First Student

Working at First Student: Company Overview and Reviews

First Student
First Student
3.5
3009 reviews
First Student Ratings
3.5
Average rating of 3009 reviews on Indeed
3.6Work-Life Balance
2.9Pay & Benefits
3.0Job Security & Advancement
3.1Management
3.3Culture
Headquarters
Cincinnati, OH
Employees
10,000+
Revenue
$5B to $10B (USD)
Industry
Transport and Freight

Popular jobs at First Student

 Average SalarySalary Range
1914 salaries reported
$19.80
per hour
$9.85-$30.30
527 salaries reported
$13.19
per hour
$7.25-$19.80
248 salaries reported
$18.77
per hour
$9.35-$30.45
370 salaries reported
$26.25
per hour
$13.10-$39.40
150 salaries reported
$13.80
per hour
$7.25-$20.70
Salary Satisfaction
55%
Of the employees are satisfied about their pay
Based on 5663 reviews
Benefits
Health Care
Dental Insurance
Vision Insurance
Life Insurance
401k
Paid Time Off
Stock Options
Discounts

First Student Reviews

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Overall Reviews at First Student

5.0
Bus Driver | Rochester, MN | Jul 2, 2020
Five successful years so far!
I joined the company as a school bus driver in June of 2015. I already had a class-A CDL from work as a semi truck driver, so just needed to add the passenger and school bus endorsements to my CDL, which First Student provided very good training for. After two years with the company I applied for a CDL trainer position and was accepted, then went through company-provided training for that. (I still drive my regular routes in addition to training new drivers at other times.) The pay is very good for being a part-time job, and while I was a little nervous at first about running a so-called "day care on wheels," I've found that the kids on my bus routes have become like a second family! The job isn't for everyone -- you need to be able to get up fairly early in the morning and be responsible enough to show up at work every day (or notify in advance as much as possible when you can't come in to work due to illness or emergency). Or, if you're into recreational drugs or such things this job definitely isn't for you. The company also does not have health insurance for part-time employees like the drivers, so you need to either be on someone else's insurance or purchase an Obamacare-type plan. The job is ideal for people who have recently retired who have a spouse/partner with insurance coverage, or are eligible for Medicare, but we also have quite a few drivers who are younger and either go without health insurance or get it through other means. A typical day starts at 6:00 am wi
ProsBest part-time job I've ever come across, Good pay and interacting with my kids on the bus helps keep me young, The split-shift schedule gives me time during the middle of the day to get other things done, I like having weekends/holidays and summers off
ConsLack of health insurance is a problem for some, Some people don't like the split-shift schedule, Lack of year-round pay is also problematic for some
1.0
Bus Driver | Chicago, IL | Sep 8, 2019
Poor Culture. Stealth like duplicity. Constant pay issues / harassment.
First Student / Falcon Bus Management Chicago West 4155 W Chicago Ave, Chicago IL will lie to steal your sign on bonuses, and pay is always short. Busses break down often and propane busses often are not fueled in time for routes due to special training required. Have to stay on top of drivers window to get keys to bus to leave on-time. School pick up and drop off times remain consistent throughout the year but clock in and clock out times change daily at base location. Being on time seems to be the last priority and training is a joke. I really loved working for First Student in the past but this location is an embarrassment to the First Student name. The process was not as well run as Jacksonville Florida and very un-organized. I applied also because they said they were offering a $3000.00 sign on bonus for experienced drivers with $500.00 for training pay after training completion. Keep in mind I now have been driving commercial vehicles for almost 20 years including transit busses, MCI coach busses and Class A Trucks with all endorsements including passenger endorsement and past First Student experience as a School Bus Driver, Behind the Wheel Trainer and a Safety Team Member. I was told that I was not qualified for the $3000.00 bonus because I did not have school bus permit certification from State of Illinois. I applied on 05/08/2018 at 4155 West Chicago Avenue Suite 102, Chicago IL 60655 in person after applying on-line with First Student First Group. I was contacted
4.0
Janitor | Waterloo, IA | Jun 28, 2012
Productive and Fun workplace
A typical day at work for me was. I get there in the morning usually help one of the other mechanics with repairs on a school bus or start a service or PM on a school bus. That would take acouple of hours depending on what kind of service it is. The buses usually left around 1:30pm-2:00pm for afternoon routes. So from 2:00pm-4:30Pm I was either cleaning the shop, going on road calls, sometimes mowing the lot. When they start coming back some would stop infront for shop for simple repair example- light bulb. And then I would do another service and the repairs. And I would leave for the day at 8:00pm. What I learned. Pretty much when I first started to work at First Student. I pretty much didn't know a whole lot about school buses. And so as the years went on I was tawt more threw the Shop Foreman/Lead Tech. The things I was tawt were: Service's, well exhaust is pretty easy to learn. And thats the same with removing tires/wheels. I learned alittle electrical and diagnosing. I know how to do hydralic brake jobs. And need some more time learning on the air brakes. Management. It was good some days and not so good other days. I don't think this is bad on my part but while working there. I went threw 3 bosses. My co-workers. When I first started I loved working with the guys that were there. I became friends with the guy that was in the wash bay. He would wash school buses and fix seats. The other mechanic was good. But he had his days when he would be bossy. And he had more lun
Prosfree lunches
Conspoor salary raise
2.0
Monitor | Cincinnati, OH | Jun 12, 2015
They dont act like they want career bus drivers
UGH. OMG. This company here... The thing is, Its not EVERY First Student. Apparently there are other locations across the country where it is actually a pleasent place to work. They arent located in the area where they have the country's WORST BEHAVED CHILDREN and decide to neglect to do anything about it. They also wont leave you to fend for yourself with a bus full of nasty mannered kids or even if they DID try to help, they would just tell the monitor to do something about it and then write an incident report when you get back.................just so they can NEGLECT TO PROCESS THE INCIDENT REPORT. These other places DONT mess up your pay check every week, leaving 5 hours off of your pay check. They also know how to set up your direct deposit CORRECTLY and NOT randomly deposit $15 out of your check into your account and give you the rest as a paper check. They also dont do this randomly every 3 months either. They have actual adults working there, and not a bunch of 35 year old teenagers that devolves the entire workplace into your highschool that you try to forget about. Your coworkers, even though they have a job to do, they dont take off out the office like its some sort of plague......just to avoid their troublesome coworkers. the other lots clean their buses and dont leave it for others to clean. When you have to do charters, they dont give you a dirty bus and expect you to clean it. again. apparently this is not EVERY lot. But it was mine. Lots of n
Prosits a lax enviroment
ConsPay is constantly messed up, when kids are unruly on the bus, they have terrible ways of taking care of it, they dont act like they want to work on ways to keep career bus drivers.
2.0
Bus Driver | Springfield, IL | Oct 17, 2018
High Stress Workplace
They do pay for a Class B CDL but after you are done with the training you realize that they never told you anything about the rules specific to the company or the district and you spend the first few weeks figuring them out by breaking them and getting reprimanded for it. The buses themselves are poorly maintained. I have yet to drive one that doesn't have the check engine light on among hosts of other problems. You can write them up but it takes weeks for them to fix minor things like lights and bigger things they won't fix until the bus literally dies because of it and won't move anymore. If your batteries aren't holding a charge they will just jump the bus every day rather than replacing them for instance. The coworkers are nice for the most part but you have to be careful who you say things to because there is a huge gossip problem and people like to stir the pot. Morale is pretty low overall and you can regularly hear people calling the company "First Stupid." Some of this can be linked back to management who believes "Monitors are a dime a dozen" and the like. The rest seems to stem from the fact that you have almost no support if you have an issue because you have no actual authority to do anything but write the kids up. Usually this just results in a parent yelling at you for writing their kid up and the school doing nothing to help. The rate of pay is decent until you realize that you will be lucky if you have a route with more than 20-25 hours a week th
ProsIt's not retail
ConsStressful, long hours due to split shifts which are mostly unpaid, no paid time off, poor bus maintenance
4.0
Bus Driver | Muskego, WI | Jul 27, 2015
Flexibility has allowed me to balance work and life; am caring for elderly mother with serious health issues.Truly enjoy co-workers and students.
My typical day starts with check-in at 0600, drive morning routes as assigned. May then proceed on to Charter/Special Event as contracted by school. Students are returned to school following completion of Charter; then may proceed to afternoon routes, returning students home. I am home at night to be with my husband! I have obtained my CDL with Passenger/School Endorsement, after NEVER having driven a bus or truck previously! i have learned different driving skills, making me an all-around safer driver. Have learned different interaction skill with various age levels and special needs children, as well as their parents. Management is challenging!!! Co-workers, for most-part, are enjoyable, diverse in experiences, enjoy working with children and try to do their best each day. Co-workers are very supportive of each other, given management. Enjoy number of co-workers who have become like family and good friends that can be depended upon and are appreciative of various talents and experiences. Hardest part of the job is management and poor condition of the bus yard. Most enjoyable part of the job is the flexibility it has given me to have time with my family, to care for my mother, to be able to participate in my church choirs and as a cantor and allow me to appreciate the beauty in the world around me. I have been able to have more holidays with my family than have had in past 8 years and was able to enjoy planning and celebrating my daughter's wedding, with
ProsSchedule flexibility; time to be with family
ConsManagement; condition of the bus yard
2.0
Driver | Seattle, WA | Apr 6, 2013
big talk no walk
Yeah, they talk safety... They talk fun environment... and they also promise benefits and fair practices... they even offer employee perks and bonuses but it's all phoney baloney. Once you go through training you can't leave for several months or you owe them money. The management has a lackluster and extremely biased approach to solving internal problems. The "fun environment" is corrupted with drama, gossip, backstabbing, and malicious intent against each other. There is corruption amongst the staff and management, and don't think for a moment that this company will back you up on any type of issue. Document everything or you are assumed a liar. Pay is below average and raises are disappointing. Staff seems to have issues with treating employees with professional respect and dignity. They talk big about Safety - however there are no consequences for violators of safety rules, therefore they have no consistency nor safety compliance enforcement. The majority of seniority drivers are disabled or physically unable to pass the physical dexterity test - however, somehow coninue to drive year after year even though they are too unfit to save a life or walk down the aisle to the back of the bus. There is definetly a lot of undesirable behavior exhibited at this company. However, this is a perfect job for a single person with no financial/family responsibilities. Your shift starts early in the morning, work for a couple hours - then have a few hours (about 4hrs) free in the middle
Prosexcellent extensive professional training provided
Consdrama, corruption, shady decietful practices, poor management
2.0
Bus Driver | Pueblo, CO | Feb 7, 2019
Small office and poor maintained buses
Before entering and using a bus an inspection was performed each morning. his included the engine, brakes. After the inspection was complete I would proceed with my route which would be a planned trip to various addresses to pick up kids and take them to school. After dropping the kids off I would perform a student check, would check the seats in the bus to make sure there are no kids asleep or hiding on the bus. When the route was complete and the kids taken to school safely I would return to the bus yard to park the bus till the afternoon, or proceed to go on a field trip for a designated school. On a field trip I would be responsible for making sure the kids and adults going on the trip arrive at the destination and back to the school safely. I would make sure the bus was secure by being lock and anything left in it would be safe when waiting for In between the ride to the destination and the journey back to the school. After the field trip depending on the time of arrival at the school, I would ether continue to my afternoon route or go back to the bus yard to wait for the afternoon route. In the afternoon I would go on my afternoon route and pick up the kids from the school and take them home. I would then perform a student check and return to the bus yard. When I returned to the bus yard I would then perform a post trip Inspection. A post trip inspection is an inspection of the inside of the bus, the outside of the bus, and the tires of the bus. The low ratings I am
ProsGot a CDL Class B
ConsBad Management, Bad Environment, Buses Never Properly Maintained
1.0
Driver | Huntingdon Valley, PA | Jun 9, 2018
Management failure at every level.
Take away the unprofessional , borderline stupid management the job is great. I work in a yard with 50 drivers of various "cultures" and it is a fantastic group of dedicated drivers. We have had 4 managers in the past 10/11 years and each one worse than the previous (with the exception of one who lasted a year - she left because she could not stand dealing with the Corporate culture above her). We have a dispatcher who refuses to learn the area and sends drivers to wrong places and at wrong times. As drivers know - we are the front line and we get the blame when these things happen so it is disheartening to say the least. First Student is a cold corporate entity - their motto is "Safety First" and it is a crock. Their sole focus is not on safety but on covering their butts. It has grown much worse in the past 5 years. The past two years we have had constant pay shortages. They shave minutes off your times and it takes weeks to correct the pay - many just let it go as it isn't worth the hassle. Very dishonest group. This past year the managers denied our drivers who were Jewish time off for their holy days (the Union had to fight them for it) and they told one driver that he couldn't have time to go to his mother's funeral because they were short drivers! It is now always the drivers fault when there is a mix up or incident and they refuse to acknowledge their role. It is a huge company in the transportation field but it will fail because they have let the foundation rot. M
ProsCoworkers, dealing with kids and parents
ConsVery poor management throughout the company. Constant shortages in pay, they take minutes off here and there.
4.0
Bus Driver | Waukesha, WI | Jul 10, 2017
Productive and fun work place with a ping pong and pool table.
My experience with First Student in Waukesha, WI was overall great. The work day starts early, often before sun up and you are usually done with dropping off students by 9am. You have all afternoon off before going back to work to drop off students at their homes. This is usually from 2-5pm. There's always additional work as well if two routes are not enough. There's advancement potential. Pay is great, although IMO bus drivers should get paid a lot more for driving around irreplaceable cargo. The company does a great job at making their employees feel great. There's bus appreciation week where each day the terminal has something yummy to eat, whether that be pancakes or pizza. There seems to always be something fun on the calendar as well. All of my coworkers, when I saw them, were great outgoing people anyone could get along with. Hardest part of the job for me was the early morning because I was going to college at the same time. Late nights studying and early mornings driving in a hot school bus with quite sleepy kids is difficult, but manageable. I just got better at studying so I could change my sleep habits and be a better driver. The most enjoyable part of my job were the kids I drove. I had a great route with great kids who listened with me, laughed with me and who were overall responsible. I knew all of my kids by name, hardly ever had to write them up (when I did it was for little things like name calling and never sitting on the bus, which
Prosgreat kids, walk away with a CDL, no coworkers, layovers
Conssometimes really bad kids, odd hours, bad benefits.
1.0
Bus Driver | Ottawa, ON | Oct 2, 2020
waste of time
I did the entire 2 weeks of unpaid training and completed and passed all the training and written testing and then right before the final driving test they decided to "release me from training". Really upsetting because I had passed all the testing, watched all the training videos, done all the paperwork properly and on time. I wanted to finish the program at least. I had memorized how to pre-trip a bus completely for that final road test. But honestly, the instructors really rubbed me the wrong way during the in-class and driving experiences with their strange commentary and excessive back seat driving and were constantly chain smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke in my face while I was doing inspections. I was practically getting headaches from the excessive second hand smoke I was inhaling when I'm not a smoker and never been one. Honestly, if you're a smoker, you'll fit right in at this place. The instructors got so strange and bossy with me yet it was always me who ended up looking like the bad guy when all I did was listen to them and do exactly what they said. Whether it was checking my mirrors every 1 second (supposed to be 5 to 8 seconds) or doing something exactly the way the instructor wanted it, I would just do it. They were very critical of everything I did or didn't do and very fussy. I get that it's important to learn the proper procedures but it's also important to get a feel for the job without constantly being told that everything you are doing is incorr
Prosgot to the drive the school bus. that's about it.
Consrude instructors, so many smokers, very misleading, poor pay, no union, a lot to know and a lot of responsibility considering the pay, no benefits, low class, poor treatment of drivers and trainees.
3.0
Driver | Calgary, AB | Jul 27, 2018
Not BAD, not good.
This was the second time for me working for a school bus company. This type of work is good for people who are parents of young children because you can bring them with you. I believe your children can be up to 6 yrs of age to travel with you? This was an amazing opportunity for myself when my kids were younger. BUT.. the one big BUT. The pay is LOW. And if your school has days off, so do you. There is a small way around that and that is to work with the Charters department. Now keep in mind most Charters your not able to bring your children with you. This type of work is also good for people who are retired or are a student. You work a split shift, meaning you do your AM pickups and then your PM pickup from school and then home drop offs. This particular company was alright to work for, the staff was great when you needed help. But the units themselves are tired and understandably so. My unit was always in the shop having something fixed or overhauled. There are only so many mechanics and so much to do. So, please be kind to the mechanics! They can only do so much!! The other drivers seemed nice. No complaints there. I loved the kids I drove. Like all children, they had their good days and bad days. The bad days were yelling and screaming, not sitting down, walking on the seats while the bus was moving, hitting each other, throwing things or tossing their garbage all over the unit. Only words of advice I can give is, just breath. Remeber these kids come from all w
ProsMonday to Friday work, good kids, staff were helpful.
ConsLOW pay, units are tired and brake down often, traffic can be crazy.

Questions And Answers about First Student

What is the best part of working at First Student?
Asked Nov 24, 2019
Two months summer break
Answered May 11, 2022
The children are a lot of fun to work with. Great, newer equipment.
Answered May 7, 2022
Is first student a fair company
Asked Jun 2, 2016
I liked working for first student. There is drama but if you don't get involved it's not going to affect your job
Answered Oct 8, 2021
Office is nasty to drivers unless they are your “friend”… WAY to much drama with coworkers. I’ve stuck with working here for a decade and a half but thinking it’s time to move on even with pay cut as being happy is far better than being treated badly
Answered Jul 3, 2021
What tips or advice would you give to someone interviewing at First Student?
Asked May 10, 2017
Just be yourself
Answered Jul 27, 2021
Show up for the interview and you are pretty much hired
Answered Jul 3, 2021
Do they pay for training
Asked Aug 6, 2016
No pain training in colville wa
Answered Dec 3, 2019
Yes They Do
Answered Oct 13, 2019
What is a typical day like for you at First Student?
Asked Mar 19, 2020
Depends on the job with in first student. For a driver they sign in, drive am mid and pm routes. Staff depends as well.
Answered Jul 5, 2022
You go in in the morning for your scheduled start time which depends on the route you chose. If your an driver you will do your pre trip and then begin your route. Once your route is finished which is usually around 9am or 9:30am, you'll return to base do your post trip and clock out until your afternoon or midday route begins. Usually there's about 4 to 5 hours between these times so you can go home and take care of important tasks or just take a nap. Once you've completed your afternoon route you'll do another post trip and go home. If you had to write any students up you'll do that before clocking out and then go home.
Answered Jul 4, 2022