Driving Instructor

Transport and Travel


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Service or PersuadingSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Driving instructors teach people practical driving skills. They also teach the theoretical skills needed to drive safely and pass a driving test. Driving instructors teach learners to safely drive a manual or automatic motor vehicle and instruct in basic car control skills. They educate learners in understanding traffic laws, signs and road regulations, and help them to gain on-road driving practice. They also advise students as to when they are ready for FutureGrowthModerate their Practical Driving Assessment.

ANZSCO ID & Description: 451211: Instructs individuals and groups in the theory and application of driving motor vehicles.

Alternative names: Driving Trainer, Driver Trainer, Heavy Vehicle Driving Instructor, Motor Cycle Driving Instructor

Specialisations: Driving Instructors may specialise in heavy vehicles (Heavy Vehicle Driving Instruction) or motor cycles (Motorcycle Riding Instruction). They may also specialise in areas such as defensive driving, driver re-education or advanced driving skills. Driving instructors with special licences teach people to drive buses and rigid or articulated vehicles.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A driving instructor needs:

  • to be able to give clear and precise instructions
  • the ability to anticipate and react to traffic conditions quickly and safely
  • excellent driving skills, road safety knowledge and enthusiasm for driving
  • the ability to give clear instructions
  • the ability to adapt your teaching style to suit each learner
  • patience and good people skills
  • the ability to stay calm and point out mistakes in a constructive way
  • a sense of humour
  • to be a safe, reliable and responsible driver
  • good interpersonal skills and enjoy working with people
  • a high level of patience
  • to be at least 21 years of age

At work
(Source: Prepare to Pass)


Duties and Tasks

As a driving instructor you would start by assessing a learner's driving knowledge and ability. Based on your assessment, you would then plan a series of lessons to get your client to a standard where they can take their driving test or attain a certain standard of defensive driving.

Most driving lessons follow a similar pattern. As an instructor you would teach your clients:

  • to use a vehicle’s controls with confidence

  • the correct approach to road safety

  • to manoeuvre, turn, reverse and park safely

  • about driving laws

  • how to deal with emergency situations

  • about basic vehicle checks.

You would normally use dual controls in the vehicle to make slight adjustments to the learner's driving.

As they become more competent, you would take them on to busier roads, dual carriageways and more complex junctions like roundabouts. As well as normal road driving, you might also give lessons in night driving or defensive driving. As well as practical driving skills, you might also cover driving theory with your clients.

Working Conditions

Many driving instructors work on a commission basis. They may work long and irregular hours, including weekends. A large number of driving instructors are self-employed, and many work on a part time basis. As a driving instructor, you would have to fit in around your learners' needs, and be prepared to work evenings and weekends. You may work for a company, or be self-employed. Flexible or part-time work is usually available. Driving instructors have a high level of public contact.

You would spend most of your time in the car, sitting in the passenger seat during lessons. Lessons typically last between one and two hours.

Driving Instructor
(Source: Your Career)

Tools and technologies

​Driving instructors will often use vehicles that are converted to dual control (with pedals on the front passenger side). As they spend most of their time on the road with clients, many driving instructors use smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, to make appointments and organise their schedule.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a driving instructor without formal qualifications. However, you will need to obtain a Driving Instructor’s Licence from the Department of Transport. You will need to complete a theory test and practical driving assessment, and also obtain a National Police Certificate.

To apply for a Driving Instructor’s licence you must have held an Australian Motor Driver’s Licence, in the appropriate class of licence for which you wish to teach, for at least three continuous years, with a clean driving record.

Additional Information

Additional requirements vary from State to State, but generally, to become a driving instructor, you must be at least 21 years of age and hold a current drivers' licence for the relevant class (type) of vehicle in which you wish to provide training. You must also have held a drivers' licence for three years continuously (with no suspensions or cancellations) at the time of application and pass a National Police Check, traffic checks and a medical examination.

Employment Opportunities

Driving instructing is a relatively small occupation, and modest growth only is expected. Driving instructors are usually employed on a subcontract basis, being paid commission for each lesson given. Demand is seasonal, increasing during school summer vacations. Driving instructors may work full time where demand allows. A large number are self-employed. Where only part-time employment is available, they may work outside the industry to supplement their earnings.

Your employment prospects may be improved if you can speak and read a second language.

COVID restrictions have impacted on this job as it is a close contact occupation.

Did You Know?


There were 18.8 million registered motor vehicles in Australia as at 31 January 2017.
•The national vehicle fleet grew by 2.1 per cent between 2016 and 2017.
•Diesel powered vehicles constitute 22.2 per cent of the national fleet, up from 15.9 per cent in 2012.


Petrol powered vehicles decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 75.7 per cent of the national fleet.
•Diesel powered vehicles increased by 1.3 percentage points to 22.2 per cent of the Australian fleet and this category remains the fastest growing by fuel type.


Passenger vehicles account for 75.0 per cent of the national fleet, down 0.1 percentage points from 2016.
•Campervans reported the largest growth rate of any vehicle type, increasing by 4.5 per cent, followed by Light rigid trucks with 3.4 per cent.


Average age of all vehicles registered in Australia was 10.1 years, unchanged since 2015.
•Tasmanian vehicles reported the oldest average age at 12.8 years, whilst the Northern Territory had the youngest fleet with an average age of 9.2 years.

(Source: ABS)

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