How To Become A Driving Instructor: A Complete Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 December 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Driving instructors teach people how to operate a vehicle safely and effectively, either individually or in groups. They may give classes to help students drive a variety of vehicles, including motorcycles, scooters, cars, lorries, and buses. You can become a driving instructor for a car, a motorcycle, or a large vehicle by completing different training programs for each. In this article, we define what a driving instructor is and explore what they do, how to become one, and what a driving instructor's typical income and benefits amount to.

What Is A Driving Instructor?

A driving instructor is a trained expert who teaches individuals how to operate certain types of vehicles. While many offer programs for new drivers who wish to learn how to drive automobiles and trucks, others may help people prepare for licensure exams for driving commercial trucks, buses, or motorcycles. The average base salary of a driving instructor is ₹22,916 per month. Traffic rules, safety protocols, and vehicle maintenance are just a few of the topics that driving instructors address in their lessons.

Instructors usually offer a combination of classroom study, which includes textbook readings, lectures and videos, and field training behind the wheel. Feedback is a vital aspect of the learning process. You may monitor people's driving patterns and reactions in a variety of situations, giving them constructive feedback on their progress through the training program. Because the required number of hours in the classroom and behind the wheel differs by location, the specific course content varies as well.

Related: What Is A Loco Pilot? A Complete Guide

How To Become A Driving Instructor

Follow these steps to learn how to become a driving instructor:

1. Meet the minimum requirements

You are required to have a high school certification before enrolling in a driving instructor training program. There may also be a minimum age requirement, such as 19 years old for classroom teaching and 21 years old for behind-the-wheel instruction. Other requirements include a valid personal driver's license and driving experience, for which the number of years of experience can vary from institution to institution.

2. Choose a specialization

You can choose to teach non-commercial or commercial vehicle driving after satisfying the academic and experience requirements. Standard automobiles, minivans, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), light trucks, motorcycles, and mopeds are examples of non-commercial vehicles. Passenger buses, diesel trucks, and ambulances are examples of commercial vehicles.

Your specialization determines the type of training program you enroll in and the type of driver's license you may require to start your instructor's training program. If you want to be a school bus driving teacher, for example, you may require a commercial driver's license for school buses before enrolling in an instructor's program. You can start a career as a driving instructor by taking certification courses that universities offer. The course of instruction might include topics in traffic safety, classroom teaching, and in-vehicle instruction.

Related: What Is Vocational Education? (With Definition And Types)

3. Seek training

Colleges, vocational schools, and government entities provide driving instructor training programs. They may be available both online and on campus. The duration of your training program may vary with your expertise, ranging from two weeks to a couple of months. Generally, your curriculum may consist of instruction on highway transportation regulations and protocols, methodologies for training novices versus experienced drivers, and generating lesson plans.

There are a few online distance learning programs for becoming a driving instructor. These may require you to visit campus once or twice to pass a driving skill exam or an orientation session. Live video conferencing, lecture videos, and student engagement and discussion boards are all possible features of online classes.

4. Acquire an instructor's license

In most cases, you can file an application for licensure and pay any associated fees. It may also require you to obtain a high school diploma, display your driver's license and complete an approved training program. A criminal background check and a driving record check are two more common requirements. Once the regulatory authority has approved your application, they can grant you licensure. You may require an unrestricted driver's license and several years of driving experience before applying for a driving instructor's license. Contact your local traffic authority for additional information on driver's licenses.

Related: What Is A Background Check? (With Details About The Process)

5. Obtain work experience

As a driving instructor, you can work for firms including driver-training institutes, government agencies, public schools, and automobile insurance companies as an independent contractor or employee. Your students may range from high school kids to ambulance drivers. Some driving schools have their own fleet of automobiles and employ instructors to utilize them for training programs. You may receive a salary or a contract rate, and the company may recruit students for you through its own marketing efforts. Check what the minimum guaranteed number of pupils is and evaluate arrangements for holiday seasons if the remuneration is per student.

Related: 10 Important School Bus Driver Skills (With Duties)

Duties Of A Driving Instructor

These are some common duties of driving instructors:

  • teach students road traffic norms and regulations

  • teach students about road and vehicle safety

  • use car features such as the brakes, accelerator, clutch, ratios, indicators, lights, and transmission to explain and demonstrate their operation

  • teach advanced skills such as what to do in an emergency

  • provide guidance to students on when they are ready to take their test and where they may require additional training

  • give students constructive criticism on their abilities

  • use blackboard diagrams and video tools to explain the handling and mechanical operation of motor vehicles, and useful driving strategies

Related: What Are Driving Skills For A Resume? (With Examples)

What Documents Do You Require For Applying To Be A Driving Instructor?

If you want to become a driving instructor, consider procuring the following documents:

  • proof of identity

  • a medical certificate that a qualified medical professional has signed

  • a report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist

  • your driver's license with a driving record

  • prescriptions for visual aids, if applicable

  • passport size photographs

Benefits Of Being A Driving Instructor

There are many advantages to being a driving instructor. It is ideal for people who prefer being self-sufficient because you may get to control your own schedule in this line of work. This helps you achieve a better work-life balance by allowing you to customize your working hours and availability to fit your preferred schedule. If you are dedicated, it can also be quite rewarding to witness the personal growth and development of pupils.

In this profession, you may also get the opportunity to meet and interact with a large number of people. The most challenging, yet gratifying, aspect of the job is educating pupils. Making a positive impact on others while also teaching them a useful skill makes the effort meaningful for many practitioners. You may be able to work from home provided you have a reliable vehicle with reasonable operating costs. Also, you can exercise a sense of social commitment by educating drivers on how to be safe on the roads.

Disadvantages Of Becoming A Driving Instructor

It takes time to build up a large enough client base to provide enough lessons to make a living. If you are willing to conduct the required number of lessons each week, you can earn enough money once you establish yourself as a competent instructor. There are numerous additional expenses that you address when operating alone. The purchase or lease of a suitable late-model vehicle with dual control conversion is the primary expense. Due to the high kilometer readings, you may incur on these vehicles, there may be high fuel and vehicle maintenance expenditures.

Related: What Is Cost Management? (With Importance And Steps)

Starting A Driving School

You can start your own driving school if you have good business intelligence and financial literacy. You can begin with a single automobile and work your way up to operating on other types of vehicles. Once you have a consistent client base, you may want to hire professionals to help with administration and some marketing workflows. After that, you can set up franchises or license your brand to them.

Working for another company or operating a franchise is significantly more complex and time-demanding than running a small business. It may require you to manage your employees routinely to ensure that you do not compromise on the quality of the service you provide. If you do not have much expertise in this domain, it is a good idea to seek the help of a business mentor early on to assist you.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

Explore more articles