How to get a job as a school bus driver in metro Atlanta

As metro Atlanta students head back to school, they'll depend on a large contingent of bus drivers to safely get them to school and back home again. School bus drivers will also shuttle kids to and from field trips, athletic events and other activities.

Navigating a school bus isn't always easy, but it can be rewarding work that offers a schedule that often appeals to parents, retirees, college students and business owners.

If you'd like to get a job as a bus driver in metro Atlanta, here's what you need to know:

How many jobs are available?

School districts have plenty of bus driver positions, since so many drivers are needed to transport students each day. Gwinnett County School District, for example, is Georgia's largest district and can have over 1,600 bus drivers.

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With this many drivers, openings are frequent. Backup drivers are also needed to fill in because of illness.

»RELATED: Here's the 411 on Atlanta Public Schools

What qualifications do you need to have?

You'll need to be dependable, punctual and have good attendance. In addition, you should be able to communicate effectively and professionally with students, parents and school staff.

School bus drivers must also be able to maintain order, complete assigned reports and conduct emergency drills.

Requirements can vary somewhat by school district, but the following are some general qualifications you'll need to drive a school bus in metro Atlanta:

  • An exemplary driving record with at least two (or sometimes more) years of driving experience
  • A CDL (commercial driver's license) with passenger and school bus (P&S) endorsements
  • Passing a background check
  • Completing additional and ongoing training with the school district
  • A high school diploma or GED preferred (or sometimes required)
  • Successful completion of pre-employment and random drug testing
  • Successful completion of a physical and negative TB test

»RELATED: QUIZ: How well do you know your metro Atlanta school?

What interview questions might be asked?

Respondents at Glassdoor have reported some of the following questions from local school districts when interviewing for bus driver jobs:

  • "Do you like children? And how would you handle conflicts that arise between them?"
  • "What experience do you have working with children? How has your attendance been at other jobs?"

How can you apply for a job?

Atlanta public schools: atlantapublicschools.us/Page/49971 (search under support jobs)

Cobb County schools: ccsdbusdriver.com

DeKalb County schools: pats.dekalbschoolsga.org/OpportunityListing.aspx

Fulton County schools: applitrack.com/fultonschools/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Support+Staff

Gwinnett County schools: gcpsjobs.org/bus-drivers

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