Here’s my honest opinion on the good and bad points based upon over 15 years of working as an instructor.
Any job has good and bad point so don’t let the bad put you off. If you are looking for the perfect job without any drawbacks then you’ll never find it.
You might also want to click here to read my page on funny driving lesson stories because if you become an instructor these things could well happen to you.
The good things
- You’re the boss so you can work when you want to, not when someone tells you to.
- You can transform peoples lives. Teaching them to drive means they can take their family out, get a new job or just be more independent
- You run your own business. It’s a great feeling to be self sufficient and know that you have your own company.
- The money can be great. You can easily earn £25 an hour and it can be higher.
- There are lots of things to go into after becoming an ADI such as growing your own school, becoming an ADI trainer, starting up websites to help learners, advanced training, fleet training (visiting companies and training company drivers to be safer etc.). It’s far from a dead end job.
- You can always have the latest car models with all servicing included
- You get to meet lots of people that will always remember you for the rest of their lives. Everyone remembers their driving instructor.
- It’s easy to find your car in a car park with the roof sign on
The bad things
- You are going to be involved in car crashes. If you spend every day in a car with people who can’t drive then it’s a case of when it will happen, not if it will happen. You can watch me being involved in car crashes by clicking here.
- You will get vile pupils now and then. I have had people who’s attitude is so bad you wouldn’t believe me if I told you the things they have said. You’ll meet people who think they know it all, even though they have never driven before. I’ve had pupils that were abusive, had terrible bad breath and deliberately try to crash because they think it’s funny. They are quite rare but they are out there and you will get them.
- You’re forever walking a tightrope when you drive a car. One mistake such as speeding and you could lose your entire business.
- Your income is never guaranteed. You might have months where you earn £2500 and months where you earn £500. The bad winter of 2010 put a lot of instructors out of business.
- It’s very stressful. You’re going to be dealing with road rage and idiots on the road every day. Hardly a week goes by when someone won’t blast the horn at you for stalling or shout at you out of the window.
- You need to be multi-skilled. Not only do you need to be a driving instructor but you’ll have to learn how to build and run websites, advertise, keep financial accounts and more.
You are going to be meeting many different types of people during your career as a driving instructor. I’ve taught all sorts including the “normal” types such as students, nurses, doctors and actors. Then there are the slightly more uncommon such as professional poker players, escorts, lap dancers and drug dealers. Sometimes you really wish you hadn’t asked what they do for a living!
There’s a law saying that only driving instructors can teach people to drive for money. That means pretty much everyone has to go through driving schools. You may even have phone calls from celebrities or you could turn up for a lesson to find out that you’re teaching someone off the TV who wanted to remain anonymous before you met them.
You’ll need to be happy, outgoing, personable and able to mix with anyone. Some people will have opinions and attitudes you don’t agree with. Some won’t speak much English or may be from other countries.
Being a driving instructor isn’t for everyone but it’s the best job in the world for me. Yes there are bad things but the good things far outweigh those and there’s nothing else I’d rather do.