Driving Instructor Qualifications
In order to qualify to become a driving instructor you must have graduated from high school or earned the equivalent and have a valid driver's license. You must also complete a driving instructor certification course. These courses generally last around 60 hours and include classes on teaching techniques, motor vehicle operations, and traffic safety. After completing the course, you will need to take a driving school instructor written exam administered by your state. The exam covers knowledge of traffic laws, safe driving practices, operation of motor vehicles, first aid, and the prospective instructor's ability to provide student-drivers with clear instructions. Applicants often have three chances to pass the written exam.
Aside from being a competent driver, a driving instructor must also be a good teacher. Strong listening and communication skills are essential, as are patience and compassion. You must be able to keep a clear head and level emotions under sometimes trying conditions. Unimpaired eyesight can be a qualification in some states; you may be required to take a vision test.
Experience is often a required qualification for driving instructors, generally 2-5 years driving experience. Personal driving experience is fine for basic driving instructors, but you may need to have been a commercial driver for several years in order to instruct commercial vehicle operation. Certain employers also prefer applicants with some prior teaching experience.
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