The salary of a bus driver varies depending on the country. In the USA, average salary per hour for a bus driver is $14.59. In Canada, UK, Australia, Switzerland, and Norway, the average hourly salary is $16.72, $13.24, $19.37, $19.37, $22 and $10 respectively.
There are factors that lead to the variance in salaries for bus drivers. Such factors include the country of work, the category/specialization of the bus, public and private bus companies, education, and location. The main factors that affect a bus driver salary can be said to be the industry, geographical area, and experience of the driver.
Bus Driver Salary Influencers
Though we have an average salary range, there is still notable variance between salaries of different drivers. The differences arise from issues such as the industry, the geographical area where the driver works, and the experience of the driver. These three major factors are discussed below in details.
Buses in the six countries under study are usually differentiated according to their specialization. Most buses ferry the general public. However, some are specifically school buses while others are staff buses. In general, school bus drivers earn the least salary. Staff bus drivers usually earn according to the company they work for. Therefore, some earn more than the general bus drivers and others less.
A private bus company driver earns more salary per hour as compared to a public company bus driver. This can be attributed to the fact that private bus companies are smaller than the public bus companies, and therefore more manageable. They have fewer drivers, so they pay the few better, in comparison to public bus companies which have hundreds of drivers to consider.
2. Geographical area
|Bus Driver Salary||Hourly Wage||Annual Wage|
Bus Driver Salary in the USA
The average USA bus driver earns about $15 per hour. In comparison to the other countries, this is an average pay given that Norway bus drivers earn $10 while Australian bus drivers earn $19.37. The same applies to bonuses and commissions. That is why in average a bus driver in the USA will take home $32,330 every year.
Bus Driver Salary in Canada
Only Switzerland and Australia have better hourly rates for bus drivers in comparison to Canada. The average Canadian bus driver earns $16.72 per hour and $31,756 per year. There is variance between the hourly rate and the annual wage. This variance is due to the reason that Canadian drivers earn fewer commissions and bonuses as compared to drivers in the other countries.
Bus Driver Salary in the UK
Bus drivers in the UK earn $13.24 per hour which is low when you compare it with rates in the other countries. This is, however, compensated by the fact that these drivers earn an average gross salary which is higher than that of the other countries. Only the UK and Norway pay over $54,000 per year. The variance in hourly and annual rates is due to the hefty allowances and commissions bus drivers in the UK earn.
Bus Driver Salary in Australia
Australian bus drivers have the second best hourly pay rate among the six nations. However, their annual pay is not the best. This can be attributed to the fact that the drivers earn fewer allowances and bonuses. This brings about a low annual gross pay.
Bus Driver Salary in Switzerland
Swiss bus drivers earn the highest hourly wage of $22. Their annual wage is the lowest among the six countries, however. This means they earn the least commissions and bonuses. On average, a bus driver in Switzerland earns an annual gross salary of $27,000.
Bus Driver Salary in Norway
In contrast to Switzerland, Norwegian bus drivers earn the least hourly rates when compared to similar drivers in the other five countries. Still, in contrast, bus drivers in Norway earn the highest annual salary. This is due to the hefty allowances and commissions that they get. The average salary of a driver in Norway is valued more often annually rather than hourly for that reason.
Experienced bus drivers make more money than inexperienced drivers. For instance, in Canada, bus drivers start with a salary of $24.06 per hour, which is raised to $26.53 after the first 12 months and then to $31.40 after 24 months.
Some drivers will develop an experience of up to 20 years. However, at this rate, the salary increment with experience is close to zero. For that reason, some leave the job to look for new challenges.
Bus companies in these nations have adopted the pay-by-experience model because it has its advantages. The high pay for experience is related to the skilfulness, safety, and punctuality of the bus driver with much experience.
In all these countries, there are limits to the number of consecutive hours a driver can work. In countries, such as the UK and the USA, there exist some legal regulations directing working hours. In the USA a bus driver is expected to rest for at least 8 hours if he/she drives from one state to another. The maximum working shift for such drivers is 10 hours. In the UK, for every 5.5 hours of bus driving, the driver is expected to take a break of at least 30 minutes. This is for rest and refreshment for the driver.
Bonuses and Benefits Packages
Bonuses and benefits packages vary depending on the country and depending on the company. For example, a company like Compass Transportation in the USA offers its bus drivers health and group life insurance. The health package includes medical, dental and vision benefits. The employees also enjoy flexible spending accounts. Toronto Transit Commission based in Canada offers its bus drivers with a retirement package in addition to medical cover. A driver with over ten years’ experience in Norway can earn $100 cash bonus per hour in certain private companies. In Australia, the annual pay for a bus driver includes tips, bonuses and overtime pay.
According to the US Department of Labour, there will be growth in the number of bus drivers in the USA. The level of growth between 2014 has been projected to be 6% by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is an average growth rate as other professions are at that same growth level. In Switzerland, the situation is positive too with new driver jobs being advertised by companies such as Nauvoo Switzerland which is offering 250 jobs this year. Countries like Norway are advertising these driver jobs, too. The underemployment rate in Norway was 4.8% as at March 2016. The country is, therefore, welcoming people who would love to be bus drivers there.
Working as a bus driver can provide one with a steady income. Though the basis bus driver salary is not very high, the job can be relatively easy, compared to others. It is also a stable job, that is likely to offer opportunities for growth.