Chauffeur Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Learn the average salary of chauffeurs, and discover which states offer these professionals the highest salaries. Find out the typical duties, licensure requirements and employment outlook. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Chauffeur?

Most chauffeurs drive limousines. They use these vehicles to pick up passengers and transport them to their destination. As part of the services they offer they will assist passengers with their luggage, if necessary, and they also keep their vehicle stocked with amenities. Some chauffeurs work on a trip-by-trip basis and collect fees from their passengers. Others may work for a person, a business or a government agency. Those that work for a regular client may also work on call. Chauffeurs are responsible for following all traffic laws, for maintaining their vehicle, and for keeping their vehicle clean.

Education High school diploma or GED
Training Required On-the-job training required in some states
Licensure Valid driver's license; chauffeur's license may be required in some states; commercial driver's license (CDL) to carry more than 16 passengers
Key Responsibilities Keep limo stocked with amenities; provide customer service, handle luggage; maintain vehicle
Job Growth (2014-2024)*13% for chauffeurs and taxi drivers
Median Salary (2015)* $23,510 for chauffeurs and taxi drivers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of a Chauffeur?

As a chauffeur, you would drive clients and customers from one destination to another. You might work for a private car service or a limousine service, or you might find a position working as a chauffeur for one private business or individual. In each of these cases, customers would pay you to pick them up from their homes, offices or other locations and deliver them safely to another destination.

To work as a chauffeur, you must be a good driver and be familiar with streets and common tourist destinations in your locale. For example, you should know the most direct routes to airports, hotels, landmarks and convention centers. You also might be responsible for maintaining your own car or limousine and for taking it in for professional check-ups with a mechanic.

You also must have at least a standard driver's license before you can work as a professional chauffeur, though requirements vary by state. A commercial driver's license may be required under certain conditions - for example, if you're driving an oversize commercial vehicle, carrying more than 16 passengers or transporting hazardous materials - according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (www.fmcsa.dot.gov).

What Training Programs Are Available?

Many limousine and private car services provide on-the-job training. They may prefer to hire you if you have a high school diploma, but they rarely require any further type of postsecondary education. Some jurisdictions require such services to provide you with at least one or two weeks of training before they allow you to go out in the field. Training sessions often provide you with an overview of driver safety regulations, customer service skills and navigation skills.

Some for-profit organizations and colleges offer training sessions that you might take advantage of as an aspiring chauffeur. Such programs are designed to provide you with an understanding of driver safety, passenger safety, map reading, security issues and legal issues involved with chauffeuring.

What Salary Could I Expect to Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chauffeurs and taxi drivers combined held 233,700 jobs as of 2014 (www.bls.gov). They mostly worked for taxi and limousine services and earned a median annual salary of $23,510 as of May 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some of the top-paying states and regions included the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Alaska, and California.

What is the Outlook for this Career?

The BLS predicted that the number of jobs for chauffeurs and taxi drivers would increase 13% between the years 2014 and 2024. As the number of elderly citizens in the population continues to rise, the need for private chauffeurs was predicted to grow as well. The business also was expected to grow as the tourism and business travel industries expand. Those who are self employed in this industry should have the best prospects due to the increased use of ride-hailing services like Uber.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Taxi drivers and transit bus drivers all share many similar tasks in common with chauffeurs in that they all transport people from one destination to another. However, taxi drivers work varied routes for different clients, while transit bus drivers work predetermined routes and may have many of the same passengers day to day. All of these professionals need to follow applicable traffic laws, and they may all need to be licensed by the state or city where they work. They are all also responsible for basic vehicle maintenance and must also keep their vehicles clean. They may also be responsible for collecting fares from passengers.

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