SPONSORED CONTENT: Retired but still looking to get out of the house? Stay-at-home parent but want to make a little bit of extra cash? Or just looking for a change of pace?

If you are any of these things, good news because Southland Transportation wants you! They are looking for school bus drivers for the 2022-23 school year.

Perks of driving a school bus are plentiful but a few stand out in particular.

1. Holidays and summers off.

If the school kids get the day off then chances are you do too. This doesn't just mean the Christmas, Easter, and winter breaks. Parent-teacher interviews, prep days, and other school days off, you get to enjoy full days off. On top of it all, once summer rolls around you can soak up the sun whenever you want as you enjoy your two-month break.

2. It's not an eight-hour-a-day commitment.

This is a split shift. You pick the kids up in the morning and drop them off in the afternoon, the time in between is yours to run errands, work out, relax, or whatever you please!

Joshua Leach, a school bus driver for Southland Transportation says he uses the extra funds he makes from driving to run his own part-time business.

"I also run a part-time business on the side so it worked perfectly for my schedule. That injection of different funds from another source allows me to take on the part-time aspect of my other business. Without that, it would be very hard to run it and stay afloat with the way pricing is these days."

3. Your kids can ride along.

Need to bring your pre-school-aged kids on the bus with you? No worries, they can go for a morning/afternoon drive as well. No need to find a daycare or babysitter when they can ride along with you!

Erin White, a 10-year tenured bus driver for Southland Transportation experienced the benefits of this first hand.

"My husband changed career paths and my kids were little, they were four and two, and I knew that if I went back to my corporate job then that would be full-time daycare for them, and that just wasn't going to work out for us. So, I started driving the bus and over the years I've driven all over from Bragg Creek and Springbank and then out West towards Exshaw."

4. Seeing different parts of Alberta.

Part of the role as a bus driver can mean taking kids of all ages on trips across the great province of Alberta, whether it be on a field trip, a band competition, or a sports tournament.

Leach says that in the last year alone a bus driver has taken him to places he otherwise might not have gotten to see.

"In the last year alone, I've gone to several different camping locations throughout Kananaskis and around Cochrane. I've seen different sports complexes and stuff throughout the area where I would not have normally gone to, so it's been pretty cool."

5. Become a positive influence on children's lives.

Both Joshua Leach and Erin White believe that interacting with the kids is the best part of their jobs.

"Just seeing the kids happy, to be honest. When they get on my bus, I am particularly a nice and inviting person, we joke around and everything like that. So it's a very fun and inviting place for the kids and just knowing that they're happy Being a father myself, I know that's important for the kids," says Leach.

"I really love interacting with the kids on the bus. I think that it’s my top bonus for the day. I really enjoy picking up those little kids and hearing all of the stories and listening to how their day was, for a lot of these kids mom and dad have left for work in the morning, so by the time they get to the bus, for me, opening the door and saying good morning to them is sometimes the first time they're seeing a grown up or an adult, and that really makes my day," says White.

If you are interested in becoming a school bus driver for Southland Transportation you can contact them locally at 403-932-7100.