How Can I Become a Driver's Ed Instructor?

Explore the career requirements for driver's education instructors. Get the facts about the general requirements, job duties, salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Driver's Ed. instructors use a combination of classroom and practical instruction to teach students and individual clients how to operate a vehicle lawfully and safely. They may be self-employed or work for a school district or driving school. The table below lists the general requirements to become a driver's education instructor.

General Requirements High school diploma or GED
Valid driver's license and clean record
No criminal history
Knowledge of your state's driving laws
Completion of driving classes if required
Key ResponsibilitiesTeaching students and clients to drive safely through classroom instruction and on-road practice
Job Growth (2012-2022)14% for all self-enrichment education teachers*
Median Salary (2013) $35,500 for all self-enrichment education teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Qualifications Do Driver's Ed Instructors Need?

To become a driver's education instructor, you need to have a high school diploma, a valid driver's license, a comprehensive knowledge of your state's traffic laws, a clean driving record and no criminal history. Beyond that baseline, there is no standardized training program for driver's ed instructors. Each state has its own requirements.

Community colleges and 4-year institutions across the U.S. offer training courses for driving instructors designed to meet the requirements of the states where the schools are located. Topics covered in a program may include in-vehicle and classroom instruction methods, basic maneuvers and vehicle operation, vehicle care, adolescent development, traffic laws and substance abuse.

Where Could I Work?

You are most likely to find employment at a public high school or a commercial driving school, although some instructors are self-employed. Driver's ed instructors at public secondary schools are often licensed teachers. You may also be employed at a private driving school.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

Classroom instruction is likely to touch on auto mechanics, common malfunctions, state traffic laws and interpreting road conditions. Road instruction covers the instrument panel, starting, stopping, steering, driving in reverse, parking, city and highway driving, and emergency maneuvers. During this phase you will monitor how well student drivers perform a given maneuver, stop the vehicle before accidents occur and provide feedback on areas where they need to improve. Periodically, you may administer practice tests to prepare students for their written license exam.

What Salary Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS), in 2013, the median salary for self-enrichment education instructors, which could include driver's education instructors, was $35,500. The job outlook is stated as a 14% increase between 2012 and 2022.

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