The NRA Instructor Training Program is designed to train experienced  shooters to teach NRA Basic Firearm Training Courses as NRA Certified Instructors using the NRA methodology & standards.  Instructor training courses are conducted by NRA Appointed Training Counselors such as Mike & Marie Bain.  

NRA certification will provide you with credibility for the skills you have acquired throughout your own life experiences.

To apply for instructor certification, you must:

Possess & demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety & shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training &/or previous shooting experience.  

Be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline you wish to be certified.

Demonstrate solid & safe firearms handling skills required to be successful during an instructor training course by completing pre-course questionnaires & qualification exercises administered by an NRA Appointed Training Counselor, such as Mike or Marie Bain.

Satisfactorily complete both the Basic class & the NRA Instructor Training course in the discipline you wish to teach & receive the endorsement of the NRA Training Counselor conducting that training.  (Package pricing is available!)  The only exceptions to completing the NRA Basic classes are Reloading & Home Firearm Safety.

NRA Certified Instructors must be at least 21 years old.  

  • If you are 18 to 20 years old, you may take a majority of these courses & become an Assistant Instructor.  

  • If you are 13 to 17 years old, you may take the majority of these classes & become an Apprentice Instructor.  

  • As you meet the age &/or skill & knowledge requirements, you may upgrade to Assistant (from      Apprentice) & Certified Instructor (from Assistant) with a letter from the NRA Certified Instructor/Training Counselor you have been working with.  

NRA Instructor certification is not available to any individual who has been convicted of a crime of violence, or who is prohibited by federal, state, or local law from possessing firearms.

Notice from the NRA as of March 2019:   Under federal law, certain non-U.S. citizens are prohibited from participating in this course. Only non-U.S. citizens who are: (1) lawful permanent residents (e.g., green card holders), (2) refugees, or (3) individuals who have been granted asylum may participate in this course. 

NRA Instructor Courses are discipline specific.  Having said that, there is no set "curriculum" for becoming a multi-discipline NRA Certified Instructor.   Some people only want to teach shotgun.  Or rifle.  Or they want to become a Chief Range Safety Officer to help out their club or whatever competition they like to shoot in. 

In order to become a Personal Protection Instructor, you must first become a Pistol Instructor.  Personal Protection Inside the Home would be next.  Then Personal Protection Outside the Home.  

Please note that the NRA requires a minimum of four people be registered in order for an instructor class to hold.  Registration ends 72 hours before the class starts.

We can run classes consecutively to save you time, money, & gas if at least four people sign up for each of the Instructor classes.

Basic classes are run the day before Instructor classes for your convenience.  If you are unable to attend the Basic class scheduled for that day, please contact us to set up a time to come & complete that class. If you have already completed that Basic class, we will need a copy of your completion certificate.

Your Training Counselor will evaluate your performance based on your ability to handle the firearms with confidence, use of appropriate training aids, following the lesson plans & meeting all learning objectives, while utilizing the teaching philosophies expected of NRA Certified Instructors.  You will learn the NRA discipline-specific instructional methods & how to evaluate & improve the performance of beginning shooters.

All courses listed include a six-hour Basic Instructor Training Class (BIT) when necessary.  This class is required to be taken once every two years.  During this course, you will learn NRA policies & procedures, basic public speaking skills, training methodology, use of a training team & training aids, organizing a course, preparing a budget, & preparing to teach.  Please see below for detailed information on the BIT class.  If you have had BIT within the past two years, please let us know when you register.

Many Instructor-Level Courses have prerequisites.  Please check the specific class(es) you are interested in for details.

Once you have successfully completed your course(s), you will not be considered an NRA Certified Instructor until the NRA Training Department processes your application & issues your instructor credentials.  Processing of (Non-NRA Member) instructor applications may take up to six weeks from the time the application is received by NRA headquarters.

Course Fees do not include NRA Processing/Certification Fees.  

  • Processing/Certification fees will be paid directly to the NRA once your class is completed & your certification is available on the Instructors' Website.

  • Fees are per discipline.  The first discipline is $50 for non-NRA members & $30 for members.  (So sign up already!  Remember, you also get a discount on your membership if you sign up through Defensive Specialties, LLC.)

  • Additional disciplines are $10 for NRA Members and $20 for Non-members.

  • Certified Instructor credentials are valid for two years.  Re-certification fees are a flat $30 for NRA Members & $50 for non-NRA Members regardless of the number of certifications being renewed. You do NOT have to take the class over again.

Family, Group, & Multi-class Discounts are available.  Gift certificates are available.

If you have a group, a classroom, & a range (for shooting classes), we'll be happy to come to your location!

Because it is now a requirement that Instructor Candidates complete (most) Basic classes, we offer Package Pricing.  This is on top of our regular discount program.

NRA Basic Instructor Training (BIT)


The first step in becoming an NRA Certified Instructor is the successful completion of your Pre-Qualification Requirements that are given before each NRA Instructor Course.  This includes the successful completion of the Basic Class for your chosen discipline. 

Basic Instructor Training (BIT) is the second step in becoming an NRA Certified Instructor.  This 6-hour class is required every two years in order to learn the newest educational techniques & information & to ensure the high standards of the NRA Instructor Program are kept intact. The course goal is to develop NRA Certified Instructors who possess the knowledge, skills, & attitude necessary to conduct the NRA Basic Firearm Training Courses. 

Lessons in the NRA Basic Instructor Training class include: 

  •     How to Introduce a Speaker
  •     The Instructor & the NRA Basic Firearm Training Program
  •     Using a Training Team
  •     Training Materials & Training Aids
  •     Organizing Your Course
  •     Preparing to Teach

You will need to provide: 

         A 1-1/2" 3-ring binder     
         A pen & highlighter 

This course is included in the time allotment for each NRA Instructor Course.  If you have successfully completed this course within the last 2 years, please let us know when you register.  This will save you a day.    



The NRA Assistant Instructor rating is for experienced shooters ages 18 to 20 who wish to assist NRA Certified Instructors in an effort to gain the knowledge & experience needed to become NRA Certified Instructors themselves.

The NRA Apprentice Instructor appointment is available to young people between the ages of 13 to 17 who have the emotional maturity to be chosen by NRA Certified Instructors to understudy their instructional methods & assist with their courses.

Only NRA Certified Instructors may conduct courses or lessons & provide instruction in the NRA Basic Firearm Program.  Assistant & Apprentice Instructors may assist Certified Instructors in the conduct of a course lesson or practical exercise. 

You can be a valuable asset to a training team.

Like NRA Certified Instructor Candidates, you must demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety & shooting skills through the satisfactory completion of an NRA Basic Firearm Training Course & experience in shooting sports activities, target shooting, experience in hunting, or other firearm-related activities.

Also like NRA Certified Instructor Candidates, you must satisfactorily complete an NRA Instructor Training Course in the area of specialization you wish to teach (e.g., NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting) & receive the endorsement of the NRA Training  Counselor in charge.  

While NRA Certified Instructor Candidates must complete their examination with a minimum score of 90%, an Assistant or Apprentice Instructor must complete their examination with a minimum score of 85%.

Apprentice Instructors, after becoming 18 years of age (but before 21 years of age), may upgrade to Assistant Instructor by submitting an instructor application, together with the appropriate processing & certification fees & a letter of recommendation from any NRA Certified Instructor with whom they have satisfactorily worked in the conduct of at least five NRA courses in the rating the Apprentice held.

Assistant Instructors, 21 years of age or older, may upgrade to Certified Instructor by submitting an Instructor application, together with the appropriate processing & certification fees & a letter of recommendation from any NRA Certified Instructor with whom they have satisfactorily worked in the conduct of at least five NRA course classes in the rating the Assistant Instructor held.

We offer the NRA Instructor courses once per month.

Basic classes are offered the day before the Instructor classes (& at other times during the month).  

Package Pricing is available!

Join the NRA

 If you would like to join the NRA, you may click on the link to the right to go to the NRA website or you may sign up during your class.  Either way, you'll save $10 off the regular sign-up fee.  This $10 discount is in addition to the many benefits of belonging to the NRA.  

What are the benefits of joining the NRA?

  • Discounts at over 6,000 hotels & motels nationwide
  • Discounts at several different car rental companies
  • Discounts at many other companies such as LifeLock, mortgage/real estate/moving services
  • Discounts at TLC Laser Eye Centres
  • Invitation to apply for No Annual Fee Visa® card with 0% intro APR
  • Legislative updates
  • Subscription to your choice of four award-winning NRA membership magazines
  • 24/7 defense of your firearm freedoms

For NRA Instructor Candidates:  Your NRA Certification Fees will be less!