Becoming a Driving Instructor: Your FAQs answered
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many individuals in the UK found themselves furloughed or even made redundant by their employers. This meant that many were forced to seek new employment or even consider a career change, unable to secure a job in the field that they had previously worked in.
If you’ve found yourself in this position, you might want to consider pursuing a career as a driving instructor.
Recurrent lockdowns caused cancellations and postponed driving lessons and tests. Although these lockdowns have been lifted and tests can resume, the backlog of learners has caused the demand for driving instructors to rise. There’s never been a better time to become an instructor.
With this in mind, in this article, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions to help you to decide whether becoming a driving instructor could be the right career for you.
How long does it take to train?
Depending on how you choose to train, it could take you anywhere from three months to a year to become a qualified driving instructor. Though it’s not compulsory to seek out a professional trainer, it is recommended and could help you to pass faster. You might choose to enrol in an intensive driving instructor training course held by an affiliated driving school, where you could expect to pass within 16 weeks.
What specifications will my car need to have?
To become a driving instructor, you’ll also need a car that meets the requirements outlined by The Driver and Vehicle Standards agency. It will need to be:
- Fully insured for a driving test and road taxed
- Fully roadworthy and have an up-to-date MOT
- A saloon, estate or hatchback — convertibles are not permitted for use
- In good working order and have no warning lights showing
- Have tyres that comply with the legal tread depth
- Able to reach 62mph and have a speedometer that displays mph
- Smoke free
- Have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500kg
Can I choose how I work?
As a driving instructor, you could choose to work under a franchise and take advantage of their database of pupils. Although you will work for a company, the majority of franchises will enable you to choose your own hours.
On the other hand, you may prefer to become an independent driving instructor. Although this will come with the added pressure of building your cliental from scratch, you can be rest assured that you take home all of the money that you earn. In addition, you’ll have the freedom to work your diary around your lifestyle, giving you a work-life balance and putting you in the driver’s seat.
How much could I hope to earn?
Of course, your salary will be dependent on a variety of factors. This includes the region in which you work, your experience and the hours that you work. However, many instructors claim that they have earned up to £40,000 per year working 40 hours per week. So it could prove to be an attractive career path if you’re wanting a change!