A stand-up comedian and freelance writer, Regi Brittain loves life and wants to help you enjoy it! He also enjoys driving, safely.
In 2018, the average driving instructor in the United States made $15.00 per hour. That may not be penthouse-buying income, but it equals an acceptable main cash source or side hustle for someone who plans to have both.
Now, let’s look at some positives and negatives that come with working as a driving instructor in the United States.
What Does It Take to Become a Driving Instructor in the United States?
Remember that laws and regulations will vary from one state to another, and sometimes, municipalities have their own statutes. With that in mind, here are some standard and unofficial necessities for someone who wants to become a driving instructor:
- A good driving record. Obviously, someone employed to teach others how to drive safely must have the marks of a safe driver, including zero or very few points on one’s license.
- Patience. Oh, my! In 1986, I witnessed my driver’s ed teacher tear into one of my classmates who was behind the wheel. I remember thinking, “Wow! I’m glad that big dude is not yelling at me right now.” As I recall, he overreacted on a minor thing. I don’t even remember the car being in motion at the time. Sure, I was only 15, and maybe I didn’t fully grasp the situation’s significance, but also, the instructor could have exercised more patience than he did.
- Clear communication skills. We cannot teach another person anything if we do not communicate clearly and confidently.
- A love of driving, safely. If the rules of the road matter to you, then you will be a great driving teacher.
How to Find Work as a Driving Instructor
Rules for schools vary by state, but most states allow for-profit driving schools. To seek work from one of these after you meet your state’s requirements for becoming a driving instructor, use employment sites like Indeed.com, but keep sources of local classifieds in the mix, as well.
You can also inquire with your state about working at a public driving school, if those exist where you live.
Additionally, if you have a car with features that meet your state’s specifications for teaching driver’s education, you can start your own driving instruction school. If you go this route, set up a website, network in your community to let people know that you are legally providing driving lessons, and plan to book most of your sessions in the late-afternoon hours.
The Pros and Cons of a Career Teaching New Drivers
- You can share your love for safe driving with the generation that is rising toward adulthood, as well as new immigrants and adults who simply weren’t interested in learning to drive at a young age.
- If you set up your own driving school, you can enjoy the confidence and personal-schedule freedom that comes with being your own boss. (Just remember to be the boss to yourself when you need it so your new business can flourish.)
- As a good, patient, and empathetic teacher, you will be able to play a role in turning teenagers into competent, confident adults, even when they're not behind the wheel.
- A livable hourly rate that you can apply toward your bills, thrills, or investments.
- When you’re out on the road, your safety will partially be in the hands of aspiring drivers, which means you’ll surely experience narrowly avoided auto accidents at least now and then.
- If you start a driving school, you will need business insurance. Then again, practically every business should be well insured.
- As you’ll be regularly teaching teenagers to drive, you might occasionally hear about some new musician or band whose songs do nothing for you. If this happens, remember that we were all young once!
I hope this article has helped you clearly decide whether or not you want to become a driving instructor. May your life’s journey never encounter delays!