More and more people are needing CPR training every year. As sudden cardiac arrest is on the rise, more state regulations are requiring people to be trained. Because of this, we need more CPR Instructors!
If you’re looking to become a CPR instructor and want to understand all the costs involved, we will break it down for you here. If you’d like to check out a video on the topic see our video ‘How Much Money to Start a CPR Business.’
What is a CPR Instructor?
CPR instructors are a valuable resource to our communities. If you are passionate about educating others and saving lives, you may be the perfect candidate to become a CPR instructor. CPR instructors are people that are certified through a credentialed organization, such as the American Heart Association, to teach CPR or Basic Life Support. CPR instructors may teach CPR to people in the healthcare field or also lay responders that work in places such as daycares, schools, or manufacturing settings.
Some people may be CPR Instructors as a part of their job at a company or organization. Other CPR Instructors may just teach in the community when people contact them for training.
Depending on the area a CPR trainer is in they may teach a lot of people in a certain industry. In more rural areas there may be more factories, farms, or OSHA regulated workplaces that seek out CPR training. Whereas in a city there may be more community centers and doctors offices needing training.
How Do I Become a CPR Instructor?
To become a CPR instructor, you need to meet a few prerequisites for the CPR instructor class and then find a class to attend. The prerequisites are not hard to meet. For example, to sign up for an American Heart Association CPR Instructor class, you will simply need to take an AHA CPR class beforehand.
We recommend taking AHA Basic Life Support (BLS). This allows instructor candidates to teach the most advanced level of CPR for Healthcare Providers. Some CPR Instructor Classes will be ‘Heartsaver CPR Instructor’ classes and these only require basic Heartsaver CPR certification beforehand. It is less common to find these courses as most people want to be able to teach both types of CPR courses. Read: The Difference between BLS and Heartsaver Instructors
We usually recommend that CPR trainers do their initial training through the American Heart Association as they are the authority that researches and develops CPR guidelines. Once you are an AHA instructor there is reciprocity offered by the American Red Cross and Health and Safety Institute. Both of these other credentialing bodies offer bridge courses to be certified to teach through them as well.
What Skills are Required to Become a CPR Instructor?
CPR instructors should be able to manage a classroom, speak in front of others, and be comfortable working with a diverse group of clientele. These skills are vital for your success as an instructor.
While many CPR instructors have a background in the medical field, it is not required. Medical experience and knowledge is helpful to make it easier to understand the course content. However, no required experience or qualifications are needed to become a CPR instructor.
How Much does it Cost to become a CPR instructor?
All in, most CPR Instructor courses cost between $400-$935 for everything you need. This price includes the costs of the prerequisite certification, required manuals, and instructor course. While this requires an upfront investment, it is not difficult to recoup the cost after teaching 2-3 CPR courses.
CPR Instructor course prices vary depending on the location and Training Center you go through. Costs you can expect include:
- CPR Provider Certification: $75-$150
- AHA Instructor Essentials online course: $35 (This is an AHA course that your instructor should send to you before class)
- Instructor hands-on/classroom course: $250-$600 (varies by location)
- Monitoring: $0-$150 (Some Training Centers may include this in the classroom course cost)
After the course, you will still need to rent or buy equipment to teach classes. Keep the cost of this equipment in mind. Read: How Much Does CPR Equipment Cost? We recommend perusing the equipment at CPR Supply Source to get an idea of the costs for the most preferred equipment.
Can I take an Instructor Course Online?
Online instructor classes are not allowed with the American Heart Association. For a short period between 2020-2022, the American Heart Association allowed AHA Training Centers to teach online instructor courses at their discretion. These courses must now be taught in person again.
How & Where can I start my CPR Instructor course?
You will need to find an authorized AHA Training Center offering instructor classes. They will have you fill out an Instructor Candidate Application before enrolling in an AHA Instructor class. The Class Eagle Heath and Safety Directory can help you find a CPR instructor course near you. If you are in a more rural area it is likely you will have to travel to a location that has classes.
How long is a CPR Instructor Course?
Prior to attending the Instructor class, you will need to take the AHA online Instructor Essentials course. This online course takes 1.25 hours to complete and can be done at your convenience, but must be done before attending the hands-on classroom portion.
The hands-on classroom portion of the instructor course takes approximately 8 hours to complete. Usually this is done in one day but some classes may spread it out over two days. The course length can also vary depending on the number of students in the course.
What is Covered in a CPR Instructor Course?
During the in-person portion of the CPR instructor course, students will review the instructor manual and perform mock teaching portions. The instructor trainer will give each instructor candidate an opportunity to practice testing and remediating students on their CPR skills. Additionally, instructor candidates will learn about the structure of the AHA and the core competencies expected of each instructor.
Is there a CPR Instructor Exam?
At the end of the instructor course there is a 25 question exam. The AHA requires an 84% or higher to pass. Remediation is available at the instructors discretion. The AHA allows the exams to be open resource.
Following the class, you will need to teach a class independently while an instructor or other AHA Training Center faculty monitors you. This monitoring proves you can follow the AHA lesson plans and coach students on CPR skills.
We recommend teaching a class within the first six months of completing the instructors course so the skills you learned will be fresh. Teaching a course for your friends or family is a fun way to practice!
The average person pays between $720-$935 to become a CPR Instructor. This cost may vary depending on your location and if you are already certified in CPR. After becoming a CPR instructor, you will need to purchase training equipment if you do not already have access to equipment. For a full list of equipment you might need to start your CPR instructor career check out this article where we break it all down!
When you’re ready for the next steps, be sure to visit the Ultimate CPR Instructor Guide & Help.