How To Become A Driving Instructor In Australia: Explained

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Students want to know the pay rates of driving instructors in Australia.


Do you want to teach other people how to drive and earn money? Then, becoming a driving instructor is an ideal way to turn your passion into your career.


A driving instructor educates people on the safe operation of various vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, scooters, trucks, and buses. Flexible work hours, decent hourly pay rates, and the ability to work independently make the business quite appealing.


You must have a driving instructor's license to work as a driving instructor in Australia. To apply for it, you need to complete an instructor training course. You undergo a police check and pass the final skill evaluation.


This article discusses the job profile, job prospects of a driving instructor, and the relevant courses and state-wise processes to obtain a driving instructor license to pursue this career in Australia.



1. Who Is A Driving Instructor?


A driving instructor is a certified professional who trains an unlicensed person to drive an array of vehicles to gain money in return.


He is a professional who is well-versed in safe and effective driving practices on open roads and imparts the same skills and knowledge to those new to driving.


The theoretical and practical driving training a student receives helps him obtain a driving license and the right to drive a vehicle on the road.


A driving instructor significantly contributes to society by producing safe and skilled drivers that reduce the chances of road accidents.



2. What Does A Driving Instructor Do?


A driving instructor prepares students to drive confidently on the roads and enjoy a lifetime of safe and pleasant driving experiences. An instructor educates a student in the following areas:


  • Road traffic laws and rules in Australia

  • Road safety and vehicle handling methods

  • Provide a live demonstration of the different parts of the vehicle and their use in driving. These include gears, brakes, clutch, accelerator, indicators, lights, and transmission system.

  • Advanced driving techniques to combat emergencies

  • Provide preparatory instructions to students to help them nail the driving test on the first attempt



3. What Skills Are Required In A Driving Instructor In Australia


Driving instructors teach driving skills that remain with the student for a lifetime. To become a successful driving instructor and produce successful drivers, you must have the proper skill set. 


Here are the common attributes that make up a good driving instructor:





Training different types of personalities require a lot of understanding and patience. Only some people are quick learners. 


Considering the student's learning ability, you need to be highly tolerant and not get frustrated when your student doesn't get your instructions right, even after several times.



Ability To Stay Calm Under Pressure


Many people do not care about road rules and drive carelessly. Teaching how to drive on a busy road with a beginner requires always maintaining your composure and attentiveness.



Friendly Attitude


Another essential skill you need to have as a driving instructor is being friendly and easy to approach. With his peaceful nature, a good instructor removes the awkwardness at the initial sessions and puts the student at ease.



Good Communicator


A good instructor is also a good communicator who engages in small talk to help release the hesitation and tension that a student may experience in the early days of training. 


A good driving instructor explains the driving lessons lucidly so a student can easily understand.



Good Sense of Humor


The ability to see the funny side of things and make witty remarks here to lighten the mood is appreciated. A driving instructor should be cool-headed with a good sense of humour to lessen the stress and enable a student to enjoy the lessons.





A good driving instructor always inspires and encourages a student not to lose hope and to keep progressing. He gives ample space and motivation to learn and grow till you get ready for Assessment Day.





A good driving instructor arrives at the training venue before the agreed time and completes the course within the stipulated time.





While adhering to road and vehicle safety guidelines, a good instructor is responsible and reliable in providing the best training and preparing the student for the examination.



4. Eligibility Criteria To Become A Driving Instructor In Australia


A driving instructor in Australia must fulfil the following requirements:


  • 21 years or older 

  • Have a valid current Australian Driver's Licence

  • Successful pass a traffic history check that confirms that the applicant has no history of severe traffic rules breaches as per the Road Safety Act 1986





5. Steps To Become A Driving Instructor In Australia


You need a state-issued driving license and a driving instructor's license if you wish to become a driving instructor and teach driving skills to others to earn an income.


Here are a few steps you need to follow to obtain a driving instructor's license in Australia.



Step 1: Enrol in a Driving Instructor training course.


The Australian Quality Training Framework includes the nationally accredited driving instructor training standards. A driving instructor has to decide on the correct type of training from the following:


  • Cars: If a driving instructor wants to teach people how to drive vehicles on the road, he must pass the Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics course.


  • Heavy vehicles: To teach truck driving skills, a driving instructor must pass Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics


  • Motorcycles: For motorcycle training, a driving instructor must pass the Roads and Maritime rider training course



Step 2: Attend The Final Assessment


After successfully passing the certification course, an applicant must demonstrate his driving abilities to the team of evaluators. 


This will show how proficient you are at driving a vehicle safely and effectively on the road. 


The assessment depends on the following:


  • Present lessons

  • Perform a commentary drive

  • Demonstrate safe driving

  • Complete a variety of manoeuvres


The assessment round is only for car and heavy vehicle driving instructions. 


Motorcycle instructors can skip the final assessment. Still, they need R&M accreditation before teaching motorcycle driving techniques and lessons with an official course provider.



Step 3: Fill Out And Submit The Application Form



For a successful application process, you need to support your application form with the necessary documents:



Applicants with a driving instructor authority in any other state/ territory wanting to apply for "mutual recognition" must fill out a Mutual Recognition form instead of the above form. They also must provide the necessary documentation as stated in the form. Click here for more information.


The process requires around six months, from submitting the application form to getting a driving instructor's license.


On successful registration of the application, the following things will get recorded into the Public Register:


  • Driver Instructor Authority number of the applicant 

  • Endorsement type (i.e., Manual and Automatic transmission)



6. Relevant Certifications And Courses For A Driving Instructor In Australia


Two main certification programs prepare a student to work as a driving instructor. You can study the course in all states of Australia. 


You can earn it through a driving instructor course in TAFE or a private training institution.


  • Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Car Driving Instruction)

  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


The above certificate prepares students to deliver driving training in the vocational and education sectors


The certification is available at TAFE NSW's driving instructor course and a private training school.



7. How It Is To Be A Driving Instructor In Australia?


A career as a driving instructor is gratifying. More than monetary gain, it is driven by passion.


Here are some positives and negatives about this career.



The Good Things


  • Flexible work hours. You can decide your workload.

  • The work gives immense satisfaction and a sense of pride when you prepare people to become safe drivers and avoid road accidents to a great extent.

  • In teaching others, you become experienced in training students with different learning capacities. 

  • Meeting people from varying cultural backgrounds and teaching them about Australian road and driving rules from scratch make the job exciting and rewarding.

  • Seeing the students you trained successfully pass their driver's licenses is a great feeling.

  • Though it requires a lot of patience but brings great joy when you observe increasing confidence and skills after every lesson. Preparing a beginner driver for the assessment and finally passing the test is an achievement.



The Challenges


  • It is always challenging to start with a new learner.

  • It takes a substantial time to earn your reputation in the market and build a large customer base for a consistent income. 

  • When working as an independent driving instructor, you incur several costs. These include the purchase/lease of the appropriate model vehicle, fuel, vehicle maintenance, professional indemnity and public liability insurance, license fees, and other ongoing costs.

  • It is tough to convince your teaching methodology to certain parents who think that they know better. 

  • You repeat the same training method with different students.

  • Sometimes it takes work to instruct international drivers with a rigid ideology about road rules and driving styles. 

  • Teaching driving becomes hard during wet climates.

  • You may encounter language and communication issues while teaching people of varying regions. 

  • Sometimes you come across careless, unreliable, and unpunctual students who cause cancellation of lessons, fuel wastage, and loss of bookings.



8. How Much Does A Driving Instructor Earn In Australia?


Besides being a good instructor, a high-paid driving instructor possesses good marketing skills, people skills, and a good understanding of human psychology.


Based on the employment data of the past two years, the average driving instructor earnings in Australia are between $55k and $70k.


The salary of an entry-level driving Instructor who has below one year of experience earns an average compensation of AU$29.82 (including bonus, overtime pay, and tips)


  • The average earning of a driving instructor with experience of 1 to 4 years earns AU$32.00.

  • An intermediate driving instructor with 5 to 9 years of experience earns an average salary of AU$44.00.

  • The average compensation for experienced driving instructors with 10 to 19 years of experience is AU$68.78.



9. FAQ's On Becoming A Driving Instructor In Australia



How To Become A Driving Instructor In South Australia?


To become a driving instructor in South Australia, you need to have the following:


  • Be a proper and fit person.

  • Hold a valid driver's license in South Australia.

  • Have been holding an unrestricted car license for at least two years without disqualifications during that time

  • Have held an Australian driving license for four years without disqualifications during that time

  • Hold an existing Certificate IV in transport logistics that shows you possess the necessary motor driving instructor competency and skills. Here is a complete list of driving training institutions in South Australia that provide training courses to aspiring driving instructors in the state. 

  • Complete a road rules theory test to display an understanding of the Australian Road Rules



Provide the following documents to apply for a driving instructor license:


  • national police check

  • An existing Working with Children Check 

  • Eyesight and medical certificate

  • An identity proof

  • An attested copy of your current Certificate IV in Transport Logistics - Road Transport Driving certificate 

  • proof of passing the road rules theory test



Procedure to apply:


  • Fill out the application form and submit it at a Service South Australian customer service centre along with the above-mentioned supporting documents.

  • Upon verification of details, applications will get a notification on their email to enrol for a regulator assessment.

  • Your application is passed to the registrar if the applicant meets the necessary standard stated in the regulator assessment.

  • On approval of the application, the candidate may need to visit the Service South Australian customer service centre to make payment of the license fee and provide the photograph. 

  • Within two weeks, the applicant will receive his photo identification MDI license.



How To Start A Driving School Business In Australia?


Begin by getting a restricted driving instructor's license in Australia. 


This license enables one to instruct car and motorbike riders. Follow these four steps to start running your driving school in Australia:



Step 1: Work as a Driving Instructor


Under the Driving Instructors Act 1992, the Roads and Maritime authority supervises the road behaviour of the driving instructor. 


Ensure you know the obligations mentioned under the act to avoid fines, license suspension, or trial.



Step 2: Work For A Driving School


Look for driving schools that employ instructors to provide driving training to their clients. 


The company is responsible for marketing efforts and bringing students for you to train. You draw a fixed salary in return for the services.



Step 3: Find Licensing Opportunities


This is another way to start your driving business in Australia. You buy a vehicle and are associated with a reputed training school that provides licensing services. 


You pay a yearly licensing fee to the training school and enjoy the brand recognition they offer. This helps new driving businesses in running the business.



Step 4: Set Up Your Driving School


A career as a driving instructor gives you the freedom to work independently by establishing and running your driving school. 


Start small with a handful of vehicles and gradually take it further when you build a reputation and a steady client base.



How To Become A Driving Instructor In NSW?


The first step is to have a Driving Instructor's Licence in NSW. Here are the steps to apply for the license:


  • You should be at least 21 years old

  • You have held a full driver's instructor license for a minimum of 3 years.


The Roads and Maritime Service of NSW is the authority responsible for making you a qualified driving instructor and granting you the license after thorough checking of the application form and the supporting documents.


You will have to provide the following:


  • Complete the Application for Licence under the Driving Instructors Act 1992

  • Get a medical check by a medical practitioner to confirm that you are physically and mentally fit to drive. 

  • Pass criminal history checks

  • Be a proper and fit person 

  • Provide a WCC number (Working With Children Check) and its expiry date

  • Two signatures

  • Four passport-sized photographs


Once you submit the above documents, you need to show your driving expertise by clearing the road rules knowledge test. On successfully clearing the test, RMS will grant you a letter of eligibility. This letter qualifies you to enrol in the right instructor training course.


The last step is to pass the Regulator Final Assessment, which confirms whether you carry the relevant skills to become a driving instructor in Australia.


Once you clear the above process, you get a Driving Instructor Licence with a five-year validity period. After you obtain the license, you can choose to work either as a sole trader or become a franchisee of a recognized driving school.


If you want to run your business, you need to register the name of your business and obtain an Australian Business Number.



How Long Is The Training?


You can complete the Certificate IV program through online modules with in-car assessments. 


The average time needed to complete this course is around 4 to 8 weeks.



Can I Apply For More Than One Driving Instructor's License?


The Driving training instructors who have had an unrestricted license for at least 3 to 4 years are eligible for over one type of driving instructor license, such as light rigid or heavy rigid vehicles.



How To Become A Driving Instructor In Tasmania?


To qualify for a driving instructor in Tasmania, you must fulfil the following requirements:



  • At least 21 years of age

  • Medically fit to be capable of teaching driving to students

  • Hold an existing driver's license in Australia for the type of vehicle that you want to teach


Complete the relevant certifications:


  • Those aspiring to become a car driving instructor should complete a Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport - Car Driving Instruction)

  • Those aspiring to take heavy vehicle classes should complete a knowledge test conducted on the Tasmanian road rules.

  • Those aspiring to become motorcycle Instructors should complete the training course offered by the external service provider.


  • Have held an Australian driver's license for a minimum of 3 years before the application date
  • Should be a fit and proper person by law


Visit Service Tasmania with the below documents:


  • A character certificate that shows a history of good conduct

  • A medical certificate by a registered medical practitioner that confirms you are physically and mentally capable of driving

  • Working with Children's Registration number

  • National Criminal History checks report from Tasmania Police.

  • Valid driving license

  • Copy of certification courses that confirms successful completion 

  • One passport-size photograph

  • Signature specimen

  • Required license fee


Submit the license application form along with the above documents to the centre. Upon verifying the documents and good driving abilities, you will obtain your driving license.


Click here to learn more about becoming a driving instructor in Tasmania.



How To Become A Driving Instructor in Victoria?


Becoming a driving instructor in Victoria is a straightforward process and gets completed in just a few months. 'Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria' is the licensing authority that regulates the process. An applicant should fulfil the below conditions:


  • 21 years of age or more 

  • Hold a valid full Victorian driver's license

  • Be a fit and proper person

  • Complete certificate iv in transport and logistics (road transport – car driving instruction)

  • Should be medically fit 

  • Good eyesight for commercial vehicle driving

  • Pass a national police history check and a driver history check

  • Hold a valid Working with children check number 

  • Two passport-size photographs

  • Signature specimen


Download and complete the Driving Instructor Authority application form and submit it with the following documents along with the required license fee:


  • A medical examination report by a medical practitioner that ensures physical health and well-being 

  • A driver's license

  • Copy of successful completion of certification courses

  • National criminal history check report from Victoria Police

  • Passport size photograph, and

  • Signature specimen


You will be issued a Victorian Driving Instructors Authority license upon successful verification and meeting the state-level standards.


For more information, please visit the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Victoria website.



How To Become A Driving Instructor in Queensland?


To become a driving instructor in Australia, an applicant must meet a few conditions:


The licensing authority that issues driving instructor licenses to applicants is the Roads.


  • At least 21 years of age

  • Hold a current open driver's license granted in Australia or New Zealand.

  • Have held a driving license for at least a year immediately before applying for the driving instructor's application.

  • Pass criminal, eyesight, medical, and traffic history checks.

  • Have a positive blue card to train children below 18 years of age

  • A valid identity proof document

  • Complete a certificate IV in transport and logistics (road transport – car driving instruction) approved by main roads.


Applicants must apply along with the medical report, identity proof, course completion certificate, police verification report, passport-size photographs, and signature specimen to the concerned service authority in Queensland.


On successfully verifying the supporting documents and passing the driving assessment, the authority issues a driver trainer accreditation for 12 months.


Click here to learn more about the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.


Learn more about road tests in Queensland here



How To Become A Driving Instructor In Canberra?


To obtain a driver's instructor's license to work in Canberra, you need to complete a Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics that will teach you the road rules in Canberra.


Trent Driving SchoolRoad Ready Center, and Pass First Go are training schools offering professional driving lessons to become expert driving instructors in the city.


Students enjoy flexible lesson packages and an online booking system to avail of driving instruction as per their schedule.


Once qualified, an applicant needs to fulfil the following conditions to secure a driving instructor license in the city:


  • Should have completed 21 years of age

  • Be a fit and proper person

  • A valid Australian driver's license

  • Must have held the license for one or more years immediately before the license application date 

  • A valid identity proof document

  • Medically fit 

  • A good eyesight

  • No prior convictions for a debarring offence within the past five years;

  • Possess a valid WCC number


Submit the instructor license application form with the valid driver's license, medical certificate, identity proof, national criminal history check report, and course completion certificate to the concerned authority to issue a driving instructor license in Canberra.


10. Conclusion


A career as a driving instructor is truly rewarding. You derive immense satisfaction when you train other people to become safe, skilled, and mindful drivers. 


Take the first step to getting qualified and securing a driving license to start working as a registered driving instructor in Australia.


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