are many benefits to being a bus driver in the United States, including earning a good salary, having flexible work hours, having the opportunity to work with a great team, and having the opportunity to travel.

How much does a bus driver make in the United States?

A bus driver in the United States typically makes between $21,000 and $30,000 a year.