Top Qualities of the Best School Bus Drivers — Do You Have What It Takes?

Top Qualities of the Best School Bus Drivers — Do You Have What It Takes?

bus driver smiling at student

Whether you’ve only given a passing thought to the idea of becoming a school bus driver or you’re actively searching for school bus companies hiring in PA, there’s a lot more to being a school bus driver than just driving the bus! The best bus drivers bring tons of skills and qualifications to the table. If you’ve got more than a few of the following qualities, you may make a great school bus driver.


The #1 most important item among the best qualities for bus drivers is responsibility. Whether you’ve got a packed bus or you’re dropping off the last student on your evening route, you’re responsible for everyone on the school bus. Their safety depends on you! School buses of every size, age group, and route should be operated only by the most responsible bus drivers. Responsibility for everyone in your care as a school bus driver involves, among other things:

  • Reliably showing up for work
  • Attending to all stops and pickups
  • Driving safely and following all road rules
  • Making sure students follow bus rules
  • Keeping in contact with relevant supervisors if any problems arise


Ever waited for a bus in the rain because your driver was late? Most people have an experience or two with a late school bus driver. While certain unavoidable situations (weather, road obstacles, traffic, and more.) can make a bus driver run behind schedule, punctuality is one of the best qualities for bus drivers for obvious reasons! Students and their parents depend on you to get to and from school on time.


Adaptability is a must for school bus drivers. No two days are the same when you drive a school bus! Even if you have a route you’re used to driving every day, you may need to step in and take another driver’s route, switch to a new route, or navigate other unpredictable scheduling situations. You might even drive different kinds of school buses depending on the day. You will also have to be adaptable with your work times, dates, the ages and class sizes of students, as well as other important details.


Do you remember any of your school bus drivers during childhood? You probably remember the ones who took the time to remember YOU! Personability and friendliness go a long way in becoming a great school bus driver. Taking the time to memorize each passenger’s name is a simple detail that can make a shy kid’s day or reassure parents that you care about their children. Friendliness also fosters respect. Students who like their bus drivers are much more likely to listen to them and respond positively to correction or safety instructions.


The old saying “patience is a virtue” couldn’t be more true when considering the best qualities for school bus drivers! Patience is a necessity to deal with everyone on your bus route. From high schoolers who’ve slept late and are sprinting to make the bus to kindergartners who’ve somehow lost both shoes and a lunchbox during a 5-minute bus ride, you’ll be dealing with a lot of people… and sometimes, they will test your patience. Hang in there, and remember that helping students will be much easier when you practice patience.

Calm Under Pressure

Whether you’re working a field trip driving one of our school bus rentals or you’re just on your regular route, there will be stressful situations that inevitably arise. Perhaps it’s a sudden winter storm, a flat tire, or a crisis for a student. You are the leader of everyone on the bus, so students will look to you during a catastrophe or stressful event. Regardless of what happens, you’ll need to be calm under pressure. This is not just one of the best qualities for school bus drivers but an essential one.

Thinking About Becoming a School Bus Driver?

The qualities we mentioned in this article aren’t the only best qualities for school bus drivers, but if you have a few — or all — of them, you’d probably make a great school bus driver! If you’re thinking about a career path as a school bus driver or are looking for school bus rentals, partner with us to ensure everyone travels safely to their destination — and has a blast getting there!


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