As a driving instructor, you can either teach driving at a school or give in-vehicle lessons, or both. No education beyond high school is required for this job, only being over 21 and possessing certification; some instructors also obtain a teaching license.
Driving instructors teach initial vehicle operation skills and defensive driving techniques to students of many ages and skill levels. Work is often on weekends and in the evening. Requirements vary, but instructors generally must meet state certification standards and, in some cases, maintain continuing education certification. A high school diploma or GED certificate is usually required, as is a background check.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED certificate|
|Other Requirements||State certification and background check may be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)*||10% for self-enrichment teachers, including driving instructors|
|Median Salary (2021)**||$49,119 for driving instructors|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Driving school instructors often earn their pay teaching seminars and private lessons for first-time drivers of all ages. They may also teach defensive driving to individuals who wish to get points taken off their license or lower car insurance premiums. According to PayScale.com, the median salary for driving instructors was $49,119 as of April 2021.
Public school teachers may teach driver's education as part of or in addition to their classroom teaching duties with the school district. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $62,870 in May 2020.
Driving school instructors must be at least 21 years old and become certified by their state. Most states require potential instructors to earn a license through a written and practical test and to pass a background check to verify no record of accidents or moving violations. These licenses may also require taking a training session over the course of hours or days. State-specific information on requirements for driving school instructors is often available through the state's department of motor vehicles.
Driving school instructors must have English-language communication skills. Understanding of a foreign language may be advisable for driving school instructors teaching in areas of the country where other languages are commonly spoken.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of self-enrichment teachers, a category that includes driving instructors, was projected to rise 10% or higher from 2019-2029. This is considered a much faster-than-average pace of increase when compared to all occupations in the nation.
Teaching License Endorsement
Individuals who hold a teaching license for K-12 or secondary school may apply for an endorsement to their teaching license allowing them to teach classroom or in-car driver's education courses offered through their employing school district. Mandatory training for these endorsements may be a few hours of classroom instruction or a yearlong program that includes behind-the-wheel training and examinations.
Driving instructors must have driving and communication skills, a clean record, certification, and be of age. According to 2021 data, they make an annual salary of roughly $49,000, which may depend on the employer or if they work for themselves, as well as the number of hours they work.