Skills Needed To Become a Driving Instructor Print

Personal qualities required for driving instruction...

Just because you know how to drive doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to teach others how to do it!
It's not as easy as sitting next to someone and telling them when to switch on their indicators, brake, change gear or turn left...there's a great deal more to it than that!
Teaching others to drive includes being knowledgeable about:

  • how to teach
  • how people learn
  • how to assess the performance of others
  • communication
  • interpersonal skills
  • be articulate
You MUST be able to express yourself verbally both clearly and concisely. You need to be able to give easily understandable instructions very quickly. Driving instruction is NOT a job for those who like to waffle or for those who cannot get their point across to others. Additionally, you must be able to speak English fluently - if someone cannot understand what you are saying, either because your command of English is poor or because they cannot understand your accent, it can lead to stressful and even dangerous situations...

  • Patience - not everyone "gets it" first time...or even second time...or even third time...
  • Understanding - you need to be able to understand the needs and feelings of your students- being able to interpret "body language" is important too...
  • Calmness and self-control - you will frequently find yourself in stressful and difficult situations, but you must be able to deal with this like an adult and like the Professional you should be. Driving instruction is NOT the right career for those prone to losing their temper or getting stressed...
  • Reliability - your studentspay you to turn up on time and to give them your attention and professional expertise for the whole of their allotted lesson. There are lots of driving instructors out there and if you can't or won't be reliable, your studentswill soon find an a company that will...
  • Diplomacy - tact and diplomacy will keep your training diary full...bluntly telling the student"That turn in the road was absolute rubbish... don't you listen to a word I say?"
  • A sense of humour - humour diffuses stress and helps students(and you) relax...lessons that are enjoyable and fun is more effective too...
  • An open mind - as a driving instructor you will know very little about any of your studentsbefore they get into your car for the first time. If you have a tendency to harbour prejudices or irrational dislikes about any sector of society, you should consider a different career before you offend someone...
  • Honesty - your students will be paying large sums of money so expect the very best in terms of training and feedback. One misrepresentation of the truth could have severe repercussions.
  • Business acumen - you will more than likely be self-employed, either as a freelance or working as a sole trader. You must have some grasp of what is involved in running your own business and be prepared to find out if you do not...
  • Be prepared to study (a lot) and be self-motivated - both when you train and even after you qualify. Good driving instructors keep up to date with training methods, legislation and gain additional qualifications.