Friday, November 11, 2016

How to Become a Professional Driver: Training and Certifications

How to Become a Professional Driver: Training and Certifications

Becoming a professional driver is a major responsibility. Working as a driver focuses greatly on customer service as you chauffeur clients to a number of important events, like weddings, funerals, award ceremonies, and even airports.

For this reason, it's important to be timely, friendly, and respectful. A professional driver must also undergo extensive training before working for a chauffeur service in Austin.

Training Requirements for a Professional Driver

Depending upon the company, different training requirements may be necessary to work as a professional-driver. For example, formal education isn't needed to work as a limousine driver; many limo companies provide on-the-job training that will last up to two weeks.

Within a company's training process, a limo driver will have to learn how to operate vehicle equipment, read roadmaps and GPS navigation, perform routine vehicle testing and maintenance, and communicate well with clients.

In addition, a limo driver will have to test and qualify for a specialized license in order to drive a limousine. A limo driver will need a basic driver's license to start and will also have to apply for a chauffeur's license.

In many cases, an employer will need to endorse a driver that is applying for a professional chauffeur's license. While regulations will vary state-by-state, a professional-driver will need to have practice driving a limousine before they can qualify for a CDL license endorsement, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirement to drive 16 or more passengers at once.

How Much Can a Professional Driver Make?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that professional car operators, like chauffeurs, can make roughly $11.51 an hour. Although this is a modest starting wage, career drivers can easily work their way up the ladder to earn closer to $60,000 a year.

The amount of money that a chauffeur makes will depend upon the industry. For example, a professional limo driver working with celebrities in Hollywood could make anywhere from $50,000-$80,000 a year. Many chauffeurs find that security companies, performing arts companies, and motion picture companies pay higher wages for professional drivers.

Important Tips for Working as a Professional Driver

As all professional car drivers can agree, punctuality is the most important quality in a chauffeur. Most clients will be willing to overlook a number of issues, as long as a limo shows up for an important event on time. If a client is kept waiting, they are likely to complain and may not book a limo or car service for a second time.

As a rule of thumb, consider these helpful tips for a professional driving career:

• Show up a minimum of 15 minutes early for each job.
• Account for traffic and have alternate routes available.
• Use a reliable GPS system with backup roadmaps on hand.
• Become familiar with your service area to learn shortcuts.
• Learn about the history of your city to provide passengers with interesting facts and information.
• Always know the location of police stations, fire stations, and hospitals in the case of an emergency.

Max Kilgar has experience in all things travel and business. He is a freelance writer out of Austin, Texas that writes primarily for chauffeur service Austin which is a fast is growing private transportation company specializing in the customer experience.

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