Best bus company to work for

If you’re looking for hourly work with the opportunity to work with the public, a job as a bus driver might be for you.

However, there are quite a few different types of jobs that you can have working in a bus company. Some involve working with your hands, some involve driving and some involve customer service.

Interested to learn more about bus jobs? Here’s what we’ll be covering:

First things first: let’s look at Breakroom Ratings for bus companies, going from best to worst.

What is the Breakroom Rating? This is a measure used to determine whether a job is good or bad.

The Breakroom Rating is powered by workers telling us what their jobs are like through our job comparison survey.

Best bus companies to work for in the UK

  1. Metro: 8.4/10

  2. Transport for London: 7.8/10

  3. Metrobus: 7.6/10

  4. Translink: 7.4/10

  5. Abellio: 7.2/10

  6. Nottingham City Transport: 7.2/10

  7. Metroline: 7.1/10

  8. Brighton & Hove Buses: 7.0/10

  9. MAG Airport Group: 6.7/10

  10. Arriva: 6.0/10

Now you’ve seen what workers at bus companies think of their employers, lets explore bus jobs a little further.

Now you’ve seen what workers at bus companies think of their employers, let’s explore bus jobs a little further.

What types of jobs do bus companies offer?

There are lots of different types of jobs in bus companies. These include:

  • Bus drivers. These are also known as passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) drivers.

  • Mechanics

  • Engineers

  • Technicians

  • Customer service

  • Cleaners

It’s good to remember that bus driver jobs aren’t the only jobs that bus companies offer.

If you don’t fancy being a bus driver, but would like to work at a bus company, there are other job opportunities too.

Quite a few bus company jobs, like drivers or mechanics, require specific qualifications or experience. However, there are entry level opportunities as well.

Some bus companies offer on-the-job training for their bus drivers. If you’re interested in becoming a driver but don’t quite meet the requirements, keep a lookout for these trainee positions.

How much are bus drivers and bus company workers paid per hour?

Let’s take a look at the average pay that workers in bus companies earn per hour.

These pay rates are from all the different types of jobs in bus companies, although the majority of this data does come from bus drivers.

Bus company 25% workers earn this or less 50% workers earn this or less 75% workers earn this or less
All bus companies £10.70 £11.42 £12.50
National Express £10.30 £10.70 £16.00
Arriva £11.11 £12.35 £12.95
First Bus £10.49 £11.36 £12.00
Stagecoach £10.70 £11.03 £11.65
Go North East £9.67 £10.71 £11.53

What’s really good to see is that, on average, all bus companies pay above the Real Living Wage. As of 2020, this is £9.30 per hour across the UK, and £10.75 per hour in London.

This list includes all the best paying bus companies that are on Breakroom. All of these are above the Real Living Wage too.

In fact, the pay rates are what many bus drivers have shared is the best thing about their job.

Here’s some examples of what they have shared:

‘The driving and pay’

‘Good pay’

‘Rate of pay’

‘Money is decent’

Do bus drivers and bus company workers get paid weekly?

Now you’ve seen how much bus company workers on average earn, let’s see how frequently they get paid.

We’ve looked at the pay frequency on some of the bus companies on Breakroom. We want to see if there are any patterns in pay frequency across the industry. Here’s what we found:

Bus company % workers paid weekly % workers paid fortnightly % workers paid every 4 weeks
Go North 100% 0% 0%
Stagecoach 98% 0% 2%
First Bus 95% 1% 3%
National Express 94% 0% 6%
Arriva 92% 0% 8%

A lot of these bus companies pay their workers weekly.

It’s helpful to know ahead of starting a new job when you can expect to be paid. It makes it much easier to plan how to keep on top of your financial commitments.

Is being a bus driver or working at a bus company stressful?

Now that we have looked into what bus company pay rates are like, let’s move onto another important work question: how stressful is it to work at a bus company?

Here’s what Breakroom users who work at bus companies had to say:

Bus company % workers who are stressed
All bus companies 55%
Go North East 63%
Arriva 62%
Stagecoach 58%
First Bus 57%
National Express 41%

On average, over half of bus workers are stressed across all the bus companies on Breakroom.

For comparison, we have also featured the stress levels at individual bus companies. Apart from National Express (which offers a slightly different service to most local bus companies), these companies all have a majority of stressed workers.

Bus workers have said that causes of stress include:

'Abuse and stress from driving all day'

'Difficult situations with passengers'

'Having to work bank holidays'

'Overtime can at times feel mandatory'

'The long hours'

'Hours, shifts. No routine, no choice'

Some of the causes of stress are dependent on the roles themselves, like bus drivers having to deal with tricky customers.

However, something that is common across all bus jobs on Breakroom is having to work long hours.

Looking into this a little further, here’s a breakdown of how many hours bus workers work a week:

Hours worked % workers who these hours
Low hours (under 16) 0%
Part-time (16-34) 2%
Full-time (35+) 98%

Nearly all bus company workers work over 35 hours a week. And on average work 42 hours a week.

This would be the equivalent of working almost 8 and a half hours a day, 5 days a week. This doesn’t include any time factored in for breaks.

Even if breaks are included, this all adds up to very long working days.

The Breakroom verdict on bus companies

What type of bus job is right for you is all down to what sort of work you’d like to do.

Regarding bus companies themselves, the pay rates they offer can be above the Real Living Wage.

But it’s always worth researching further into the jobs they offer. Some bus companies pay more than other bus companies, even for similar jobs.

Overall, there’s still a lot of work for bus companies to do to increase their Breakroom ratings. These include:

  • Reducing the hours their workers are working, without this negatively impacting their pay rates.

  • Taking steps to reduce how stressed their workers are feeling.

  • Consistently offering Real Living Wage and above pay rates for all their workers.

Workers at bus companies deserve consistency and stability for all the hard work they put in.

As one bus driver shared:

‘The job itself can be good!’

But a lot can be done to make them much better.

The data used here is from 4 August 2020

Published on 4 August 2020