How do I get Driving Instructor Training?
Driving instructors teach new teenage drivers, train commercial truck drivers and public bus drivers, help race car drivers prep for competition, and provide refresher courses for senior drivers. Work environments vary greatly depending on the area of instruction one wishes to pursue, and driving instructor training varies greatly as well. Training and education time ranges from a few weeks for those intending to work for a private driving school, to a few years for those who wish to teach at a high school.
New drivers are required to receive driver's education in many states, with a certain number of hours both behind the wheel and in the classroom required to take a driving exam. Even in states that don't require formal training, many new drivers opt for it, as insurance companies may offer reduced rates to those who have completed professionally-led training. Future instructors of new teenage drivers must choose between teaching at a high school or teaching at a private driving school.
Those intent on a career as a high school driving instructor will require a bachelor's degree and a teaching credential in addition to the training private driving school instructors complete. Some universities include driving instructor training with a teaching license, but this training can also be acquired through a private driving training school or community college program. A driving instructor license is required to work as a paid driving teacher, and each state has its own criteria for hours of driving instructor training required before a license is granted.
Driving instructor training for drivers of passenger vehicles is often done at the same school that new drivers attend. In fact, it is typical for a driving instructor to secure a job at a licensed private driving school first, then complete the training program at that particular school before becoming licensed. Race car driving schools, truck driving schools, and schools for those who will operate public transportation vehicles offer programs that vary by state, so the best option for these types of schools is to call and inquire about driving instructor training and requirements for hire.
No matter which type of driving instructor training desired, there are some basic requirements that hold true from state to state before one can begin a training program. Driving instructors must be at least 21 years old, have a clean driving record, and not have been convicted of a felony. They must also have held a driver's license for a prescribed number of years, depending on the state.
I actually have taught a hundred or more kids how to drive, but I don't have a certificate or credentials that would be recognized by the DMV or an insurance company so they could get a discount.
I would really like to have that certificate, as I currently can only offer my 40 years of experience driving everything from a police car (five years), race car (14 years), school bus (four years), tractor trailer (28 years, doubles and triples, van, dump truck, flatbed), farm equipment (35 years) and motorcycles (45 years). And, if it counts for anything, 24 years coaching little league, six years doing substitute teaching, and four years as a youth counselor.
@Azuza - Well, not all driving instructors teach teenage drivers. Like the article said, some of them do refresher courses for older people or teach commercial driving.
I think I would actually be more afraid of the older drivers than the new drivers. At least the teenagers probably have all their senses intact. But for the older drivers, they may not!
I feel like you're really taking your life in your hands if you decide to become a driving instructor! I know I wouldn't want to be in a car driven by a brand new driver who is just learning to drive. I remember when I took drivers ed, there were a few students in my class I shuddered to think about getting behind the wheel.
But seriously, hats off to the people who do teach these classes. Someone has to do it. I'm just glad that someone doesn't have to be me!
Our state also requires a certificate from an approved driving instructor training program in order to get your drivers license.
While I think this is very important, I also think it is just as important for parents to make sure their kids are very comfortable behind the wheel of a car before they get their license.
I don't think it should be the sole responsibility of the driving instructor to teach kids how to drive. Even though it can be nerve wracking, I would much rather go through that than have my son or daughter get behind the wheel without much experience.
As soon as my kids were old enough to begin driving with me in the car, I made sure they got plenty of opportunities. When it came time for them to get their license and drive on their own, both of us felt more confident and a little more at ease.
In the state I live in, you must complete a driver education course if you want to get a drivers license before you are the age of 18.
Most kids are anxious to drive and will complete this driving course before they are 16.
There are a few schools who still offer this free of charge, but most schools will charge a fee for this driving class.
When I was growing up I remember it took most of my summer to get through my drivers education course. Now there are many companies who offer this year round and it can be completed within a few weeks.
Either way, I don't think I would make a very good driving instructor. I always made sure all of my kids had a lot of time behind the wheel, but it still made me very nervous.
There were many times I wished I had a brake installed on the passenger side of the car like the drivers education cars have in them. I think it would take a lot of patience to be a good driving instructor.
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