PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – School districts around the state are looking for additional bus drivers this school year.
Southeast Polk Community Schools Transportation Director Dan Schultz said the district still needs five drivers.
“You’re early in the morning and later in the afternoon and you’ve got the middle part of your day off. You’ve got a split shift, which is difficult to begin with. You have to come in two or three times a day. It’s not you come in once and you are done. It’s just something you have to go back and forth for,” Schultz said.
Schultz said to become a bus driver a person needs to go through a background check, random drug screenings, have references and more.
Southeast Polk bus drivers are part-time and start at $19.10 an hour. Schultz said over a period of time drivers can earn up to $21 an hour.
Schultz said most of his bus drivers are retired. The job is not for everyone, but it is rewarding.
“When you ask a bus driver about the students that ride the bus their first thing is ‘those are my kids.’ They’ll talk to them in that sense. That is where you start seeing how you can make a difference in that one child’s life,” Schultz said.
According to Des Moines Public Schools, the district still needs 20-25 drivers for the school year. DMPS bus drivers start at $19.44 an hour plus IPERS benefits.