While the shortage of school bus drivers is nothing new to the industry, the severity of it is being felt like never before.
As the COVID pandemic enters a third school year, school bus companies are trying to encourage new drivers to get their Class B CDL and school bus (S) endorsement, including older people who may have retired from their careers and want to give back to their community.
No matter if you are a retired truck driver or a younger adult looking for a good job while in a summer school , school districts across the country are asking people to consider driving school buses as an important job. There are many perks including working in the mornings and afternoons as well as getting summers off.
Unfortunately, many who are considering becoming a school bus driver do not know that a new federal regulation will add stricter training requirements in Feb. 2022.
The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule, which will be implemented on February 7, 2022, is the first to establish new minimum training requirements for individuals who want to:
- obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) – Class A or B
- upgrade their current Class or Class B CDL, or
- obtain their initial passenger (P), school bus (S) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement
Under these new requirements, an entry-level driver must successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction.
Prior to taking the knowledge test or the state administered CDL skills or hazmat endorsement tests, training must be provided by an entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR).
In Pennsylvania, there are nearly 43,000 licensed school bus drivers and there is a need for many more.
For example, First Student is hiring part-time and full-time school bus drivers in Pennsylvania, offering up to $20.90/hr, a $1,500 sign-on bonus, and more for anyone at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license for at least 3 years.
To become a licensed school bus driver a person must have a Class A or B CDL with both passenger and school bus endorsements. A further brake endorsement may be required depending on the type of brakes on the bus.
Bus driver candidates must also pass a physical and background check, according to federal regulations.
Remember, as of February 7, 2022, entry-level CDL trainees will have much stricter requirements for obtaining their CDL.
Want to talk to a DRIVING INSTRUCTOR about CDL TRAINING?
CNS Driver Training Center is a third party one-on-one commercial driver’s license training tutor and testing facility in Pennsylvania where we can grow your driving skills, prepare you for your driving test, and conduct the driving skills portion of your CDL test.