Key responsibilities of taxi drivers or chauffeurs include driving people safely to and from destinations, such as their homes, workplaces, airports and shopping centers; knowing their way around the geographical area they serve; and keeping themselves and their vehicles clean and presentable. Driving requires both physical skills, such as the ability to start the vehicle, accelerate and decelerate, and steer the vehicle; as well as mental skills, such as handling emergency situations, understanding vehicle dynamics and defensive driving techniques.
Working hours vary, and evening and weekend shifts are typical. In 2012, about 25 percent of taxi drivers and chauffeurs worked part time, with 1 in 7 drivers keeping variable schedules. To become one, most undergo a brief on-the-job training; however, depending on jurisdiction and vehicle class, additional requirements may include a permit and a professional driver's license, which must meet minimum standards such as age, driving experience, health, criminal record, and training. Many taxi drivers and chauffeurs have a high school diploma, although it is not required.
The median annual wage in 2012 was $22,820 per year or $10.97 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment is projected to grow at a robust 16 percent from 2012 to 2022. As of 2015, taxi drivers face stiff competition from ride-sharing companies such as Uber, which utilize private drivers and their cars.