Becoming A CCW Instructor
Interested in a career as a CCW instructor? It's definitely a good career field for a person that loves firearms, concealed carry, and advocates for a responsible armed citizenry.
It could certainly be one of the best jobs for concealed carry, but it isn't like you can get a degree in CCW from a university and away you go.
Concealed Carry Instructor Jobs Much Like Other Consultants: Varied
So...you want to be a concealed carry instructor? Not the worst impulse for a person that is enthusiastic about 2nd Amendment rights, self-defense, firearms and everything else that is entailed. If a person can make a passion pay for itself, so much the better.
After all, if you do what you love for a living, you'll never work a day in your life.
But it isn't that simple.
Being a concealed carry instructor is a form of consultant or other training provider. Like any other industry, you have a few up at the top of the pyramid that get most of the attention (and also the business) and the income, and people who may or may not be competent down at the bottom. In between is a hinterland that includes all sorts.
Some concealed carry instructors provide the state-mandated minimums for obtaining a permit. Other instructors provide concealed carry training much like a martial arts instructor teaches unarmed or non-shooting armed combat techniques; you learn how to draw and shoot at an attacker by learning a variety of techniques.
Some can offer both.
First, Get CCW Instructor Certifications
Again, it's not like you can get CCW instructor certifications from a university. Therefore, you have to look for the organizations that carry weight.
Instructors that teach state-mandated courses for concealed carry licensing have to offer a course that meets state requirements. That means you'll have to pass state review, like many other professions. This can include an examination of legal knowledge regarding self-defense laws of the state, so you may need to sit for an exam.
Looming large is the NRA courses. Many state CCW permit requirements are satisfied by one or several NRA shooting courses, such as Basic Pistol. There is a path to becoming a certified NRA Instructor, and anyone that's looking to become a CCW instructor should consider obtaining this certification.
Other certifications are available as well, such as the US Concealed Carry Association Instructor certification. There are also instructor certifications offered by various law enforcement agencies, though this may require actually working in law enforcement in order to attain the certification - such the Firearms Instructor Training Program, offered by the Department of Homeland Security, though only to law enforcement only.
Other Requirements For Being A Firearms Instructor
If you want to be a firearms instructor or tactical instructor, there are some other qualifications you might want to acquire if you wish to advance beyond just the basic instructor certifications. Among the top of the heap? Relevant experience.
Look at the top instructors of today and yesterday, like Massad Ayoob, Jeff Cooper, Fairbairn and Sykes, James Yeager (like it or not, he has market presence), Instructor Zero and so on. They all have relevant experience.
How does one GET that relevant experience? By being in law enforcement and/or the military, and in a relevant role - not just riding a desk. Experience as a trainer in law enforcement and/or the military helps as well.
Another credential is championship wins in competitive shooting. If teaching people how to shoot, it helps if you've won hardware demonstrating that you know how. Hardware from any and all defensive pistol shooting competitions, such as the IDPA, pad your resume.
It also helps to train with well-known instructors. Every certification from a known authority in the field helps build your resume.
As you build a resume, you'll also need to build a reputation. Plaudits from instructors and students help immensely, as does a good job of marketing yourself.
Can I Make A Living As A CCW Instructor?
There's getting paid for providing services as a CCW instructor, and then there's getting paid enough to live, or even thrive. Some people do. A lot of people don't. Whether you'll be able to...that comes down to an economy of scale.
To make a living at it, you'd need to book enough training on a regular basis with enough students, as well as make additional income with ancillaries (such as other merch, if you can get people to buy it, training materials, etc.) and so on to be able to make something like a working- or lower-middle-class income from it.
A person might approach it as a hobby, and see if they can make it pay for itself. If more potential is there, and it's what a person is determined to do...then go for it.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.