Are you contemplating driving instructor training but want to know a little more about what the working hours of a qualified driving instructor are like?
Being a driving instructor can be a very fulfilling job. You will get to meet a range of different people and help them learn and eventually pass their driving test. Driving instructors can earn a competitive wage, will be able to work their own hours, and act as their own boss.
That being said, there does have to be some flexibility to fit in with customer needs. This article will explore the kind of hours a qualified driving instructor might work to give you a better idea of job expectations.
What days do driving instructors work?
Most driving instructors will work some weekends and evenings. Unlike most other professions, being a driving instructor relies in large part on the availability of individual customers. If you are serious about starting your career as a driving instructor, you will have to be relatively flexible.
This does not mean that you will have to give up every evening and weekend. A good work-life balance is essential to your happiness, and you should only look to take on students that work around your requirements, when possible.
Good organisational skills should come into play when scheduling driving lessons, and keeping a diary of personal events and lessons will help you keep track of things.
You should ensure that you set aside spare time to avoid burnout. As your experience as a driving instructor grows, you will start to understand the number of lessons in a day or week that suit your lifestyle.
The most popular times for driving lessons
Different learner drivers all have different time slots that they prefer, and this depends on their individual lifestyles, existing commitments, and daily schedules.
For example, they might want to book lessons around work commitments or, if they are a particularly nervous learner driver, they may want to try and avoid busy rush hour times. Some learners will prefer weekday or weekend lessons that can suit different schedules, and some might only find time in the evening.
As most people will have a daytime commitment such as school or work, weekends, evenings, and early mornings tend to be fairly popular. Many instructors also consider charging a premium rate for these slots.
This is where your flexibility and adaptability will kick in. You might not be able to accommodate every request, but you will be able to earn more money by making an effort to fit pupils in at times that suit them.
Throughout your training and when you are newly qualified, you will benefit from taking lessons at different times of the day and at weekends as it will help to build a client base, increase your experience, and help you grow accustomed to schedules that suit your lifestyle.
What factors affect driving lesson times?
Driving lesson times will depend on your schedule and your pupils’ availability. If possible, you should try to have a relatively well-planned schedule. This will help you book lessons and minimise the risk of having cancellations.
The following reasons will typically affect when learner drivers can and can’t take lessons.
Work is a significant factor relating to when learners can learn to drive. The good thing is that not everyone works 9-5, Monday to Friday. Part-time workers and shift workers will typically have less structured long-term plans. This can result in them requiring less sought-after time slots in the middle of the day.
Whether your pupil is still at school and is starting driving lessons or they are a parent whose children go to school, this schedule will impact when lessons can be taken. Early mornings and late afternoons are typically best suited to school children, as well as weekends. Parents of school-age children might find that morning to afternoon slots suit them best.
University & College
Higher education students might have schedules that allow time during the week. However, many students also have part-time jobs, which can affect when they can take lessons. They may also have preferred periods of the year, such as outside of exam seasons, where they want to do more intensive courses of lessons.
How many driving lessons does a driving instructor do a week?
The number of driving lessons that can be given during the course of a week will be determined by the length of the lessons.
Driving lessons are typically 1 hour, 1 and a half hours, or 2 hours. There are benefits to each, as we will discuss here.
1-hour driving lessons – 1-hour driving lessons can be useful for people that are struggling for time, as they are easier to fit into busy schedules. Many learners may only be able to afford one hour slots, so the pool of students to work with is larger. This enables you to easily fill in gaps and be more flexible with which learners you choose to teach. They are also less damaging in the event of a cancellation, as you will only lose out on one hour, helping to maximise efficiency.
1-hour 30-minute lessons – 1-hour 30-minute slots are more beneficial to the learning experience as driving instructors will be able to deliver a more robust lesson plan. Learners will benefit from longer lessons and spend more time practically driving. Some learners also find 2 hour lessons to be too mentally taxing, so this time frame works very well for certain types of students.
2-hour driving lessons – Longer lessons typically result in better retention for the learner and they should be able to drive to more locations during their lesson. Driving instructors will also benefit from 2-hour driving lessons, as they will need fewer students on their books to manage. Crucially, instructors who teach 2 hour lessons will generate higher earnings, as they minimise travelling during lesson gaps (where nothing is earnt) and reduced fuel costs.
Independent driving instructors and franchises
Working as part of a driving instructor franchise offers driving instructors a number of benefits. A franchise is when you operate under the name and sponsorship of an established driving school. This can help as they will already be established and can lead to a good source of high paying customers.
Working under an established brand name minimises the lengthy process of self sourcing students. If you decide to start your own driving school to help learners, you will have to spend a lot of time building up a client base. Advertising can be expensive, and it could take a while before word of mouth starts to get you a good number of new customers.
Additionally, the final DVSA assessment requires you to undertake a live driving lesson with a real student to qualify as an Approved Driving Instructor, and so if you haven’t completed your exams, a franchise is the ideal route due to the vital practical driving experience it affords.
A franchise is a great way to hit the ground running, especially if you’ll benefit from the immediate use of a dual-controlled car leased by the company alongside the servicing and maintenance that is provided as part of the package.
Any franchise will come with costs, and you will have to speak with the franchises’ recruitment team to ensure you know what you’ll receive as part of your package.
Bill Plant Driving School
If you are dead-set against ever working weekends, driving instruction might not enable you to earn as much money as possible if you’re unable to fill your lesson appointments during the week. This is because a certain degree of flexibility is required to accommodate prospective new customers and ensure that your services are attractive to a wide range of clients.
That being said, you will be able to choose your own hours, and if you are able to put in the time to manage your pupil base so that you have the hours during the week, it is possible to be a very successful driving instructor without working weekends.
Driving instruction can be extremely hard work sometimes, but it is extremely fulfilling. As a training provider, you will be in a position to help the people you are teaching to change their lives by becoming competent and safe drivers for years to come.
Driving tests can be nerve-wracking for anyone taking them. If you think you have what it takes to help people get over their nerves and become safe drivers, driving tuition could be the profession for you.
If you want to become a driving instructor, the driving instructor training available at Bill Plant Driving School will help to prepare you for your ADI tests.
You will benefit from training to help with the Theory and Hazard, Driving Ability, and Instructional Ability tests.
Anyone over the age of 21 that has held a UK driving licence for a minimum of three years and has fewer than 6 points on their licence can apply.
Check online to see whether the services provided by Bill Plant Driving School suit your needs.
How many hours a week should I work as a driving instructor?
The average UK driving instructor works between 28 and 34 hours a week, but how much you work will be entirely up to you and your potential customer base.
It is important to remember that even a 25-hour working week for a driving instructor will be significantly longer without proper diary management. Minimising the time travelling between lessons through proper planning will help to maximise efficiency and make the best use of your time.
Are there any benefits to working weekends as a driving instructor?
The most significant benefit of working weekends as a driving instructor is the number of people that have spare time and can fit in driving lessons, alongside the potential to charge a premium lesson rate.
As you build your customer base, allowing time at the weekend for lessons can be a great idea and boost your weekly income.
How much can I earn as a driving instructor?
How much you earn will be dependent on how much you work. It is possible for driving instructors to work 30 to 40 hours a week and earn from £35k to £40k.
Is it easy to be a full-time driving instructor?
No. Anyone that tells you that being a driving instructor is easy is not being completely honest with you. While some students take to driving easily, others may require a longer and more nuanced approach to their development.
While it can be an extremely rewarding profession that offers great flexibility and earning income, you will have to put in hard work to pass your tests.
It is more than likely that you will end up having to work some weekends and evenings to accommodate your customers, due to the sheer benefits these sessions offer.
How long does driving instructor training take?
It will typically take between 6 months and a year to complete the training necessary to become a driving instructor.
How long it takes will be determined by the time that you can dedicate to your training. If you are juggling your training while working elsewhere, it can take longer, but if you’re able to commit to training full time then it can be completed within months.