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What Kinds of Driving Jobs Are There?

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If you enjoy watching the world go by, then a driving job may the right career for you. Some driving jobs are mostly solitary endeavors, with hours spent on highways and roads far from home. Other jobs may keep you in your local community, making deliveries or ferrying people from airports to neighborhoods. Some common driving jobs are truck driver, taxi driver, bus driver and courier.

Truck Driver

There are several kinds of truck diving jobs, many of which require you to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). Over-the-road or long-haul drivers operate large trucks such as 18-wheelers, and often travel between states. Long-haul drivers can be away from home for weeks at a time and are sometimes paired with another driver so there's no down-time in delivering items.

Pick-up and delivery drivers, also known as local drivers, operate medium-sized trucks and usually work within a specific geographic location, rather than crossing state lines. They're primarily responsible for delivering products to clients and customers, and they have more face-to-face interaction than long-haul drivers. Hazardous materials drivers need a CDL and a hazardous materials endorsement to operate heavy trucks, including tanker trucks that transport hazardous material. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the 2009 annual median salary of a heavy-truck driver as $37,730.

Taxi Driver

Taxi drivers transport passengers between locations and are often found at hotels and airports. As a taxi driver, you're usually assigned a specific car to take out for a shift. You often are responsible for the vehicle's overall maintenance. Fares are determined by a meter or sometimes by a flat rate. Taxi drivers generally work for a company, but there some independently owned taxis as well. There are no general education requirements for a taxi driver, though most companies will require a chauffeur's license or a CDL with a passenger endorsement. The 2009 annual median salary of a taxi driver was $21.960, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Bus Driver

Bus drivers pick up and drop off passengers at designated locations, and mainly work for school systems or metropolitan transit authorities, though specialized bus drivers are employed by resorts and government agencies. As a bus driver, your vehicle can range from a small 10- or 15-passenger bus to a full-size bus that can convey 100 passengers. Public-transit bus drivers may be required to sell tickets and collect fare, interact with customers about different routes, give directions and help handicapped passengers onto the vehicle.

Bus safety is important duty of a bus driver, especially for school-bus drivers, who deal with small children on a daily basis. To become a bus driver, you will need to obtain a CDL with a passenger and school-bus endorsement Depending on your employer, you may also have to undergo a training program. As of 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that school -bus drivers earned a median annual salary of $27,400, and public transit drivers earned $34,180.

Courier

Couriers transport products and other items from one location to another and are most commonly employed by companies such as Federal Express and UPS, though smaller private companies also offer similar services. Most couriers use company vans or small trucks in their daily work, but some require you to operate your own vehicle in exchange for gas reimbursement. If you're employed by a big company, you usually arrive at a warehouse location, load your deliveries for the day and begin your route. Smaller companies may send couriers on individual runs and have them return to an office to wait for another pickup and delivery. Some companies may require you to get a CDL, but many require only a valid driver's license and clean driving record, and provide the necessary training. As of 2009, couriers had a median annual salary of $23,770, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About the Author

Sampson Quain is a screenwriter and filmmaker who began writing in 1996. He has sold feature and television scripts to a variety of studios and networks including Columbia, HBO, NBC, Paramount and Lionsgate. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

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