Bus driving instructor

Bus driving instructor illustration


Bus driving instructors teach people the theory and practice of how to operate a bus safely and according to regulations. They assist students in developing the skills needed to drive and prepare them for the driving theory tests and the practical driving test.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to bus driving instructor:

bus driver training instructor
driver education instructor
PCV instructor
driving instructor
driver training instructor
PCV driving instructor
coach driver training instructor
bus driving training instructor
bus driver instructor
Cat D driving instructor
coach driving instructor
Cat D instructor

Working conditions

Driving instructors typically work a 40-hour week, although they may work evenings and weekends to accommodate their students’ schedules. They work in a variety of settings, including offices, classrooms, driving simulators, and behind the wheel of a vehicle. They may also travel to different locations to give lessons. The work can be stressful, as instructors must be constantly alert and aware of their students’ driving skills and mistakes. They must also be able to effectively communicate with their students and provide constructive feedback.

Most driving instructors are self-employed, although some of them may be employed by driving schools.

Minimum qualifications

Most driving instructors have at least a high school diploma. Some employers prefer to hire instructors who have a bachelor’s degree in education, kinesiology or another related field.

Many instructors choose to earn a master’s degree in education to increase their earning potential and qualify for higher-paying positions.

In many countries or states, a valid driving instructor’s license is required to become a driving instructor. The license depends on the driving instructor role candidates apply for (example: a license that allows to teach a certain number of students). To get it, candidates must attend a training typically offered by driving schools. This training teach them how to teach students and how to use the materials they will need, such as a whiteboard and a car.

Driving instructors must have a valid driver’s license for the level at which they want to teach. Depending on the jurisdictions where the candidates apply, they may be subject to additional requirement, such as a clear driving record or a clear criminal record.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Bus driving instructor is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Bus driving instructor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to bus driving instructor.

car driving instructor
motorcycle instructor
truck driving instructor
driving instructor
bus driver

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of bus driving instructor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of bus driving instructor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

vessel steering instructor
outdoor activities instructor
lifeguard instructor
first aid instructor
survival instructor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of bus driving instructor.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of bus driving instructor.

  • Guarantee students’ safety: Ensure all students falling under an instructor or other person’s supervision are safe and accounted for. Follow safety precautions in the learning situation.
  • Control the performance of the vehicle: Understand and anticipate the performance and behaviour of a vehicle. Comprehend concepts such as lateral stability, acceleration, and braking distance.
  • Monitor developments in field of expertise: Keep up with new research, regulations, and other significant changes, labour market related or otherwise, occurring within the field of specialisation.
  • Drive vehicles: Be able to drive vehicles; have the appropriate type of driving license according to the type of motor vehicle used.
  • Observe student’s progress: Follow up on students’ learning progress and assess their achievements and needs.
  • Show consideration for student’s situation: Take students’ personal backgrounds into consideration when teaching, showing empathy and respect.
  • Diagnose problems with vehicles: Diagnose issues with vehicles and assess the efforts and costs required to resolve them.
  • Adapt teaching to student’s capabilities: Identify the learning struggles and successes of students. Select teaching and learning strategies that support students’ individual learning needs and goals.
  • Apply teaching strategies: Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners’ level, goals, and priorities.
  • Adapt to new technology used in cars: Adapt to new technology integrated in cars; understand systems operation and provide troubleshooting.
  • Ensure vehicle operability: Keep the vehicle clean and in roadworthy condition. Ensure regular maintenance of the vehicle and provide valid official documents such as licenses and permits where appropriate.
  • Teach driving practices: Instruct students in the practice of driving a vehicle such as a bus, taxi, truck, motorcycle or tractor safely, practice mechanical operation on roads with little traffic, and promote an anticipatory way of driving. Recognise the student’s difficulties and repeat the learning steps until the student feels at ease. Plan routes on different types of roads, during rush hour or at night.
  • Give constructive feedback: Provide founded feedback through both criticism and praise in a respectful, clear, and consistent manner. Highlight achievements as well as mistakes and set up methods of formative assessment to evaluate work.
  • Interpret traffic signals: Observe lights on the road, road conditions, nearby traffic, and prescribed speed limits to ensure safety. Interpret traffic signals and act accordingly.
  • Park vehicles: Park motorised vehicles without compromising the integrity of vehicles and safety of people.
  • Ensure vehicles are equipped with accessibility equipment: Ensure that the vehicle is equipped with accessibility equipment such as passenger lift, seat belts, restraining harnesses, and wheelchair clamps or webbing straps.
  • Assist students in their learning: Support and coach students in their work, give learners practical support and encouragement.
  • Encourage students to acknowledge their achievements: Stimulate students to appreciate their own achievements and actions to nurture confidence and educational growth.
  • Perform defensive driving: Drive defensively to maximise road safety and save time, money, and lives; anticipate the actions of other road users.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bus driving instructor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Customer service: Processes and principles related to the customer, client, service user and to personal services; these may include procedures to evaluate customer’s or service user’s satisfaction.
  • Operation of different engines: Know the characteristics, maintenance requirements and operating procedures of various kinds of engines such as gas, diesel, electrical, and engines with steam propulsion plants.
  • Types of vehicles: Field of information which distinguishes rental agency classification systems, containing types and classes of vehicles and their functioning and components.
  • Adult education: Instruction targeted at adult students, both in a recreational and in an academic context, for self-improvement purposes, or to better equip the students for the labour market.
  • Learning difficulties: The learning disorders some students face in an academic context, especially Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and concentration deficit disorders.
  • Driving examinations: The components, regulations, and properties of theoretical and practical driving tests.
  • Mechanics of motor vehicles: The way energy forces interact and affect components in motor vehicles such as cars, buses, invalid carriages and other motorised vehicles.
  • Types of vehicle engines: Types of car engines in road and racing cars, including those with emerging technologies like Hybrids and electric motors, and how they work.
  • Driver’s license structure: The different types of driver’s licenses, the procedures for obtaining them, and which vehicles may be driven holding each type. Any special conditions or responsibilities tied to a driver’s license.
  • Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
  • Engine components: Know the different engine components, and their operation and maintenance. Understand when repairs and replacement should be undertaken.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bus driving instructor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Drive in urban areas: Drive vehicles in urban areas. Interpret and understand transit signs in a city, the regulation of traffic, and the related common automobility agreements in an urban area.
  • Read maps: Read maps effectively.
  • Manoeuvre bus: Drive a bus in reverse and make turns.
  • Assess students: Evaluate the students’ (academic) progress, achievements, course knowledge and skills through assignments, tests, and examinations. Diagnose their needs and track their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Formulate a summative statement of the goals the student achieved.
  • Demonstrate when teaching: Present to others examples of your experience, skills, and competences that are appropriate to specific learning content to help students in their learning.
  • Teach driving theory: Use didactic ways to educate on road traffic laws, on the appropriate driving behaviour, on authorisation requirements for vehicles and trailers, on the operation of different types of vehicles, and on the dangers of road travel.
  • Use geographic memory: Use your memory of geographic surroundings and detail in navigation.
  • Operate an emergency communication system: Efficiently operate common communication systems used in emergencies, such as base station mobile transmitters and receivers, portable transmitters and receivers, repeaters, cellular phones, pagers, automated vehicle locators, and satellite phones as required.

ISCO group and title

5165 – Driving instructors

  1. Bus driving instructor – ESCO
  2. Featured image: By HQA02330 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on November 15, 2022

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