What Is the Job Description of a Taxi Driver?

Explore the career requirements for a taxi driver. Get the facts about training, licensure requirements and salary information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Taxi Driver?

A taxi driver is a transit professional who uses a taxi to transport a person or small group of people from one location to another. They are responsible for basic vehicle maintenance and maintaining a clean cab. They may receive a call alerting them of a location to pick someone up, or they may be hailed by a pedestrian or pick up passengers arriving at airports or other transportation venues. Once they arrive at the destination they collect fares from passengers based on a standard rate plus the number of miles driven. Taxi drivers must follow all traffic laws and may need a state or city taxi license.

Education Required None
Training Required On-the-job training: meter use, dispatch equipment use, vehicle maintenance
Key Skills Safety-conscious driving, punctuality, city orientation, map reading, GPS use
Licensure Valid driver's license, state or city taxi license, depending on location
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 13%
Average Salary (2015) * $26,070

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of a Taxi Driver?

As a taxi driver, your main job duty is to drive passengers from one location to another. You may own your own taxi cab, or you may rent a vehicle from a taxi company. You might find customers by driving around a populated city and waiting to be hailed. You then pull over, let customers board and take them to their destination. You might also wait until a dispatch center calls you and gives you instructions on where to pick up customers. Some popular destinations include airports, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

You must be a skilled driver in order to work as a professional taxi driver. You should also have a strong familiarity with a particular city in order to navigate planned and alternate routes. You're typically also responsible for maintaining the taxi you drive. You should take it in for regular check-ups and make sure that components like brakes and windshield wipers are in strong working order.

What Training Might I Need?

Very few educational requirements are set for becoming a taxi driver. Some companies may prefer to hire high school graduates, but even that isn't a common requirement. You should be able to perform basic math and read maps if you want to succeed as a taxi driver.

If you work for a taxi company, you will typically receive on-the-job training. Training will consist of learning how to operate a taxi meter, use dispatching equipment and provide basic upkeep of a vehicle.

Will I Need Licensure?

You do need to obtain a regular driver's license from your state before you can work as a taxi driver. Many states require you to earn a taxi driver's license as well. Some cities have their own taxi commissions that set requirements for gaining licensure and for licensing individual vehicles, as well as offering license endorsements for drivers.

What Salary Could I Expect to Make?

When you work as a taxi driver, you make your salary from passenger fares. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 180,960 people worked as taxi drivers and chauffeurs worked around the country in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The average annual salary in the field in 2015 was $26,070. Wages were highest for taxi drivers working in the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Alaska and California.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Chauffeurs, bus drives and taxi drivers all have a lot of professional similarities. They are all responsible for picking up passengers, transporting them, following traffic laws, and delivering their passengers to their destination. They may need a state or city license; bus drivers need a CDL license. They are all responsible for basic vehicle maintenance, and they must all keep their vehicles clean. Chauffeurs and taxi drivers transport smaller groups than bus drivers do, but the general duties are the same.

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