So You Want to Become a Driving Instructor?

We are always on the lookout for quality instructors to add to our team at Pacific Driver Education in Gresham. Learning to drive is something that the vast majority of American youth will go through during their teenage years, and some of them will have better drivers-ed experiences than others. We also train many people who may be coming back to driving later in their adult life for various reasons. We strive to provide instructive and highly engaging courses so that when students look back on their driving education, they remember a positive experience.

Driving instructors in Oregon come from all kinds of environments. Having a background in some kind of teaching or coaching certainly helps, but is not required. Driving instructor jobs are very attractive due to their flexibility. In many cases, they can be part-time work, a great fit for people who are retired or someone who is simply looking to pick up a second job. There are also those who make a full-time career out of teaching people to drive, which is another option. We do our best at Pacific Driver Education to provide flexible schedules for our instructors.

The Classes

Western Oregon University (WOU) has partnered with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to make the training process fairly pain-free. There are multiple different locations where you can take classes, and they take place at different times throughout the year.

Some locations offer “hybrid” classes, which means a good portion of the coursework can be done online. If you consider yourself to be proficient in computer-based skills, this is a good option that allows you to enroll in training that closer fits your schedule. Not every location offers hybrid classes, so be sure to double-check before you start the application process.

The classes usually take place in two-to-three day increments (usually on the weekend) over the course of three or four months. Here is a link to a schedule of upcoming courses across the state. If you are concerned that there may not be a testing center close to you, be sure to scroll through the entire list. You are encouraged to apply more than one week before your desired class is scheduled to start, as they will occasionally fill up.

The ODOT offers grants to Oregon residents to pay for the course, which lowers the price to $145. Out of state residents may need to dish out a bit more.

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Do You Meet These Requirements?

There are several basic requirements you must meet before you enroll in driving instructor courses. These include being at least 21 years of age, having current First Aid & CPR certification, and holding a valid driver’s license from the state of Oregon or an adjacent state.

Passing a criminal history check and a driving record inspection are also prerequisites. If your driving record over the past five years is blemish free, you’ll have nothing to worry about! A detailed list of driving record conditions can be viewed here.

Do You Have These Required Items?

Anybody enrolling in the class will be required to have a personal laptop to complete coursework on. You will have to bring it to class every week. You will also need to possess the knowledge to perform basic tasks on that computer, such as browsing the internet, opening and saving documents, and emailing attachments.

Along with the computer, you will need two main software programs to accompany it. Adobe Reader is a free application that can be downloaded here. Many computers come with Microsoft Office already installed, but if you don’t have it yet, you will need to pick a subscription plan before starting the class. The options for that can be found here. It should be noted that iPads and Chromebooks are NOT an accepted form of laptop to complete the instructor training.

Do You Have the Dedication?

Although this process may have sounded a little long and confusing, putting in several months of dedicated work and training could very well lead to a fulfilling career in helping others become certified drivers in our great state.

You should also keep in mind that not all of your time on the clock as a driving instructor will be in a vehicle with another student. You will be spending a lot of time in the classroom as well, instructing behind the scenes to ensure that everything goes smoothly when your students do finally get behind the wheel. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, and you are searching for a job in the Portland, Oregon area, we encourage you to go through the training.

Once you complete the course and receive a certification card from WOU, we would love for you to reach out to us to learn more about employment opportunities. Visit our site and fill out the employment application! We are always looking for the next great instructor to join us at Pacific Driver Education.