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Bus attendants assist bus drivers with the everyday duties of loading and unloading passengers and assisting the passengers during the duration of the bus trip. Many individuals become a bus attendant and utilize this job as a stepping stone towards getting a better paying position as a bus driver. If you enjoy helping people, traveling and providing a high level of customer service, this may be a suitable career path for you.
Bus attendants often work with schools and long distance bus tour companies to provide customer service and give attention to guests with special needs. Attendants working with schools help enforce bus rules and help students board and exit the bus. When working with a private company and with adult-centered services, an attendant focuses on helping passengers during their journey. Some positions require the attendant to serve food and drinks to passengers and help clean the facilities on board.
Most companies and organizations hiring bus attendants require a high school diploma or an equivalency diploma like a GED. You may also have to get special certification in first aid and emergency response services. Some states require bus attendants to be certified to handle food if preparing and serving food to guests. Bus attendants must be physically capable of carrying small children and moving passengers to an emergency exit. Make sure and check with local requirements for working as a bus attendant before pursuing a job in the field.
Working as a bus attendant presents many challenges. You are often assisting young children, elderly people and physically-challenged individuals. Experience dealing with children and the physically disabled people can help in getting a job in this field. The attendant is also the person passengers will count on in the event of an accident or emergency. The challenges faced during an emergency require an attendant to think clearly and act quickly in extremely stressful situations.
Attendant jobs can be found directly through public and private schools. Make sure and check the websites of your local public school system and private school sites. Some schools contract their attendants. These jobs will be listed in newspapers and other places where job listings are found. However, if you are interested in entering into this field you should also look for work with private companies such as private bus tour companies, retirement homes, mental health centers, hospitals, airports, hotels and community centers.
Bus attendant salaries vary by state and hiring organization, but most attendants can expect to make $8 to $15 per hour. This is an annual salary of $15,000 to $30,000.
Joshua Kinser began writing professionally in 1999. He has worked as a staff writer for the "Pensacola News Journal" and is the author of Moon Handbook's "Guide to the Florida Gulf Coast." Kinser earned an Associate of Arts in journalism with an emphasis in biology from Pensacola State College.