What Is the Average Salary of a Limo Driver?

Research what it takes to become a limo driver. Learn about the driving and licensing requirements, skills and salaries to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Limo Driver?

Limo drivers transport passengers using limousines. Each day they perform basic maintenance on their vehicle and ensure that the oil is changed, lights are working and that the tires are inflated properly. They also clean the vehicle and make sure that it's stocked with any amenities they may offer, such as mini bar supplies. Limo drivers may work client to client, such as limo drivers who pick up passengers at airports. Limo drivers may also work for individuals, businesses or government agencies. When they work client to client they may be responsible for collecting fares; those who work for regular employers may also be on call. They must obey traffic laws, have a driver's license and have their state or city operating license if required.

Education Required High school diploma or equivalent is common
Training Required Short period of on-the-job training
Licensure RequiredVehicle operator's license; some states require a chauffeur's license. To operate a vehicle containing 16 or more people, a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a passenger (P) endorsement is needed
Job Growth (2014-2024) 13% for all taxi drivers and chauffeurs*
Median Salary (2016) $40,203**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com.

What Are the Job Duties of a Limo Driver?

Your main duty as a limo driver is to drive clients to destinations in your limo. However, being a limo driver involves more than just driving. You are also responsible for keeping your limo in good running condition, looking clean, managing paperwork and planning driving routes. You may also be responsible for coordinating a client's trip with body guards, public relations personnel and other professionals who may be working for your client.

You may work for a limo company or own your own company. If you work for a limo service, you may work with a dispatcher who plans your daily routes and deals directly with clients for you. The limo company may have mechanics and cleaners on staff who handle the care of the limousines. In your own business, you are responsible for everything, unless you hire a staff.

What Skills Do I Need?

You may drive many different types of clients, from high school kids on prom night to celebrities heading to ritzy events. You need to have good customer service skills because this will affect your earning potential. If you are driving high profile clients, you must be discreet. Clients often expect a driver to be quiet, conservative and focused on driving. In some cases, though, you may have to intervene with clients if they are displaying dangerous behavior, such as hanging out of the limo sun roof.

Your driving skills are also important. You must be able to easily maneuver your limo through traffic, construction and bad weather conditions. You are ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of your passengers. You must drive safely, yet be able to stay on a tight time schedule.

What Requirements Must I Meet?

The only education typically required is a high school diploma. Employers may offer on-the-job training that introduces you to company policies and procedures, covers safety standards and gives an overview of job duties. The more important requirement for the job is having a driver's license that meets federal and state standards. Most licensing standards and requirements are set by the state, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers carrying more than 16 passengers to hold a commercial driver's license with a passenger endorsement (www.fmcsa.dot.gov).

State standards may vary, but generally requirements include:

  • Obtaining a chauffeur's license
  • Having a clean driving record
  • Completing driving courses
  • Passing a physical examination
  • Passing a criminal background check
  • Passing drug and alcohol testing
  • Meeting minimal age requirements

What Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, taxi drivers and chauffeurs earned a median annual wage of $23,510, as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com notes that the median salary for all limo drivers was $40,203 as of October 2016.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Bus drivers and taxi cab drivers work in the same general professional field as limo drivers. All of these professionals are responsible for maintaining their vehicles, for ensuring their vehicles are clean and for reporting any mechanical concerns. Taxi cab drivers always work client to client, while bus drivers transport large groups of clients and may work on predetermined routes. Bus drivers and taxi cab drivers need a clean driving record and might also need to pass background checks and complete any required on-the-job training. Bus drivers also need a commercial driver's license and must meet physical, hearing and vision requirements; taxi drivers may need a city or state operating license.

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