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Become An Instructor

Since 1871, a major objective of the National Rifle Association has been to provide education and training in the safe and proper use of firearms. Knowing how to shoot is an important requirement for NRA instructors, but you will also need to know how to teach others to shoot. NRA Instructor Training Courses help you develop the additional knowledge, skills and techniques needed to organize and teach courses in the NRA Basic Firearm Training Program.

To qualify as an NRA Instructor:

  • Candidates must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Instructor candidates must be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline they wish to be certified.
  • Candidates will be required to demonstrate solid and safe firearm handling skills required to be successful during an instructor training course by completing pre-course questionnaires and qualification exercises administered by the NRA Appointed Training Counselor.
  • Candidates must satisfactorily complete an NRA Instructor Training Course in the discipline they wish to teach (e.g., NRA Basic Pistol Course), and receive the endorsement of the NRA Training Counselor conducting that training.

NRA Instructor courses are discipline specific. During the course candidates will learn NRA policies and procedures; basic public speaking skills; training methodology; use of a training team and training aids; organizing a course, building a budget; and finally preparing to teach. In addition, candidates will be provided the appropriate lesson plans and basic course student packets. Role-playing is a major part of an instructor course; therefore, the minimum class size should be at least four candidates, with 10-12 candidates being ideal. Candidates take turns working in teams, actually conducting portions of the course to other candidates who portray basic students.

Instructor training courses are conducted by NRA Training Counselors. Training Counselors are active and experienced instructors who have been certified by NRA to train experienced shooters to teach others to shoot. Training Counselors will evaluate candidates' performance based on their ability to handle the firearms with confidence, use of appropriate training aids, following the lesson plans and meeting all learning objectives, while utilizing the teaching philosophies expected of NRA Certified Instructors. Candidates can also expect to learn the NRA discipline specific instructional methods and evaluating and improving the performance of beginning shooters.

Home Safety Courses

When it comes to shooting, safety is always priority number one. Learn how to teach others to safely handle their firearm at home and at the range. Take your first step towards becoming an NRA safety training instructor.

NRA Instructor Home Firearm Safety Course

Short Description: This is an 11-hour course that teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential in organizing, promoting and teaching NRA’s Home Firearm Safety Course.

More Details:

Prerequisite: Possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills is a perquisite for certification as an NRA instructor. Prior to the course, candidates complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background in pre-course assessment exercises.

Description: Course is presented in two parts—basic instructor training, and discipline-specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, appropriate NRA Instructor Candidate Packet (includes lesson plans for the course(s) you are preparing to teach), and appropriate NRA basic course student packet.

Pistol Courses

With NRA certified pistol instructor courses, you can gain the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching NRA’s Basic Pistol Shooting course. Explore the available courses below and get more information about the curriculum and focus of each instructor class.

NRA Instructor Pistol Shooting Course

Short Description: This 16-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching NRA’s Basic Pistol Shooting course.

Prerequisite: Possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills is a perquisite for certification as an NRA instructor. Prior to the instructor training, candidates complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background in pre-course assessment exercises.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training, and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Pistol Shooting Instructor Candidate Packet and NRA Basic Pistol Shooting course student packet.

NRA Level 1 Pistol Coach School

Short Description: Level 1 Coaches must be at least age 18. Juniors age 15-17 may attend the school to become an NRA Junior Trainer. Participants in this two-day school of classroom instruction and practical exercises are taught how to coach beginning and intermediate shooters in bull's-eye, air pistol and Scholastic Pistol Program style pistol shooting.

More Details: The course is endorsed by CMP, Scholastic Pistol Program and USA Shooting. The course includes lessons on Safety and Risk Management, Rulebook Use and Etiquette, Coaching Ethics, Pistol Shooting Fundamentals, Coaching Methodology, Mental Training, Training Planning, and Building Successful Programs. Schools are conducted wherever and whenever an individual or organization agrees to sponsor a school. The school fee is established and collected by the School Sponsor. The fee includes a coaching study guide, other printed materials, instruction, and credentialing as a Level 1 NRA Pistol Coach for successful participants.

NRA Instructor Metallic Cartridge Reloading Course

Short Description: This 14-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course.

Prerequisites: Candidates must complete the NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course student examination with a score of 90 percent or better and perform pre-course assessments that demonstrate basic knowledge, skills and safe handling procedures for reloading metallic cartridges.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor Candidate Packet, and NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course student packet.

NRA-NMLRA Instructor Muzzleloading Shooting Course

Short Description: This 18-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting course.

Prerequisite: Possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills. Candidates must complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background by passing a pre-course qualification.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic Instructor training, and discipline specific instructor training. Instructor candidates demonstrate organizational and teaching skills by participating in multiple practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA-NMLRA Muzzleloading Shooting Instructor Candidate Packet, and NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting course student packet.

Rifle Courses

The NRA Education & Training Division offers a variety of rifle training courses, from the basics of pistol shooting to muzzleloading and reloading. Get more information about the curriculum and focus of each course.

NRA Instructor Rifle Shooting Course

Short Description: This 16-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching NRA’s Basic Rifle Shooting course.

Prerequisite: Possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills is a perquisite for certification as an NRA instructor. Prior to the instructor training, candidates complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background in pre-course assessment exercises.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: Basic Instructor Training, and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Rifle Shooting Instructor Candidate Packet and NRA Basic Rifle Shooting course student packet.

NRA Level 1 Rifle Coach School (Smallbore and Air) Course

Short Description: Level 1 Coaches must be at least age 18. Juniors age 15-17 may attend the school to become an NRA Junior Trainer. Participants in this two-day school of classroom instruction and practical exercises are taught how to coach beginning and intermediate shooters in smallbore rifle and air rifle.

More Details: The course is endorsed by CMP and USA Shooting. The course includes lessons on Safety and Risk Management, Rulebook Use and Etiquette, Coaching Ethics, Rifle Shooting Fundamentals, Coaching Methodology, Mental Training, Training Planning, and Building Successful Programs. Schools are conducted wherever and whenever an individual or organization agrees to sponsor a school. The school fee is established and collected by the School Sponsor. The fee includes a coaching study guide, other printed materials, instruction, and credentialing as a Level 1 NRA Rifle Coach for successful participants.

NRA Level 1 High Power Rifle Coach School

Short Description: Level 1 Coaches must be at least age 18. Juniors age 15-17 may attend the school to become an NRA Junior Trainer. Participants in this two-day school of classroom instruction and practical exercises are taught how to coach beginning and intermediate shooters in High Power Rifle.

More Details: The course is endorsed by CMP and USA Shooting. The course includes lessons on Safety and Risk Management, Rulebook Use and Etiquette, Coaching Ethics, Rifle Shooting Fundamentals, Coaching Methodology, Mental Training, Training Planning, and Building Successful Programs. Schools are conducted wherever and whenever an individual or organization agrees to sponsor a school. The school fee is established and collected by the School Sponsor. The fee includes a coaching study guide, other printed materials, instruction, and credentialing as a Level 1 NRA High Power Rifle Coach for successful participants.

NRA Instructor Metallic Cartridge Reloading Course

Short Description: This 14-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course.

Prerequisites: Candidates must complete the NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course student examination with a score of 90 percent or better and perform pre-course assessments that demonstrate basic knowledge, skills and safe handling procedures for reloading metallic cartridges.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor Candidate packet, and NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading course student packet.

NRA-NMLRA Instructor Muzzleloading Shooting Course

Short Description: This 18-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting course.

Prerequisite: possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills. Candidates must complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background by passing a pre-course qualification.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic Instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Instructor candidates demonstrate organizational and teaching skills by participating in multiple practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA-NMLRA Muzzleloading Shooting Instructor Candidate Packet, and NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting course student packet.

Shotgun Courses

Share your love of shotgun shooting with others and become an NRA certified shotgun instructor or coach. Get more information about the curriculum and focus of each course.

NRA Instructor Shotgun Shooting Course

Short Description: This 17-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching NRA’s Basic Shotgun Shooting Course.

Prerequisite: Possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills is a perquisite for certification as an NRA instructor. Prior to the instructor training, candidates complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background in pre-course assessment exercises.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Shotgun Instructor Candidate packet, and NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting course student packet.

NRA Level 1 Shotgun Coach School

Short Description: Level 1 Coaches must be at least age 18. Juniors age 15-17 may attend the school to become an NRA Shotgun Junior Trainer. Participants in this two-day school of classroom instruction and practical exercises are taught how to coach beginning and intermediate shooters in American Trap, American Skeet, Sporting Clays, International Trap and International Skeet.

More Details: The course is endorsed by ATA, NSSA, NSCA and USA Shooting. The course includes lessons on Safety and Risk Management, Rulebook Use and Etiquette, Coaching Ethics, Equipment, Shotgun Shooting Fundamentals, Coaching Methodology, Coaching Trap, Coaching Skeet, Coaching Sporting Clays, Mental Training, Training Planning, and Building Successful Programs. Schools are conducted wherever and whenever an individual or organization agrees to sponsor a school. The school fee is established and collected by the School Sponsor. The fee includes a coaching study guide, other printed materials, instruction, and credentialing as a Level 1 NRA Shotgun Coach for successful participants.

NRA-NMLRA Instructor Muzzleloading Shooting Course

Short Description: This 18-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting course.

Prerequisite: possession of basic firearm safety and shooting skills. Candidates must complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background by passing a pre-course qualification.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic Instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Instructor candidates demonstrate organizational and teaching skills by participating in multiple practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA-NMLRA Muzzleloading Shooting Instructor Candidate Packet, and NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting course student packet.

NRA Instructor Shotgun Shell Reloading Course

Short Description: This 14-hour course that teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA Basic Shotgun Shell Reloading course.

Prerequisite: Candidates must complete the NRA Basic Shotgun Shell Reloading course student examination with a score of 90 percent or better and perform pre-course assessments that demonstrate basic knowledge, skills and safe handling procedures for reloading shotgun shells.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Basic Shotgun Shell Reloading Instructor Candidate packet, and NRA Basic Shotgun Shell Reloading course student packet.

Personal Protection Courses

As an experienced shooter, you know how to keep your home and family safe—now use that knowledge to teach others by becoming an NRA certified personal protection training instructor. Learn more about the available instructor courses offered.

NRA Instructor Personal Protection In The Home Course

Short Description: This 15-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home course.

Prerequisite: Must be an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. Prior to the course, candidates complete a pre-course questionnaire and demonstrate their firearm background in pre-course assessment exercises.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course, and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Basics Of Personal Protection In The Home Instructor Candidate Packet, and NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home course student packet.

NRA Instructor Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home Course

Short Description: This 22-hour course teaches the knowledge, skills and attitude essential to organizing, promoting and teaching the NRA Basics of Personal Protection Outside The Home Course.

Prerequisite: Instructor candidates must be both an NRA Certified Pistol and Personal Protection In The Home Instructor. Candidates must have attended an NRA Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home course and passed the student exam with a score of 90 percent or better.

Description: Course is presented in two parts: basic instructor training, and discipline specific instructor training. Students demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course and complete an instructor certification examination. Students will receive the NRA Trainer’s Guide, NRA Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home Instructor Candidate Packet, and NRA Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home course student packet.

 

Additional Resources

Want to learn more? Explore the additional firearm training resources and services offered by the NRA.

NRA Training Materials are available to support classes offered by NRA Instructors. You must have a valid NRA Instructor ID to purchase materials to teach NRA's Basic Firearm Training Courses.

NRA endorsed insurance is available for certified or otherwise credentialed firearm instructors, training counselors or coaches—designed for both NRA and non-NRA courses and training.

Click here to download the Microsoft Word certificate template. NRA Instructors should use this to create their Student Basic Course Completion Certificates.

Want To Know More

For more information about the NRA's Firearm Training Courses, email nrainstructors@nrahq.org.

Firearm Training

The NRA Education & Training Department provides a variety of programs to develop safe, ethical and responsible shooters and instructors.