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How Much Do Bus Drivers Make? (US Guide)

To be a good bus driver is not easy, requiring outstanding interpersonal skills, powers of concentration, and driving experience. Bus drivers are relatively well paid in the United States as they have many people’s lives in their hands, although their monthly salaries and benefits vary.

Several factors influence how much bus drivers take home to their families, such as their experience level and their chosen state. 

Bus drivers in America can expect to earn between $29.000 and $45.000 yearly. Experienced bus drivers will earn more than their inexperienced counterparts, while the state they work in is also enormously influential. Industry salaries are expected to increase over the next decade. 

Despite most bus drivers earning less money yearly than the American per capita average, most enter the profession for other, more noble reasons. Being a bus driver is not for the faint-hearted, especially since they have many lives in their hands daily.

This article will fully analyze what a bus driver entails, what impacts the yearly salary, and where the industry is headed over the next decade. 

How Much Is A Bus Driver Paid?

While the amount bus drivers get paid differs between regions, the average yearly salary is in the region of $34.000. 

Bus drivers earn a relatively high salary in most developed or first-world countries due to their work commitments and daily responsibilities. American bus drivers earn an average of $17.50 per hour of work, meaning that with overtime, most can earn close to $40.000 yearly. 

However, entry-level positions for bus drivers with less than 5 years of experience start at just $29.000 yearly.

Conversely, bus drivers with more than 5 years of driving experience can expect to earn in the mid $30.000 range, with the highest-paid bus drivers earning $45.000 or more.

The amount bus drivers earn is also highly influenced by the specific region they choose to operate within. 

What Influences How Bus Drivers Get Paid? 

While it is known that bus drivers can expect to earn between $29.000 and $45.000 yearly before taxes, many factors influence a driver’s pay package. 

As with any job in a first-world country, bus drivers get paid depending on important factors such as certifications, education level, years in the industry, and any additional skills. In addition, the type of bus or its contents is influential in your base yearly pay as some drivers have far more responsibility than others. 

Bus drivers new to the industry can expect to be paid on the lower end of the spectrum, usually in the region of $29.000 yearly. Bus drivers new to the industry earn less than their counterparts, mainly due to their lack of experience and academic qualifications. 

Experience is a significant factor in global bus industries as the scope, size, and responsibility placed solely on the shoulders of the driver cannot be understated.

Furthermore, drivers with high-level academic qualifications can expect to earn more than their counterparts as they are better qualified and usually offer more value, justifying their higher pay packages. 

Moreover, new bus drivers who stick to the rules and regulations and drive responsibly can expect to rise quickly. As they advance through their careers, inexperienced bus drivers will obtain crucial experience, with their salaries simultaneously increasing. 

How Bus Drivers Get Paid Per Region

Bus drivers get paid differently for numerous reasons, although the region they choose to operate in is highly influential. 

  • Massachusetts: $50.500
  • Washington: $43.300
  • Minnesota: $40.890
  • Alaska: $40.600
  • Colorado: $40.000
  • Nevada: $39.900
  • California: $39.800
  • Rhode Island: $39.400
  • Vermont: $39.100
  • Wyoming: $39.100
  • Maine: $39.000
  • Utah: $39.000
  • Indiana: $39.000
  • Maryland: $39.000
  • Connecticut: $39.000
  • New Jersey: $39.000
  • New York: $39.000
  • North Dakota: $38.700
  • Pennsylvania: $38.200
  • Montana: $38.200
  • Wisconsin: $38.000
  • Tennessee: $37.900
  • Virginia: $37.100
  • Illinois: $37.100
  • Oregon:  $36.800
  • Iowa: $36.100
  • Nebraska: $35.600
  • South Dakota: $35.500
  • Arkansas: $35.200
  • Ohio: $35.100
  • Michigan: $35.000
  • Kansas: $34.700
  • Delaware: $34.200
  • Missouri: $33.200
  • Louisiana: $33.150
  • Texas: $32.800
  • Idaho: $32.200
  • Arizona: $32.000
  • West Virginia: $31.800
  • South Carolina: $31.150
  • Georgia: $31.100
  • Florida: $31.000
  • Kentucky: $30.900  
  • Alabama: $30.400
  • Mississippi: $30.300
  • North Carolina: $29.500
  • Hawaii: $29.300
  • New Mexico: $29.300
  • Oklahoma: $29.200

As the above figures indicate, the region bus drivers choose to work in indirectly impacts how they will be paid.

The difference between the highest paid region, which is a $50.500 yearly salary in Massachusetts, compared to the lowest paid region, which is a $29.200 yearly salary in Oklahoma, is an enormous $20.000 per year.

How Will Bus Drivers Get Paid Over The Coming Decade?

Over the coming decade, bus drivers over the entire payment spectrum can expect to earn more as the bus industry and global transportation demands are predicted to continue rising.

The current state of the global bus industry is secure despite experts predicting a worldwide recession over the next few years. However, over the coming years, demand for bus drivers in America and most other regions is expected to continue increasing.

Busses are an important mode of transportation in developed and third-world countries, allowing citizens to travel freely and attend jobs previously out of reach.

Despite the global bus industry being unfairly labeled as one of the world’s worst polluters, a definite shift has recently been experienced.

Global governments have realized that buses are an essential part of any society, with the mode of transport being a significant factor for economic growth and socioeconomic enhancements.

The bus industry’s continued demand for experienced, qualified, and responsible drivers has not gone unnoticed, with most reliable indications pointing to increased bus driver salaries over the coming decade.

Experience is a significant factor in global bus industries as the scope, size, and responsibility placed solely on the shoulders of the driver cannot be understated


Bus drivers are paid relatively well in the United States and most other regions of the world. Currently, bus drivers can expect to earn an average of $18-19 per hour, with the average yearly salary being $35.000.

How bus drivers are paid is directly proportional to their years’ worth of experience, their academic qualifications, the region they work in, and any other critical additional skills.