You’ve honed your skills. You have the desire. Now it’s time to make the commitment.
Becoming a firearms instructor is one of the most rewarding steps any gun enthusiast can take. Sure, you’ll gain the ability to provide yourself with an additional stream of income. And depending on your level of commitment, you can even turn firearms instruction into a full-time career. But more than that, you’ll have a chance to help gun enthusiasts of all levels become safer, more confident and highly skilled in the use of firearms.
With gun ownership at historic levels, the need for qualified instructors is more important than ever. Find out how you can make a difference.
It all starts with professional certification. Many respected organizations offer instructor-level courses in a wide variety of gun and safety disciplines. The NRA, USCCA, SAFTD and many others provide classes that are led by highly vetted instructors committed to the cause of training future experts. It’s important to understand that these instructor-level courses are not intended to improve your firearms skill. You need to bring a solid foundation of gun safety and skill to the table.
Certified courses will instead focus on teaching you how to teach others. A good course should include:
- Principals of Firearms Training
- Public Speaking & Communication
- Teaching Methodology
- Theory of Adult Learning and Class Preparation
- Foundational Drills and Skills
No matter the background you have, you’ll still need teaching skills to run a great class.
An excellent way to improve your instruction skills and learn the ins and outs of firearms training is by learning from other professionals. Sign up as a student and take classes from multiple instructors to learn different teaching styles. You will always learn something, whether it’s a great idea – or an example of how you don’t want to teach. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from instructor you admire. Most instructors are willing to share their experiences with others in their field, and some may be willing to mentor you as you get started.
Instruction is like any other skill – you must keep gaining knowledge or you’ll lose your edge. In addition, each passing year brings with it new techniques, technologies and teaching methods. Network with other firearms professionals and attend industry conferences to stay up-to-date. The more information you’re armed with, the better you’ll be at connecting with your students and the more in-demand your classes will become.
Weapons know-how, mentoring and teaching experience are the building blocks to start your firearms training business. Building off those skills will certainly give you a firm foundation. Once you are ready to go, get started by creating an instructor account on ShootingClasses.com and let people find your open classes.