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Driver and Safety Teacher Education

Program Description

Just the Facts

Driver and Safety Teacher Education. A program that prepares individuals to teach driver and safety education programs at various educational levels.

This program is available in these options:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

The road to becoming a driving instructor isn't very long, but the exact route depends on where you live.

The training you'll need to become a driving instructor could be quite different from one area of the country to the next. That's because regulations for traffic safety are covered by state governments.

Before you write the state exam to get a driver educator license, you'll need a combination of classroom and on-the-road training.

You'll need to have a clean driving record for at least the past four years. You'll also need a high school diploma. And you usually need to be 21 years old.

Most training for driver education instructors is given at the community college level, or at private or government training institutions. Since many driver educators in the U.S. are teachers, it's sometimes offered in a continuing education program for teachers.

The national standard for driving instructor training is nine semester hours of education, but it can be as little as four.

Many driving instructors are also employed as traffic safety or defensive driving instructors. The training for this is often less rigorous than for a youth driving instructor.

You should be comfortable dealing with people, even when they make mistakes that put you and your car in danger. Most of all, you should enjoy and feel comfortable being in control of a vehicle.

"First of all, [you] have to have good driving habits. Qualities include the ability to effectively evaluate and coach drivers, a positive and supportive attitude, a pocket full of good teaching techniques, and the ability to stay calm," says Elizabeth Weaver, a driver education specialist with the Idaho Department of Education.

Be prepared to attend professional development workshops.

There aren't many high school courses that can prepare you. A broad education is important, and you'll need good communication skills. Public speaking would help -- you'll constantly be telling young drivers how they should be driving.

"There are no prerequisite courses for driver education," agrees Weaver. "However, it is beneficial to have courses in health, CPR and first aid."

But there are lots of things you can do outside class to get ready to hit the road as an instructor.

"Practice good driving habits. Read articles on traffic safety and develop a good resource library. Get involved in traffic safety issues in your community," says Weaver.

Program costs vary from one region to the next.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Teachers -- Adult Literacy and Remedial and Self-Enrichment Education

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