Careers in the trucking industry don't have to be limited to traveling the highways. Instead of working in the cab, you can become a leader in the classroom, molding the up-and-coming generations of truck drivers. If this opportunity sounds enticing, take the necessary steps to get certified as a commercial driving instructor.
Decide what type of instructor you want to be. Driving instructors provide classroom, behind-the-wheel and off-range instruction. In some states, the requirements to get certified vary depending on what type of teaching you plan to pursue.
Check your state's certification requirements and make sure you meet the basics. You'll likely need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 21 years old to get an instructor's certificate. Your state may also require a certain amount of commercial driving experience before you can teach.
Expect to undergo a criminal background check, which may require you to pay a fee. You may also have to establish that you are not subject to any pending criminal matters or arrest warrants. Be aware that certain convictions will deem you ineligible to be an instructor.
Leading by Example
Review your driving record to make sure it meets the necessary qualifications. At a minimum, you will need a valid driver's license. You will also need to meet other standards outlined by the state's licensing authority. These might include a requirement that your license be valid for a certain period prior to submitting your instructor's application, or rules denying an instructor's license if you've been convicted of certain traffic infractions within a given time frame.
Hit the Books
Complete the necessary instructor's education. Before you enroll, check with the licensing authority to ensure you select an approved education provider and the correct courses. Obtain an official copy of your transcript once you've finished your studies.
Get a medical exam that includes a vision test from an approved medical provider. It's best to do so upon or near completion of your instructor's education so the results are current. Get a certified copy of the results to submit to the licensing authority.
Make Your Request
Review the checklist of requirements for the truck driving instructor's certification. Application fees are usually non-refundable, so you want to make sure you've done all that is asked. Next, submit the application and all the required documents as directed to the appropriate authority.
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