How do I become a driving instructor?
Do you want to become a driving instructor? This career involves teaching people in order for them to obtain their licence to drive on South African roads. Once you’re certified to become an instructor, you can apply for a position at a driving school or you can start your own business. Read our blog post to discover more about this career.
What do you need to become a driving instructor?
To work as a driving instructor, you’ll need to be registered with the Department of Transport and Public Works. A certificate is required to train road users and that certificate will provide the details of which classes the instructor is permitted to provide. You’ll also need a medical certificate to pursue this career path. Before you start training road users, you’ll be required to complete an instructor’s test. You can apply for your certification at your local driver’s licence centre.
What are the instructor grades?
According to the Department Of Transport Of South Africa, these are the different driver’s licence codes and their meanings:
|Code A1||This licence code is for driving motorcycles with or without a sidecar. The engine of this motorcycle should not exceed 125cc.|
|Code A||A Code A driver’s licence applies to motorcycles with or without sidecars, but with an engine that exceeds 125cc.|
|Code B||This licence code is needed for driving a motor vehicle, which includes minibuses, buses and goods vehicles. These motor vehicles should have a gross vehicle mass that doesn’t exceed 3 500kg.|
|Code C1||Code C1 is applicable to motor vehicles, minibuses, buses or goods vehicles that have a gross vehicle mass between 3 500 and 16 000kg.|
|Code C||The Code C driver’s licence is for motor vehicles, buses or goods vehicles that have a gross vehicle mass exceeding 16 000kg.|
|Code EB||Code EB can be for:
- A light motor vehicle pulling a trailer with a gross combination mass not exceeding 3 500kg.
- A combination of a motor vehicle with a tare not more than 3 500kg or it can be a bus, minibus or goods vehicle with a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3 500kg.
|Code EC1||Code EC1 can be for:
- A heavy motor vehicle pulling a trailer that has a gross combination mass between 3 500kg and 16 000kg.
- A combination of a motor vehicle with a tare between 3 500kg and 16 500kg or a minibus, midibus, bus or goods vehicle with a gross vehicle mass between 3 500kg and 16 000kg.
|Code EC||This licence code is applicable to heavy motor vehicles pulling a trailer with a gross combination mass exceeding 16 000kg or it can be a combination of a goods vehicle or bus with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 16 000kg.|
A grade A driving instructor is permitted to teach any code. They are required to obtain a code EC driver’s licence as well as a code A driver’s licence. Grade B instructors are permitted to train road users for codes B, C1, C, EB, EC1, and EC. They must obtain a code EC driver’s licence. If you want to operate at a grade C level, you’ll need to have both a code EB as well as a code A driver’s licence. This grade permits you to train vehicle users for codes A1, A and B. Grade D instructors must have a code EB driver’s licence and they’re permitted to train people for code B. In order to train people for their learner’s licence, you’ll need a Grade L type certification.
Do you have what it takes to succeed?
You’ll need to have high levels of patience to succeed as a driving instructor. An in-depth understanding of the theory behind driving, as well as comprehensive knowledge of the rules of the road, is also required. Instructors must be skilled drivers themselves in order to teach others how to operate a vehicle on the road. They need to keep up-to-date with any changes to the road rules and regulations as well as any adjustments to the driving test requirements. If you want to start your own driving school, you’ll need to have business skills.
Working as an instructor involves dealing with people, which means that you’ll need good interpersonal and communication capabilities. Honesty and reliability go a long way towards building a good relationship with your clients. If you offer great service, it’s more likely that your current clients will refer new business to you. You’ll also need to maintain a professional and friendly demeanour. The ability to stay calm in stressful situations and to be able to think clearly in an emergency is essential for this job.
What are the work conditions?
Working as a driving instructor comes with the possibility of flexible working hours. If you run your own driving school, you can book clients in accordance with your schedule. While there is a certain level of flexibility with this career path, instructors are often required to work on weekends and outside of business hours.
What is SAIDI?
SAIDI is the South African Institute of Driving Instructors. Once you’ve obtained your certificate, you are eligible for registration with SAIDI. If you want to be part of this organisation, you’ll need to apply to become a member by completing their application form. You’ll also need to provide them with a verified copy for your certificate and driver’s licence. There is a fee to join SAIDI.
Now that you know how to become a driving instructor, you can decide whether this is the right career for you or not. If you’re patient and you have a comprehensive understanding of how to operate a vehicle, this could be the right career for you.