How to Become a Shuttle Driver

By Nicole Vulcan
Bus at airport waiting for passengers
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Shuttle drivers drive vans and small buses for hotels, airport service companies and other organizations. They may work in places like national parks and for tour companies, shuttling tourists from one attraction to another, or for companies that offer transportation to its employees. Landing a job doesn't require extensive education, but a relatively clean driving record is essential. You typically must be over the age of 18, and you may have to fulfill other medical and licensing requirements.

Commercial Driver's License

Check with your state's department of transportation to determine whether you need a commercial driver's license to be a shuttle driver. If you do, obtain a copy of the CDL manual and study it before taking the exam. CDLs are issued to drivers of tractor trailers, school buses or vehicles carrying more than a certain number of passengers. Some licenses are related to working within one state or participating in interstate commerce. If you live near the border of another state, find out what might be required.

DOT Regulations

If you're working at an airport or near a state border, your employer might also be required to submit to U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. That can mean you'll have to take a medical exam to assess your physical ability to safely drive the shuttle. The exam typically involves evaluating your hearing, measuring your blood pressure and testing you for illegal drugs, among other tests.

Other Requirements

Shuttle drivers often transport travelers to places such as tourist attractions and parks, so a good rapport with people and knowledge of the area are essential. Fluency in a second language can only enhance your application -- especially for airport shuttle drivers. Because travelers also come with luggage, shuttle drivers are often required to be able to lift at least 50 pounds or more. While you won't necessarily be responsible for repairing the vehicle, you will need to be able to identify mechanical problems as they arise to keep your passengers safe.

Finding Jobs

To find shuttle driver jobs, look to places that serve tourists, travelers or large groups of people. Check the website of any airport, train depot or bus station in your area to find out whether the facility employs its own shuttle drivers. Check hotels, convention centers and conference facilities. Tour companies might also employ shuttle drivers -- though for those jobs, you might be required to drive a bus or another vehicle that's larger than your average shuttle bus or van. When you find jobs, prepare a resume that's tailored to the job in question, highlighting your customer service experience, your ability to work efficiently or other traits necessary for the job. Have copies of your driver's license and references ready, in case you're asked in for an interview quickly.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.