Becoming an instructor
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Thread: Becoming an instructor

  1. #1

    Becoming an instructor

    I'm working toward becoming an instructor. What do I need? Business license? (It'll be a side job only, and I'm doing it on my own.) Insurance? Certification? If so, from whom?
    Luke 22:36 NKJV - "Then [Jesus] said to them, ". . . he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." Exodus 22:2 NKJV - "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed."

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  3. #2
    Depends on what you teach and what state. At a minimum you should have insurance. Establishing your business as a LLC gives you a bit more credibility and buffer in potential lawsuits. Building a resume of classes attended and instructor certifications will add to your credibility as an instructor. If you're going to teach CCW most states will require you have an NRA Handgun Cert as a minimum.
    Hi-Caliber Training & Tactics
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."- Theodore Roosevelt

  4. #3
    Before you get to questions about the type of business entity or the amount of insurance you should carry, the first thing you must decide is whether you have something worth teaching. If all you are going to do is regurgitate the same old weak BS that everyone else is pedaling, save your money and your efforts. It took several tries for me to find quality instruction and I probably would have found it faster if there were fewer options.

  5. #4

    Becoming an instructor

    Thankfully, in GA, a class is not required to get a GWCL-only $75, so whether I'm certified or not doesn't matter for that. I think I have a lot to offer, J, but I'm interested in what set your favorite instructor apart from the others.
    Luke 22:36 NKJV - "Then [Jesus] said to them, ". . . he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." Exodus 22:2 NKJV - "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed."

  6. #5

    Becoming an instructor

    Also, I'm trying to supplement my income from my other job, so if this costs more to set up than I'll make from it, it's not worth the effort.
    Luke 22:36 NKJV - "Then [Jesus] said to them, ". . . he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." Exodus 22:2 NKJV - "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed."

  7. #6
    I have had several very good instructors and they had several common traits. First, they all had a level of knowledge and experience above and beyond the guy that liked to shoot and got an instructors certificate. They all spoke the kings English and could communicate very effectively. They were flexible and could explain their concepts in several ways. They were also flexible in allowing individual variations in technique and were not out to remake the world in their own image. They all had a high level of skill and could demonstrate the effectiveness of their techniques.

  8. #7
    On the other hand, the bad instructors that I have had likewise had common traits. They typically answered question by asserting their authority and with responses that were devoid of reason. They were unable to explain why a certain technique was advantageous and told me I needed to do things just because it was the right way and I needed to trust them. Usually, they lacked any significant knowledge or experience and their presence as an instructor was nothing more than an attempt to involve other people in their fantasy of being a cop or soldier. They were also very insecure and often became competitive with the people they were supposed to be training and were more interested in showing they had the upper hand than they were in transferring information.

  9. #8
    Although I am an NRA member, I am not a fan of their training programs or their instructor certifications. I think their first steps handgun program is an insult to the intelligence of almost anyone of even average intelligence or ability. I also think their instructor certification programs are very poor. I have seen numerous NRA certified instructors that aren't much more than beginners themselves. Two local instructors come to mind but shall remain nameless. The NRA seems to think that they can take most anyone off the street and make them an instructor in two days of training, which I think is absurd.

    I have likewise been disappointed by those that relied on some type of law enforcement or military credentials as the basis of their training. The military makes little use of the handgun and I was quite surprised when I found most had little more than an afternoon of training and met a very modest qualification standard. I was also appalled to find out how little training our police receive and the meager standards to which they perform. I understand now why our local police have killed or wounded so many innocent bystanders. Like many people that are not versed in firearms, I believed that our police were highly skilled and highly trained and at some point I appealed to friends in law enforcement to help me. Needless to say, I was amazed to their skills and knowledge were grossly lacking. I also realized just how little confidence I could place in the police to protect me.

    The hardest part of the process in my experience was finding good instruction. I eventually did find several good ones but I wasted a lot of money along the way. I also made the good instructors job more difficult by showing up with bad habits and a lot of misinformation.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by J.powers View Post
    Although I am an NRA member, I am not a fan of their training programs or their instructor certifications. I think their first steps handgun program is an insult to the intelligence of almost anyone of even average intelligence or ability. I also think their instructor certification programs are very poor. I have seen numerous NRA certified instructors that aren't much more than beginners themselves. Two local instructors come to mind but shall remain nameless. The NRA seems to think that they can take most anyone off the street and make them an instructor in two days of training, which I think is absurd.

    I have likewise been disappointed by those that relied on some type of law enforcement or military credentials as the basis of their training. The military makes little use of the handgun and I was quite surprised when I found most had little more than an afternoon of training and met a very modest qualification standard. I was also appalled to find out how little training our police receive and the meager standards to which they perform. I understand now why our local police have killed or wounded so many innocent bystanders. Like many people that are not versed in firearms, I believed that our police were highly skilled and highly trained and at some point I appealed to friends in law enforcement to help me. Needless to say, I was amazed to their skills and knowledge were grossly lacking. I also realized just how little confidence I could place in the police to protect me.

    The hardest part of the process in my experience was finding good instruction. I eventually did find several good ones but I wasted a lot of money along the way. I also made the good instructors job more difficult by showing up with bad habits and a lot of misinformation.
    Although, I will agree with some of the above statements. I will explain why you have the experience that you have. The NRA Instructor courses are based on the thought process of basic instruction. This is so that they can teach the BASIC fundamentals of shooting. This is basically target shooting, for the uninitiated. They even tell you that in the Instructors manual. The problem that we are seeing is, Instructors teaching things they are not qualified to teach. Yes they were in the military, yes they had to qualify. But they were not Primary Marksmanship Instructors or Combat Marksmanship Instructors. Those jobs are the real deal. They are highly qualified. I have yet to see a military Marksmanship Instructor that was not exceptional at his trade. I ran a pistol and rifle range in the Marine Corps and call out plenty of instructors every year when they use their military background as credentials and they were in supply or truck drivers.
    As an NRA Training Counselor, I have trained hundreds of Instructors. If the candidates cannot grasp this concept, I do not get them certified.
    If you look at folks like John Farnham, Clint Smith, Jeff Cooper you will see that they are previous military firearms Instructors. I am not talking about the you tube commandos and marketeers. I am talking about the serious trainers.

    The biggest problem with all of this, when I first started teaching firearms training over 3 decades ago, there were only 10 schools in the country. Now there are 10 or more in every county. Our school is one of the oldest in Florida, we have been in business since 1987. I have seen 50 come and go in that time frame. Not all are qualified. Google is your friend when looking for someones credentials.

    I suggest doing your homework. Getting references. Go view a class before you spend your hard earned money. One good dead giveaway is the cost of the class you are attending. If its too cheap, thats what you will get. Is the instructor qualified to teach what they are teaching? Who trained them? Is the technique that they are teaching a well known technique? Is it proven? Do they make statements like "My way is the only way". Do that have certifications? Has the school or instructor been around a long time? One statement I make always......".There are only so many ways to shoot a gun, and they were all invented before you and I were born." I am a student of firearms and self defense, all I do is pass on what I have learned over the years.

    For those that want to become an Instructor there are limited ways to become one. The NRA Instructor Program qualifies more than any organization, next will be LEO via FLECTCH, state organizations like FDLE. These are the only credentials that are normally acceptable to most. Depending on what you want to teach it can cost from 300.00 to 30,000 dollars depending on where you go to school. My training has cost me or the taxpayer over a quarter million dollars. Me at least 30 grand with travel, ammo, course fees and lodging.

    Our motto is the same as the Marine Corps," Let’s be damn sure that no man’s ghost will ever say “If your training program had only done its job.”
    BTTBBOB
    President & Chief Instructor
    www.sflagunschool.com

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Asheville NC airport area
    Posts
    4
    I started taking NRA instructor certifications in January of 2013. I took them from a training counselor (Bob) that I had taken multiple other classes from. Bob said he saw the attitude in me to become a good trainer. I have NRA instructor certifications in basic pistol, basic rifle, home firearms safety, personal protection in the home, refuse to be a victim, and am a certified range safety officer. I am still building the confidence in myself to instruct alone. I have been working with Bob on his other instructor classes for the last 6 months. Bob has a training team that knows each other socially and personally. We all trust each other with our lives. I will say that you need to work with a training team once you get certified. Also another big thing is make sure to get liability insurance no matter what you decide to do. NRA endorsed instructor insurance through Lockton is the best bang for the buck but you have to be a certified instructor.
    You have to make a true commitment to become an instructor. It is not cheap to pay for the classes. I spent over $4000 for classes last year. I have spent close to 50 hours a month training, studying, and preparing for classes this year. I am scheduled for an Armorer class this month and the NC concealed carry laws next month.
    Good luck with your decision.

    Jim

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