How to Become a Taxi Driver

Taxi services are an essential form of public transportation in large metropolitan areas and smaller cities. Taxi drivers are trained works that transport a variety of passengers to many different destinations.

What does a taxi driver do?

Taxi drivers take many different people to and from many different places. They usually report to a taxi service or garage where they are assigned their vehicles. They also check the fuel and oil levels and ensure the brakes, lights, and windshield wipers are working properly. Taxi drivers pick up passengers from taxi stands, prearranged pickups, or by being flagged down on the street. They are very familiar with the streets in their area and know the most efficient route to a variety of destinations. They determine the fare for passengers once they reach a destination. Taximeters often calculate the fares based on the distance and time it took to reach a location. The meters are turned on when people enter the taxi and turned off once they reach the final destination. They complete trip sheets with their names, date, vehicle identification number, and fares and stops. They are also responsible for filling out accident reports when incidences take place.

What kind of training does a taxi driver need?

Taxi drivers need at least a high school diploma and must be able to use simple math, have a basic knowledge of mechanics, and be able to communicate effectively. Most complete courses and on the job training where they learn how to operate taximeters, complete paperwork, abide by safety precautions, and use communications equipment. Taxi drivers must have a regular driver’s license and a taxi driver license. Local laws set licensing requirements for taxi drivers that include a minimum amount of training and driving experience.

What are the prospects for a career as a taxi driver?

Employment of taxi drivers is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2006 to 2016 (1). A growing population and the expansion of metropolitan areas will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for taxi drivers with good customer service skills and ability to work flexible hours. There will also be many job openings from the need to replace taxi drivers that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.

How much do taxi drivers make?

As of October 2009, the middle 50% of taxi drivers earn annual salaries between $25,592 and $37,603. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $43,788(2).

A career as a taxi driver is a great choice for people who enjoy driving a variety of people. Taxi drivers must have good driving records and excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they interact with many different types of people. Patience, self-motivation, tolerance, and dependability are essential traits of taxi drivers. They must be able to safely drive in heavy traffic and severe weather conditions.

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