Driving Instructor Jobs
Driving instructors teach people of all ages how to drive a car and comply with the rules of the road.
As well as teaching their students the basics, instructors also focus on road safety, laws and regulations and driving theory.
Though the job has its downsides, many are attracted to this line of work due to the flexibility it offers, not least the ability to work as much as and when they want.
Professional and Academic Requirements
There are no academic requirements for embarking on a career as a driving instructor, even though a good head for figures is useful for going freelance.
However, all instructors must first register with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and then train as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), with this process seeing them sit a number of exams, including tests in theory, driving skills and teaching itself.
Additionally, prospective driving instructors are required to have held a clean driving licence for at least four of the six years preceding their application to the DSA, while candidates will also be subjected to a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) background check.
Driving instructors need to be more than just good behind the wheel in order to succeed in the role.
Above all, they need to be good teachers, for example by being able to convey instructions and advice clearly and calmly, to show patience even in trying circumstances and to have a genuine desire to see their students pass their test.
Additionally, those who opt to set up their own business need to be self-motivated, organised and able to keep on top of paperwork, including tax issues.
Financially-speaking, being a driving instructor is not the most lucrative of careers, with those employed by schools likely to earn in the region of £20,000 per year.
While self-employed driving instructors can boost their earnings significantly, they can expect to pay high insurance rates and running costs for their businesses, not least for regular trips to the petrol station.
Aside from the financial rewards, most driving instructors point to the flexibility of their work as a positive, with most able to schedule lessons how they want.
Additionally, one other potential reward is the satisfaction of helping students get their driving licence, particularly if they are liabilities behind the wheel to start off with.
Given that instructors are in a car with novice drivers, this line of work can be stressful, allowing no time to switch off and relax.
At the same time, it can also be somewhat dull and monotonous, while other possible drawbacks include the fact that many students will want lessons either early in the morning or in the evenings, making a nine-to-five lifestyle hard.
Furthermore, self-employed driving instructors face the same pressures as other freelancers, namely having to keep on top of money matters and not knowing how much they will be working at any given point in the future.
While many driving instructors ultimately aim to go it alone, most start off working for the UK's biggest driving schools.
As well as offering more vacancies, the likes of the AA and the British School of Motoring (BSM) also offer paid training courses, allowing prospective instructors to earn while studying for their ADI examinations.