School bus monitors help keep students safe during the transportation process. They communicate with drivers and assist passengers on the bus, and they may also perform pretrip and posttrip inspections. In addition, they are often the first to notice a potential problem, like a passenger acting out. They may also be the first to respond to a medical emergency, if needed. The most important qualifications for becoming a bus monitor are good communication skills and the ability to handle the emotional stress of working with children.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most school bus monitors have at least a high school diploma and some experience in a customer service job or with special needs children. Some employers have specific training for monitors who work with special needs students, but the majority of the skills required to be a school bus monitor are learned on the job. A school bus monitor typically works full time, but can choose whether to work a morning or afternoon shift.
A person who works as a school bus monitor must pass a physical performance test prior to assuming duties on the bus. If a monitor or attendant serves pupils with disabling conditions, the school district, board of cooperative educational services, nonpublic school or pupil transportation contractor shall require such person to obtain and maintain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
School bus monitors must be able to maintain discipline aboard the bus and notify school authorities of any infractions or serious accidents. They also must be able to communicate with drivers and passengers, and they must have the knowledge of how to safely exit a bus in case of an emergency.