Friday, January 16, 2015

Single Fathers: Earn Extra Money Driving a School Bus

So, you’re a single dad, right? Maybe, because your value system has guided you toward caring for your children, you have made career decisions to accommodate a lifestyle in which you can be at home. Maybe, you’re self-employed. Construction? Sales? The arts? Property rental? Day-trading? You’re doing all right, but you could certainly use a little bit extra cash. Who couldn’t? Still, you don’t want to take a job that would jeopardize the parenting time you have with you kids.
Have you considered driving a school bus?

Yeah, that’s right. Drive a school bus. It’s true, a school bus driver job doesn’t fit everyone, like dads who already have a full-time job or who don't have another income stream. Almost all school bus driver jobs are part-time and don’t provide the income needed to raise a family. Still, for some single fathers, driving a school bus is a great match. For example:

1)   School bus drivers work on days kids are in school, so school bus driver single dads can be home when their kids are home like during holidays, breaks, and snow days;
2)   For construction and other seasonal jobs which provide hours during the summer, driving a school bus complements annual income;
3)   Single dads who enjoy a flexible work schedule, like sales and creative arts, among others, the part-time split-schedule is ideal. School bus routes typically operate between 6:30 a.m. until about 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. until about 4:30 p.m. That leaves five hours in the middle of the day for other things;
4)   Wages for school bus drivers are typically competitive, especially compared to the average minimum wage-type jobs, and are based in large part on cost of living. In rural areas, drivers may earn $10 to $15 per hour, while in some urban areas, the pay rate could be quite a bit higher. (In New York City, for example, I’ve heard that some school bus drivers earn nearly $30 per hour);
5)   While driving a school bus requires a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and the appropriate endorsements, many school bus operators, whether privately contracted or managed by a school district, provide free training to applicants to obtain a CDL.
6)   While not universal, many school bus contractors and school districts permit drivers to bring their small children to work with them, which precludes the need for drivers who have pre-school age children from having to get child care;
7)   School bus contractors and school districts which operate their own fleet tend to promote from within. For the right person, in time, other opportunities like dispatcher, safety supervisor, mechanic, or general manager may be available. (Note, these advancement opportunities are typically full-time, so that may require the single dad to make a career path decision.)

All tolled, a job as a school bus driver is a good match for a lot of single dads. In both a day-to-day sense and in a seasonal sense, the hours of a school bus driver “fit” a lot of guys.  It’s also not unreasonable to believe that a school bus driving single father could add $20,000 a year or more to his annual income and a lot of employers are hiring.

Check out the websites of the regional and national school bus contractors or contact your local school district to get more information.