Input desired - should I get instructor certification?

Ok heres the thing that causes me to consider getting CCW instructor training:
I keep training people from nearly total novice to ready to carry concealed, including all aspects required to do so responsibly in my state, per the law, AND recommending USCCA …BUT THEN, because I have no “certification” from the NRA, USCCA or elsewhere, they then have to schedule and pay for a class that they honestly don’t need to pretty much get someone else to sign a paper saying they know what I taught them even before taking the formal class…
That’s the “why I would” part.

The “why I’ve not” part has to do with a disability incurred in line of duty back in '91, and related issues having made scheduling almost anything a challenge, not to mention the financial aspect - the training ain’t cheap, and I’m not ever going to teach more than 1 person at a time, plus I’ll not be doing it for a source of income. My disability’s pain issues prevent such endeavors.

So, I reckon I need to decide if I will spend my own money in order to essentially provide free CC instruction to yet more friends & family members.

I’d love to have the capability, yet the Only ROI is more legally armed family and friends.

What do y’all think?

What’s the least expensive option for an Ohio citizen if u happen to know??

I’d love to propagate the responsibly armed lifestyle, but the cost…geezers. And I of course understand those who do instructor training deserve a good wage, but cost of getting such instruction is blocking my path presently. Maybe if the Feds ever mail me a stimulus check that’d be a good way to use a portion. We simply typically have more essential things to use such a check for round here though y’know? :slight_smile:

Someone please help me make up my mind?!

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@Smiddy - the class is awesome and you’ll learn a ton. That being said, if you’re not doing it to become an instructor it might not be worth the expense.

If you are an Elite member of the USCCA, you get some awesome e-learning.including: Concealed Carry & Home Defense Fundamentals and Emergency First Aid Fundamentals. Both would be a great resource for your continued learning.

Are your friends and family taking the CCW class in addition to working with you now?


I’ll speak from my perspective. I have a couple of issues you have mentioned, particularly time/scheduling and the initial expense.

I wanted to become an instructor for similar reasons as you. I wanted to help train responsibly armed citizens and promote the second amendment in a positive way. My mind was essentially made up when I took my wife to her CCW course and ended up taking her home halfway through the class, her request not mine. It was on the way home she recommend I bite the bullet and get certified. Time and the initial expense was a great concern of mine. I’m a school principal and have serious constraints on my time and in education we aren’t making a killing, particularly down south. I ended up going with the NRA due to initial investment and at the time I would’ve had to drive six hours for USCCA certification. I was glad I ended up going nra because I came away with the two best mentors a person could ask for, directly from the Tom Givens line of instructors of Rangemaster. These relationships have changed everything for me as far as training and instructing goes.

I don’t get to instruct as much as I like. I try to teach at least a class per month but it’s hard to do. Classes don’t magically fill up either, I learned real quick that 4-6 is a pretty good number to shoot for. Occasionally I get full classes, which for me and my partner is 12, but they are few and far between and usually women’s only, which are the best classes by the way. They are much better students, perceptive and eager to learn.

After teaching NRA Basic Pistol and CCW for a couple years I invested some of my earnings to get certified through the USCCA earlier this year. I’ve only taught one small class due to the pandemic, but I love the material and feel it’s the best class available for CCW permits. The NRA CCW is also very good, but my stare only allows NRA BOPs or USCCA CCHD for permits.

I do not do it for the money but because I love to teach and as a former football/baseball coach it’s a passion that’ll never go away. I end up putting everything I make back into my own training and equipment/gear for my courses. I plan to continue to teach as long as I physically can, I love it that much.

To wrap up, what I’m saying is, if you have a passion for it, regardless of how often or large your classes are people will benefit from dedicated professional instruction.

Sorry for the long winded post and I hope it helps at least a little.

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@Smiddy Instructing or teaching is NOT a money making endeavor and unfortunately it never will be and that doesn’t just include firearms which also incur their own special “fee’s” (liability insurance). Fortunately or unfortunately the powers that be require you to have certain initials after your name from certain organizations to be able to “legally” peddle a certification or at least make it pass muster for state requirements. As you have noted the initials cost money and time/effort to maintain. I do some instructing as and “adjunct instructor” in that I don’t have the initials (I don’t want them) but am a significant part of the “certification course curriculum” . The stuff I REALLY teach and actually get paid for, there are no certifications, no initials and is built on reputation. That said I don’t do enough to make a living doing it and I’m not sure I could.

If you are passionate about teaching and there are facilities in your area I would look at becoming an adjunct instructor, any instructor will tell you running your jaws for 8 hours sux and having a knowledgeable helping hand is a bonus and adds to the curriculum. Food for thought and worth what you paid for it.



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I’m sure a USCCA training counselor will chime in, but as an NRA Certified Instructor I’ll render an opinion. I’ve been an instructor since the 90s, and although I’ve helped out other instructors with classes on rare occasion, I pretty much just do 1:1 training of people I know. I’ve never organized a class of my own, and probably never will.

I recently was in a class with a student who, like you, had a disability incurred in the line of duty. I never got specifics, but I will tell you the NRA Training Counselor made special provisions and met with him privately to help him through to become a Certified Instructor in Basics of Pistol Shooting. As I understand it the Basics of Pistol Shooting class meets the Ohio CCW requirement. So my recommendation to you would be to talk to a local NRA Training Counselor (or two) and see if one is willing to adapt how they teach the curriculum to help you become an NRA Certified Instructor.

Once you are certified you can, of course, continue to train people for nothing. What I might suggest though is that you train people for free, but if they want an official NRA course completion document (i.e., to go get their CCW) then charge them $20 or $30 for it. That way you recoup the costs of your certification, the course book, and the fee NRA charges each year to maintain your instructor status.

Once certified you could also offer to help out other instructors with classes, within the bounds of what your disability allows. Showing up for an hour or two to help supervise students during their shooting exercise is always helpful. Or, as you’ll find out, the TCs need instructors who will show up and make believe they are students for new instructor candidates to practice on.

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Well answered. This is what I recommend as well. If you’ll have fun doing it, can find a range and classroom to host your class, great.

Thanks to ya ALL for the replies.
You’ve given me more relevant info upon which to base a decision, so thanks again.

To give more info about ME and this situation:

I’ll never ever train more than 1 person, and that person will have had to gained my trust via interaction outside the “gun world” OR be family I deem ready for such a responsibility. Let’s face it, none of us wants anyone we train to hurt themself, someone else, or us (think of Chris Kyle trying to help a fellow veteran by taking him shooting…)

As for those I’ve trained thus far, because I’m not a certified instructor, they’ve had to go pay for a class to get signed paperwork in order to get their carry license. And, those people had earned my trust before they touched a handgun anywhere near me…

As for earning potential, I know there’s little and I’ll repeat I’m not looking to profit, and realize itd be rare if I did. To reiterate, 1 on 1, personal instruction for ONLY trusted friends or family members.

My disability wouldnt require classroom or range accommodations unless there was rigorous physical requirements OR my chronic pain level did one of it’s spikes that makes my attention span zero in an instant since I can at that point think of nothing but myself. Granted, I can and have gutted some of it out to an extent, but there are times when I’m unable, as difficult as it is to admit. Like most guys, I’d prefer to always appear the stone cold rock hard bada**, but…shhhh, I’m not always that guy.

Let’s pause there for a moment to remember the song that says, “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.”

I reckon what this boils down to in the end is, do I wanna be so nice as to incur more expenses for my wife and I in order to save others time and money to become legally and responsibly armed?
THAT decision for me is gonna boil down to whether or not my missus lets me do such a thing as spend the bucks to take that training, while knowing we get zero ROI on that.
. And yeh I just said that. We been together since we were 16, over 33 years ago, and I’m very clear about who is happy when she is not. Secure enough to not only state that, but to recommend others follow suit. :slight_smile: As a Catholic gentleman and Knight of Columbus, my marriage is my vocation, so…

Anyways, thx again to everyone for all the great replies. Lots of good stuff there. Appreciate it ya all.


I seriously thought about this same thing earlier this year. Not to be an instructor, just to get all the training involved.