To become a Chauffeur you need to be a polite, efficient and dedicated person.
If you become a chauffeur, then you must be prepared to work very unsociable hours and at sometimes, very short notice. Most of your work will involve transporting business people between their homes, airports and their place of work, therefore these will take place out office hours. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our quizzes.
Many chauffeurs and drivers hold a high school or GED test diploma, but in general, this is not a requirement. The majority of taxi and limousine firms will provide a period of on-the-job training to their new drivers which will, in general, require some one or two weeks. The length of the training depends on the company and where it is located. There are cities that have laws for training requirements. The training of these new drivers usually covers driver and passenger safety, local traffic regulations and laws, and of course local street layouts.
Taxi drivers will additionally be trained to understand how taximeters and communication gear work. In general will taxi drivers be trained about local regulations, whereas chauffeurs will need to learn not only local regulations but state and federal practices as well. Limousine chauffeurs are typically trained by the company they work for with a strong emphasis on customer service. Paratransit drivers generally will get special training in basic first aid, and how to operate wheelchair lifts or other mechanical support devices. To discover if this profession may fit your needs, go to our free career quiz!
Chauffeurs and taxi drivers, of course, are required to possess a regular driver’s license, but on top of that, states and local municipalities, in general, impose more requirements. They usually require chauffeurs and ‘cabbies’ to acquire a chauffeur’s or taxi driver’s license, frequently called a ‘hack’ license. To get this licence, drivers usually need to pass a written test that includes questions about local regulations and geography, and in most cases. they need to take a drug test as well.
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is requiring drivers who are transporting 16 or more passengers (driver included) at a time, to also hold a CDL (commercial driver’s license) that has a P (passenger) endorsement. In order to obtain this license, drivers must take and pass several tests on knowledge and driving skills.
Chauffeurs and taxi drivers are driving other individuals to and from certain places they must go. Their destinations may be workplaces, homes, airports, hospitals, or shopping centers. Chauffeurs and taxi drivers are required to be very knowledgeable in the cities they work in to be able to take visitors or residents efficiently and fast to their specific destinations.
Chauffeurs and taxi drivers need to be continually alert to traffic situations and road conditions, and they are required to take all necessary precautions to make sure their passengers or goods are safe, particularly in bad weather or heavy traffic. They are required to operate in accordance with vehicle-for-hire regulations, like how and where they may pick up their goods or passengers or the amounts of money they are allowed to charge.
Good chauffeurs and taxi drivers must be familiar with their cities and the streets they are servicing. They need to know how to choose efficient routes, know about delays, and consider all traffic at a specific time of the day. They are expected to know about highly requested destinations in their area, for example, train stations, airports, hotels, convention centers, or important points of interest. They are required to locate police and stations, hospitals, and other important public places when an emergency occurs.
Sometimes, taxi drivers and chauffeurs operate their own vehicles, but a lot of them are employed by organizations that provide them with their vehicles. There are several industries that employ chauffeurs and taxi drivers, and in 2013, 22 percent of these professionals were employed by Taxi and Limousine Service, 12 percent were working as Healthcare and Social Assistance drivers, and 10 percent had jobs in other Transit and Ground Transportation positions.
Taxi drives (also referred to as cabbies), usually are using meters to be able to determine their passengers’ fare. In general, customers call a central dispatcher and request a cab, and the dispatcher will instruct the taxi driver where to pick up a customer. There are also drivers who pick up their customers when they are waiting in taxi lines, e.g. at train stations or airports, or at cab stands. In larger cities, you can see taxi drivers driving around and picking up their customers, but this is not a legal activity in a lot of cities.
Chauffeurs take their passengers on pre-arranged journeys or trips, and they usually drive in private cars, vans, buses, or limousines. Chauffeurs may be employed by private businesses, government agencies, or private persons, and they may be fully employed or get hired for single trips. The job of chauffeur or bus driver requires a high level of customer service. especially for those who drive luxury cars or buses, and there are chauffeurs who also perform the tasks of executive assistants, being not only the driver but also acting as an itinerary planner and secretary. There are also a lot of chauffeurs that are driving large vans or buses between train stations, airports, or hotels.
Paratransit drivers are driving individuals who have special needs. They are taking care of, for example, people with disabilities or the elderly. They usually drive in vehicles that are specially equipped to transport people that have specific needs in non-emergency situations. Their vehicles may, for example, come with wheelchair lifts, and these paratransit drivers will assist their passengers with getting in and out of their vehicles.
Bus drivers are required to hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and they must complete a specific training program. Bus drivers are required to meet specific vision and hearing requirements, and they must have a high school or GED test diploma. Bus drivers usually will receive up to three months of training, of which a major part is spent on a special driving course, at which bus drivers learn and practice several maneuvers while driving a bus.
Chauffeurs and taxi drivers are a group of professionals that have injuries and illnesses rates that are among the highest in the nation of all occupations. For a large part, this is due to car accidents, but there are more factors. Picking up packages and heavy luggage, making long hours at the wheel, particularly when traffic is heavy traffic, and dealing with customers, may cause a lot of injury and stress for taxi drivers and chauffeurs.
In 2013, there were around 235,000 professional chauffeurs and taxi and bus drivers in the U.S. Around 24 percent were self-employed and these drivers usually own their vehicle and have contracts with companies. These companies refer passengers and allow these self-employed drivers to utilize the company’s facilities (for a small fee). There are drivers that are using company cars as well. Job expectations are pretty stable as the services of these professionals will always be in demand.
In 2014, the average income for taxi drivers and chauffeurs was around $24,420, and this includes tips. It goes without saying that the better their service, the more tips they likely will make on each fare. Bus drivers were making a slightly higher income. Their median hourly wage was around $14,80 and their average annual salary was some $29,550.