With strengths in entertainment, media, fashion and business, Los Angeles provides a considerable number of job opportunities for limousine drivers. From the People's Choice Awards in January to the IDA Documentary Awards Gala in December, celebrities and dignitaries depend on chauffeurs to transport them to events and destinations in chic style. During the Academy Awards, stretch limos, town cars and other luxury vehicles, polished to a spit-shine, are known to make as much of a photo-ready appearance as the bigwigs disembarking them.
Of the more than 13,000 taxi and limo drivers employed in California, nearly 1,000 handlers work for the motion picture and video industries, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is within these prospering promenades of commerce where they are earning an average salary of $57,400 annually. Other areas that are hiring law-abiding drivers at a steady clip include aerospace product and parts manufacturing, legal services, and scenic and sightseeing transportation.
Throughout the year, these uniformed operators pick up clients and transport them to many events and destinations, such as weddings, meetings and hotels. More than 5,000 drivers are hard at work in metro Los Angeles, where they are averaging $31,000 on a yearly basis, according to current data.
To become a limo driver, one must have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED, a valid driver's license and one to two weeks of on-the-job training. A commercial driver's license may be required, depending on the type of vehicle.
Successful drivers are reliable, patient and possess admirable customer service skills. Because many of these operatives are required to assist passengers for extended lengths of time, lifting such heavy items as wheelchairs and luggage, they are prone to chronic muscle strain and accidental injuries. In view of the fact that they often work with wealthier clientele, livery drivers are also susceptible to robbery and theft.
Nevertheless, it is an on-demand vocation that continues to attract high-principled professionals that enjoy shuttling patrons safely to their journey's end. In greater L.A., there are quite a few laudable companies currently recruiting freshly minted limo drivers. To view the top 35, visit Thumbtack.com.
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.
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