How to Become a Chauffeur
Are you interested in a career of helping people get where they need to be? If you’d like to find out how to become Chauffeur, this is the guide for you. It has all the info you’ll need to start exploring a career as a Chauffeur.
What Does a Chauffeur Do?
A Chauffeur drives people where they need to go on prearranged trips, such as to and from the airport or to an event. They may operate a limousine, van or private car, and they may work for a single client or for an agency that arranges specific trips for them.
The duties of Chauffeurs can vary based on the clients they work for, but all Chauffeurs’ primary duty is to get clients from point A to point B and provide excellent customer service along the way. Chauffeurs need to know how to get around their city and avoid traffic. Chauffeurs who drive a luxury car for a client, such as a politician, celebrity or business executive, may have to take on a broader range of duties, acting as driver, itinerary planner and assistant all at once. Some common Chauffeur duties and responsibilities include:
- Drive limousines, company cars, or privately owned vehicles to transport passengers. Chauffeurs must listen to passengers’ requests and get them where they want to go in the most efficient way.
- Check the car for problems and do basic maintenance. Whether driving a privately- or company- owned vehicle, the Chauffeur is responsible for maintaining the car and getting any problems taken care of.
- Keep the car clean. Cleanliness in a chauffeured car is crucial, so Chauffeurs most always keep the inside and outside of the car spotless.
- Respond to other client needs as requested. Clients may have special requests or needs that the Chauffeur may be needed to assist with, depending on their job description. This may include helping with luggage, planning itineraries, or being on call at all hours.
A successful Chauffeur has, first and foremost, excellent Customer-service skills. They regularly interact with their customers and must be prepared ensure their customers are satisfied with their trip. This may require patience when dealing with difficult clients or facing heavy traffic. Chauffeurs also need to be dependable and able to keep to a schedule, as customers rely on them to help them arrive at their desired destination on time. This calls for self-motivation and discipline at times, as Chauffeurs often work under little or no supervision. Other common Chauffeur skills include:
- Thorough knowledge of street system in area of work, as well as location of common destinations, such as hotels and airports, and ideal routes to get to them.
- Good driving skills and excellent hand-eye coordination
- Good communication skills and ability to engage in “small-talk” with customers.
How Do You Become a Chauffeur?
Education and Training
Although there are no specific education requirements to become Chauffer, many Chauffeurs have a high school degree. Much more important is a clean driving record and demonstrable driving skills. In addition, Chauffeurs need to be able to pass a state-issued vision test to hold a valid driver’s license.
Different states and local municipalities set other requirements for being a Chauffeur; many require a Chauffeur’s license, which may require passing a written exam and a drug test. If you’ll be driving a limousine that will be transporting more than 16 passengers at a time, you are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a passenger (P) endorsement. This is obtained by passing a separate test of your knowledge and driving skills.
Once you are hired as a Chauffeur, you will likely be provided with some on-the-job training. In some cities this training is mandated by law. The training will likely cover local traffic laws, driver safety, customer service and the street layout where you will be driving.
Finding a job
Employment of chauffeurs looks very good for the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of both taxi drivers and Chauffeurs is projected to grow 13 percent by 2024. This will likely be due to an increase in corporate travel, as business travellers are some of Chauffeurs’ primary clients.
Start your Chauffeur job search off right be creating with a well-written resume that showcases your skills and experience. For ideas to help you create your resume, take a look at our library of Chauffeur resume samples.
Once you’ve spruced up your resume, start searching online for Chauffeur job opportunities. As you look for opportunities, think of ways to leverage your professional network, including people you met through school or previous work.
When you are ready to apply for a Chauffeur position, bolster your application with a strong cover letter that highlights your skills and explains why you’re the right fit for the job. For ideas, check out our collection of cover letter samples.
How Much Do Chauffeurs Get Paid?
Chauffeurs may be paid a salary or an hourly wage, and their amount of wages depend on the type of driving they do. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes Chauffeurs with Taxi Drivers, and the median annual wage for both professions is $23,510. The lowest 10 percent of Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs earn less than $17,830, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $37,970.
Top 10 States for Chauffeur Salary
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs in the following states make the highest median annual wage in the U.S.
- District of Columbia: $30,710
- Nevada: $28,490
- Connecticut: $27,980
- New York: $27,850
- Alaska: $27,690
- Virgin Islands: $27,410
- New Jersey: $26,450
- Virginia: $25,790
- Delaware: $25,660
- California: $25,500
If you’re looking for more information on becoming a Chauffeur, here are some additional resources to help you in your career research.
On the Web
Chauffeur Driven – This website for driving professionals provides to of industry insight through a magazine, blog and newsletter.
EagleDrives.com – Go here for useful articles on how to be a better and more efficient Chauffeur.
TheChauffuer.com – Check out this website for news, car info and hints on how to become a Chauffeur.
National Limousine Association – NLA is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing and furthering the interests of the luxury chauffeured ground transportation industry. NLA’s website offers upcoming events and a blog that provides an in-depth look at the industry.
Teamsters– The Teamsters is one of America’s strongest unions, with the mission to protect drivers’ interests. The website lists local chapters and has a blog.
How to Become a Professional Security Driver – Read this book to learn not only how to be a Chauffeur, but also procedures & techniques to be an Executive-Bodyguard Driver
Tales of a New York Limo Driver – This funny and eye-opening book will give you an idea of the kinds of stories Chauffeurs will have to tell after years on the road.