A driving instructor needs:
- to be able to give clear and precise instructions
- the ability to anticipate and react to traffic conditions quickly and safely
- to be a safe, reliable and responsible driver
- good interpersonal skills and enjoy working with people
- a high level of patience
- to be at least 21 years of age.
Many driving instructors work on a commission basis. They may work long and irregular hours, including weekends. A large number of driving instructors are self-employed, and many work on a part time basis.
On average, driving instructors who work the equivalent of a full time week can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week, ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
A driving instructor’s earning potential will be influenced by the level of demand for their services, and the number of hours they work.
Driving instructors will often use vehicles that are converted to dual control (with pedals on the front passenger side). As they spend most of their time on the road with clients, many driving instructors use smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, to make appointments and organise their schedule.
You can work as a driving instructor without formal qualifications. However, you will need to obtain a Driving Instructor’s Licence from the Department of Transport. You will need to complete a theory test and practical driving assessment, and also obtain a National Police Certificate.
To apply for a Driving Instructor’s licence you must have held a Western Australian Motor Driver’s Licence, in the appropriate class of licence for which you wish to teach, for at least three continuous years, with a clean driving record.
Visit the Department of Transport website for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.