Become a school bus driver for the Beaverton School District
Looking ahead to the 2021-22 school year, some districts say they are dealing with a shortage of school bus drivers.
The Beaverton School District is one of the districts hiring. The district needs to hire 30 to 40 drivers and says with training, almost anyone can learn to drive a school bus.
“Myself, I came in with zero experience,” said J.D. Russell, who switched careers about 10 years ago.
The district is holding three Bus Driving Hiring Events to give job applicants a chance to test drive their buses. This hands-on experience, however, does not include a packed bus of boisterous kids.
“Driving with students onboard does take training and skill,” Russell said.
The district does offer that training. Russell has advice for new bus drivers.
“[The bus] is essentially an extension of the classroom, so we are teachers, we are educators as well. And so, it’s building that one-on-one relationship with the student where you can just talk to them,” he said.
The job is 30 hours a week and the schedule can be flexible. Pay starts at $18.30 an hour and goes up to over $24 an hour with full benefits. Already pre-pandemic there was a nationwide shortage of school bus drivers — COVID-19 may have made things worse.
Russell knows some people see the job as thankless, but he looks at it this way.
“You don’t do it for any other reason besides wanting to be around kids and getting them safely to and from school. There’s not a lot of glamour that comes with driving a school bus,” he said.
The first hiring event was held Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Capital Center, located on the corner of Southwest 185th and Southwest Walker Road. Two other events will occur on July 14 and July 21, both from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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