Driving instructor earnings is probably one of the most talked about topic in the industry. As with anything hotly debated, there is confusing diversity of opinions ranging from feel good sales pitches to grave outlooks from pessimists. The best thing to do here would be to think for yourself. Indeed, with some market sense and research you can estimate your potential earnings by yourself and decide if being a driving instructor is an option. Essentially, you want to ask yourself three questions. What can I charge my pupils without compromising my ability to stay competitive in a given economic climate? What are my business expenses? Where is the industry going?
How much can you charge?
You have to realise what is involved in being self-employed. That’s what most ADIs are. It means you don’t have a merit of a steady monthly salary. ADI earnings build solely on the fees they charge their pupils. In a recession, rough national average fee for driving lessons Brisbane dropped to $20 per hour. It’s not quite advantageous but still profit-making. There is a growing number of driving instructors who are charging less than that under economic pressures, but this doesn’t sound anything near a viable strategy. So let’s estimate your possible earnings using that $20 rate. You simply multiply the rate by an average number of hours to complete a lesson plan. That’s how much can you make off teaching one pupil. Done? Well, it’s too soon to jump at the figure if it looks like a deal to you.
What are your expenses?
That $20 is not all yours to spend. About half of that soon is spent to cover your business expenses such as fuel, vehicle maintenance and advertising, leaving you with about $10 out of which you will have to give HM Revenue and Customs and national insurance their pound of flesh. To cap it all, if driving instructor falls ill or their car breaks down, they get paid nothing at all. Self-employed do not enjoy paid holidays, sick pay and other benefits employees might get. So after all business overheads, tax and insurance, your net hourly income plummets to about $7.
Where is the market going?
It’s going down. The downswing brings to mind the advertising buzz about earning $30,000 a year and army of pupils eager to learn to drive. First, there is glut of supply on the market, meaning less work, tougher competition and downward prices. You have to rub your brain cells together finding ways to save your costs and lure pupils in rather than chasing that a pie in the sky $30,000. Second, with the average $20 per hour and more people cutting back on spending, you will find it awful hard to even earn a decent living. There ARE ADIs who really make that $30,000, but for a driving instructor just out of school it’s a long way to go. We are not being pessimistic though. There is always silver lining. Good news is fewer ADIs doing it, meaning the supply is going down toward the point where it can meet existing demand. So prices will stop deteriorating. Anyway, you need great deal of business sense to seize opportunities as they appear.