What’s the Driving Instructor Market Like?
If you’re taking the ADI examination with the hopes of opening your own driving school business or getting a driving instructor job with a major driving school, you may be wondering what the market is like, and whether or not it’s going to be easy to secure employment and make a name for yourself as a skilled ADI in your area. While driving tuition is currently a very competitive business - and will continue to be highly competitive - the good news is that it seems to be getting a little easier for newly qualified ADIs to get their dream job in the industry, particularly in Ireland.
Interesting statistics released by the Road Safety Authority show a definite downwards trend when it comes to the number of ADIs on the approved register. In fact, the number of registered ADIs as of 2014 was actually less than in 2010. The RSA reports that there were 1816 registered ADIs in Ireland during 2010, a figure that climbed peaked at 1971 in 2011. Since then, the number of registered ADIs has been consistently falling, to 1948 in 2012, 1879 in 2013, and 1815 in 2014. The reason why there has been such a significant drop isn’t completely clear, although the slight drop in ADI pass rates across all 3 stages could suggest that more and more people simply aren’t prepared for the level of training and commitment involved in becoming an approved driving instructor.
At the same time as the number of registered ADIs in Ireland is decreasing, the number of people taking their test is increasing, which means there’s a bigger demand for driving instructors than ever before. Category B - the car category - continues to be the most prominent category, and today there are more than 2,500,000 full car licences held across the country, with many more expected.
How long it takes you to establish yourself and your business within the driving industry in Ireland really depends on the local competition. The driving instructor market varies considerably across the country, so much so that those in the more rural areas typically have a slight advantage as they encounter less competition (although they do, of course, also have access to fewer students). It’s worth checking the ADI register for your area to determine how challenging it’s going to be to break into the industry. Currently, there are 30 registered ADIs in County Cavan, for example, but there are literally hundreds in the Dublin area. This doesn’t mean you should abandon your dreams - simply that you may have to work a little harder to build your reputation and stand out from the crowd.