Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching the community a life-saving skill! Here at Swift Safety Institute, we provide high-quality CPR and First Aid courses to a wide variety of audiences. We pride ourselves on contracting only the best instructors in the industry. To become a CPR Instructor, you need to ensure that you are prepared and ready to instruct. Here are some aspects to consider below.
Certified cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructors, coordinate and lead classes that teach proper procedures to revive a person experiencing a breathing or heart function emergency. Instructors also teach courses like First Aid, Basic Life Support, and can elect to also teach courses like Pet CPR, Wilderness First Aid, Emergency Response, PALS, ACLS, and babysitter CPR just to name a few.
Their job duties include coordinating class times and locations, transporting and cleaning equipment, evaluating student performance, and ensuring the completion of required paperwork. CPR instructors often work for the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI), the American Heart Association (AHA), or the American Red Cross (ARC). Instructors can make their own schedules, but they often teach classes during evenings or weekends in order to meet students’ scheduling needs. Instructors must do some heavy lifting to move class equipment, like CPR manikins. Another crucial part of teaching successfully is the ability to speak well in public. Instructors must also be proficient in using technology. Key skills like word processing, making spreadsheets, and email communications are required to conduct successful courses. You will also have skills in customer service, holding presentations, physical dexterity to perform CPR, and knowledge of the Microsoft Suite.
You will need to obtain a basic level certification in CPR. Once this is completed, you can apply to the instructor course in the discipline you choose to teach. Are you wanting to teach the medical community? Then Basic Life Support (BLS) training is a great fit for you. What about the public, schools, the childcare community? Then go for a CPR and Basic First Aid license. Things like Pet CPR are elective courses to teach. After you complete the basic CPR certification, you will need to go through the Instructor Level course. These usually present in a combination of online and in-person skills check format. Swift can start you off with our Instructor Development Course (IDC) with ASHI, or a Train the Trainer course for AHA, or an Instructor Trainer course for Red Cross. You will re-certify these licenses every two years.
The cost depends on your goal. First, you must acquire the certifications for basic CPR or BLS. Then you must consider things like, are you working with a site that provides manikins and supplies? Or are you working for an organization that you provide your own equipment? Most places you teach/contract for will not provide the manikins/supplies for their Independent Contractors. Some places will let you rent their equipment for your classes. If you must purchase your equipment, make sure you utilize places like E-bay or Craigslist. We recommend that you buy a decent set of used equipment to get started. Do not go all out and get fancy until you start to book your classes more frequently and can invest more into that. We can recommend some brands that are cost effective and meet the minimum requirements.
As an Independent Contractor, you will be given a 1099 Tax form at the end of the year by each company that you work for. When you’re self-employed, you don’t have an employer to withhold and send in taxes for you, so you’ll have to take care of this yourself. You’re responsible for making estimated tax payments, and you can send those in 4 times a year if you so choose. From a tax perspective, being an Independent Contractor offers several advantages, although it also comes with added responsibilities. You likely won’t have to pay tax on all your income because you’ll be able to deduct business expenses using IRS Schedule C when you prepare your tax return. The resulting number after business deductions is what you’ll enter on your tax return as self-employed taxable income. You can deduct all expenses that are business-related. Things like mileage, supplies, equipment, snacks while you are teaching, hotel expenses if you travel to a class that requires an overnight stay, and a portion of your phone. All these deductions are necessary to run your business and the deductions are excellent.
Setting your own schedule sounds dreamy, right? It is. However, the nature of the business is most clients want their classes with ever-changing schedules, this sometimes includes nights and weekends. CPR has spurts of never-ending classes, and then nothing. You need to be able to manage your money to offset the slower season. Also, make sure you are aligning yourself with the right business. They all pay differently, some pay by the hour, some by student count, some are flat-rate pay. You must have a go-get-it attitude and be able to find your classes, locations, clients, and have flexibility in order to better serve and retain them. Working for several companies is also fruitful, as you can make more income. You will need to be able to set rates per class for your clients, too.
This is just the beginning of things to be considered in joining the CPR Instructor workforce. Most places will just set you up for the course, take your money, and send you on your merry little way. Here at Swift Safety Institute, we realize that becoming an instructor is easier said than done. We work hard to try to offer support and answer questions to our fellow instructors. We can help you with most anything CPR-related. We want you to be successful!
If you take our Instructor Course this does not guarantee you will be signed on as an Independent Contractor for Swift, as that depends on our business needs. We can also suggest alternative places for you to align with. The cost for you to take the course is between $200-500. Pricing will vary depending on your licensure. Please reach out to us to get started on your career!