Become a NRA Instructor

NRA Certified Instructor

Become a certified NRA Instructor. Teach your own students and make some money on the side! Current NRA Instructors can add a discipline for $175. For those who are not currently NRA instructors and need the NRA Basic Instructor Training as well as a specific discipline the cost will be $245. If you are not a member of shooting range in NYC, an additional $50 fee will be added so that you can shoot at Westside Rifle & Pistol Range in Manhattan.

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.

The NRA Instructor training courses are sanctioned by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and conducted by Certified NRA training counselors. They provide instructor candidates with the practical knowledge and skills needed to properly instruct beginning students in the specific disciplines they are certified in. Instructor candidates completing these courses, and completing the required NRA certification application process, will achieve a solid foundation for instructing the particular firearm training disciplines they are certified in. When certified for teaching the Basic Pistol, Rifle or Shotgun disciplines, certified instructors can also teach the First Steps courses for those disciplines as well.

All NRA Instructor training courses have the pre-requisite of the Basic Instructor training course. This course is a six (6) hour classroom-only course, which covers the common firearms instruction techniques, policy & procedure, and other information needed for all instructors to successfully teach firearms training courses.

Becoming an NRA Instructor

Becoming an NRA firearms instructor is a three-step process.

  1. Take the NRA Basic Instructor training course, which is valid for a period of one year no matter how many discipline specific courses you follow with.
  2. Complete one or more NRA ‘Discipline Specific’ Instructor training courses, such as Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzleloading, Reloading or Chief Range Safety Officer.
  3. Submit the NRA instructor application with applicable certification and processing fees to the NRA.

Instructor Training Discipline Sequence

The following chart illustrates the progression of training needed to move from basic to advanced NRA instructor disciplines.


  • The Basic Instructor Training course is required for all disciplines except RSO which is not an instructor role.
  • The Basic Pistol discipline followed by PPITH then PPOTH is a branch that needs to be completed in that order.
  • The PPOTH has the additional pre-requisite of the PPITH Advance Student course.
  • The Metallic Cartridge Reloading, Shotgun Shell Reloading and Range Safety Officer disciplines can be accomplished through Home Study by any certified NRA instructor.
  • The Chief Range Safety Officer requires both the RSO and Basic Instructor Training as pre-requisites.

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What You Take Home

All NRA Basic Firearm safety courses include a complete set of educational materials specific to the discipline being taught, including:

  • Discipline specific student pack:
    • Handbook
    • Student Exam
    • NRA Gun Safety Rules Brochure
    • Course Completion Certificate
    • Basic Practical Rocker and Flyer
    • Basic Firearm Training Program Brochure
    • Marksmanship Qualification Program Booklet
  • Course Report Form
  • Discipline specific Lesson Plans
  • Instructor Materials Order Form
  • Instructor Certification Application
  • Instructor Certification Examination
  • NRA Trainers Guide & Exam (new instructors only)
  • Discipline specific First Steps Lesson Plans (if applicable)

Key Course Benefits

NRA Instructor Training Courses teach you the knowledge, skills, and attitude that are needed to successfully instruct Basic NRA training courses. In addition:

  • NRA Certified Instructors qualify to take the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course as a validation course. The Basic Range Safety Officer validation course is offered and taken as part of the Home Study Program.
  • You can soon qualify to become a Training Counselor. In this position, you have the responsibility of teaching (new) NRA Instructors.
  • Once you receive your certificate (suitable for framing) from NRA, you will receive your identification card. You will also receive a free subscription of the NRA Shooting Education Update, a newsletter published periodically for all NRA Trainers.
  • Program information, training schedules, book reviews, material updates and more are provided. Additionally, the Update provides an open forum for the exchange of information and ideas on firearm safety and marksmanship education.
  • You become an even more valuable resource for your community. NRA Certified Instructors are leaders who provide a very important service. Because of your dedication to the shooting sports, you are providing a chance for others to enjoy the same benefits of firearm ownership that you have enjoyed in the past.


Successful completion of all lessons, course objectives and required minimum examination score, will earn instructor candidate an NRA authorized completion certificate specific to each training discipline certification training has earned.

Instructor Training Philosophy

A firearms instructor has to develop a wide range of skills, including:

  • Becoming very well organized
  • Developing an acute attention to detail
  • The ability to teach a wide skill range of students
  • The ability to properly run both a classroom environment and a range session
  • The ability to recognize when students are following important classroom topics
  • The ability to identify and correct unsafe range habits, and those common errors which lead a person to perform poorly in shooting exercises
  • Some basic psychology about adult learning, gender differences as they related to shooting skills, and motivational skills


All of these skills are learnable, a person just needs to have that included in the instructor training they receive.

Whether an instructor is a good marksman or not has been a subject of much debate over the years. We believe it is important for an instructor to be a ‘respectable’ shot – with the critical instructor skill being that leading students to understand the expertise curve on developing improved shooting skills. The basis of that concept are:

  • Your understanding of the fundamentals;
  • The amount of time you practice; and,
  • How often you compete with people at a similar skill level.

For Additional Information Visit:

NRA Instructor Training Programs

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