Paratransit Vehicle Operator

Bus Driver, Motor Coach operator, Special Needs Bus Driver  

Paratransit vehicle operators typically report to an operations manager. The positions may exist within a public transportation agency or be outsourced to other organizations in the private or not-for-profit sector. The level of stress of a paratransit vehicle operator may be similar to that of a regular bus operator.

Paratransit vehicle operators must have the ability to keep to a schedule and possess communication and problem-solving skills, especially when unexpected situations arise due to the special needs of the clients. Operators may have to work split shifts, particularly as new hires. The physical ability to lift and assist other people in and out of the vehicle is essential.

Paratransit vehicle operators must have a high school diploma or pass the general educational development (GED) exam and have a clean driving record. Additional qualifications and standards are established by state and federal regulations, but public transportation, inter-city, and other motor coach operators must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a passenger vehicle endorsement (P). Drivers are responsible for complying with regulations within their own states, as well as those of other states (or countries) where they operate.

To qualify for a CDL, applicants must pass a knowledge test on rules and regulations and then demonstrate in a skills test that they can operate a paratransit vehicle safely. The Department of Transportation keeps a national database of all driving violations incurred by CDL holders, and a state may not issue a license to a person who has already had a license suspended or revoked in another state. Drivers may hold only one license at a time, and must surrender all other driver's licenses upon receiving their new CDLs. Information on how to apply for a CDL and each type of endorsement can be obtained from state motor vehicle administrations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Many industry employers provide on-the-job training, but click on the "get qualified" tab above to see additional resources for job preparation and training.

More Details
Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
6% - Slower than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $22,910 - $37,940    Hourly: $11 - $18

Note:  There may be opportunities for overtime work and overtime pay in this occupation.

Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

- Ability to sit for an extended period of time operating the vehicle with limited breaks
- Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

Legal Requirements
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

High School or GED (HS)
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Percent Job Growth:

6% - Slower than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $22,910 - $37,940

Hourly: $11 - $18