Becoming a CPR Instructor is a very rewarding endeavor. You can have a significant impact on people’s lives—both the people you teach and the people they treat. So, how do you become a CPR instructor? Can anyone do it? What exactly do you learn?
Six Tips for Becoming a CPR Instructor
- Get CPR Certified. Of course, you need to know CPR before you can teach it. In fact, most—if not all—CPR instructor courses require you to have a CPR certification before you take the class. Moreover, taking a CPR course will allow you to observe an already-certified instructor. You may gain valuable insights into certain teaching methods, what does and doesn’t work, and the material you’ll need to focus on as an instructor.
- Consider Who You Want to Teach. If you want to teach children—for example—you’ll probably need a different set of skills than teaching adults. If you want to teach large groups, that will likely require a different teaching style than giving one-on-one lessons. Consider your potential future students, and how you’ll need to adapt your strategies for them.
- Consider Where You Want to Teach. If you want to work for a specific organization or type of organization, research what they’re looking for in a CPR instructor. You may even want to reach out to the HR department and see if they have any information. If you want to open a CPR business, then you’ll need to put some thought into a business plan and other pragmatic aspects of being self-employed.
- Research Training Agencies. Many reputable national agencies offer CPR training which will be recognized by most organizations. These agencies include the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Red Cross (ARC), and the Health Safety Institute (HSI). While there are far more organizations offering CPR instructor training, these have reputations for their effectiveness and are the training providers accepted by state licensing bodies and employers.
- Consider Your Training Course Options. Courses come in a variety of different formats, so you might want to consider which will help you learn and be the most convenient for you. Some courses are completely online but require that you purchase all of your own CPR equipment, verses in-person training where the instructor provides equipment, and others are hybrids—combinations of both.
- Get Certified! In order to become a CPR instructor, you need to take a class and obtain a certification. Though this might sound like a large time investment, the process’ straightforwardness may surprise you.
Why Become a CPR Instructor?
Below are just a few of the reasons why you might want to consider becoming a BLS CPR Instructor:
- You want to make a difference in your community.
- Your work can benefit from having their own instructor saving them money and time.
- You can teach people in your church such as nursery workers, deacons, etc.
- It looks great on a resume!
- CPR Instructors are objectively more attractive than the general population…Well, maybe not.
Is a CPR Business Profitable?
Yes, absolutely! There are many CPR businesses across the United States which have been operating with much success for years. Just like any other business, however, it requires planning, funding, and setting up systems and processes for success. To learn more about starting a CPR business, you can check out our blog post about that subject.
Is Becoming a CPR Instructor Difficult?
That depends. Like all things, it will be more difficult for some than others. Many people become CPR instructors every year, however, and you could be one of them. Fortunately, all CPR instructors have to meet the same requirements one way or another, so it’s very easy to anticipate what a CPR Instructor Course is like.
To truly determine its difficulty for you, personally, carefully read through the following section and ask yourself if it seems like something you could achieve. Though even if it doesn’t come easily to you, you may find the fulfillment of a meaningful skill worth the potential difficulty.
How Do You Become a CPR Instructor?
Before going through CPR Instructor training, there are certain requirements you’ll need to fulfil. Below are explanations of those requirements.
- Provider Card. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to be CPR certified before you can become a CPR instructor. The same applies for any other sort of instructor; A BLS instructor needs to be certified as a BLS provider, a HeartSaver Instructor needs a certification as a HeartSaver CPR/AED and First Aid provider. To prove you have these certifications, you’ll need to present your provider card. Remember that your certification needs to be from the same curriculum as your instructor course. In other words, when becoming an AHA CPR instructor, you need to be CPR certified with the AHA. Please give us a call if you have any questions about your certification.
- Training Center Approval. Every AHA Instructor is required to go through an authorized AHA training center. Training Centers monitor and renew instructors’ certifications, and provide instructors with certification cards to issue to students. Individuals must receive a training center’s approval before taking a CPR Instructor Course. You can find local training centers through the AHA’s website, then submitting an Instructor Candidate Application form. If you sign up for Prime Medical Training’s CPR Instructor Course, you will be automatically approved to align with our training center.
Course Completion Requirements
Though we’ve already touched on what the course entails, we should discuss the course in a bit more detail. Though the exact format of each class can vary, this section will cover the most common Instructor Course individuals take with Prime Medical Training.
Complete the Online Instructor Essentials Course
Before the instruction begins in earnest, aspiring instructors need to take the Online Instructor Essentials Course. The Online Essentials Course is specifically geared towards prospective CPR instructors; BLS and HeartSaver candidates have separate courses. These separate courses may be included in the cost of the instructor course, but individuals may need to purchase it on their own.
To successfully complete the Instructor Essentials Course, candidates will need a copy of the appropriate Instructor Manual. The online course often refers to these manuals, referencing specific charts and materials found in the books. If the manuals and other materials aren’t included in the cost of the course, you can purchase them from one of the AHA’s two distributors: WorldPoint and Shop CPR.
After completing the online course, you’ll receive a certificate that you will need to bring with you on the first day of your instructor course.
Take an Instructor Course
Our instructor course is eight hours long. We start out by explaining the AHA’s structure and the logistics of being an instructor. Then we teach basic education principles. We’ll educate you about different learning styles, tips for engaging your students, and psychological effects in the classroom. Finally, we’ll watch the BLS for Healthcare Providers DVD and break it down piece by piece so you know every detail and how to answer frequently asked questions.
At the end of class, candidates will take a 25-question written exam which covers what they learned during the online and in-person portions of their course. An 84% or higher is required to pass and earn their certification.
Be Monitored Teaching Your First Class
After successfully completing the course, their class instructor or other AHA Training Center faculty member must monitor them teaching a class within six months. For best results, it’s recommended you schedule the monitoring as soon after the course as possible so the skills are still fresh in your mind.
The faculty member will grade you using the AHA Instructor Monitor Tool form. After successfully completing your first course as an instructor, you should be issued your CPR Instructor certification within 20 days.
What You Can Teach as a CPR Instructor
When you’re certified as a BLS CPR Instructor, it also qualifies you to teach several other courses. You may need some additional instruction to familiarize yourself with the material, but you don’t need additional certifications. The BLS Instructor card is essentially a trump card. Below are the other courses you can teach with a BLS CPR Instructor Certification:
- BLS for Healthcare Providers
- Heartsaver CPR/AED
- Heartsaver First Aid
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Friends and Family CPR (hands-only)
How Much Does it Cost to Become a CPR Instructor?
Prices can vary from course to course, but Prime Medical training offers prices at a lower-than-average cost. Our classes cost just $350 dollars and provide all the necessary instruction to become a fully-certified BLS CPR instructor.
Our various locations and time slots also make it very easy to find a convenient time for you.