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instructor + mechanics course questions

Posted: 5 Aug 2016, 9:13pm
by nightowl
I've read some of the threads already about what is life like for a cycle instructor. I'm thinking of doing the cycle instructor course and the city and guilds mechanics course. Basically, my previous employer had a retraining fund that I have to use up and I've always been into bikes so thought something along those lines might be fun. I'm not currently thinking of changing my current line of work but am thinking of maybe doing something to do with cycling on a part-time basis and see how it goes from there. I work freelance so would have the flexibility to do this.
A couple of questions: 1, Would someone with both instructor and mechanics skills be more desirable for employers or don't the two areas tend to cross over that much? 2, Are there any rough daily rates for instructors and mechanics? I spoke to one guy who said he got about £80 as an instructor. I'm assuming that would probably be for a few hours rather than a full day.

Re: instructor + mechanics course questions

Posted: 6 Aug 2016, 10:46am
by Si
1. yep, having a spannering qualification can be a bonus to an instructor. Some organisations like BikeRight! do maintenance courses as well as learn to ride (and various others) and so need instructors for them. Likewise, if you are in schools then some organisations teach the kids to spanner bikes.....we did a very popular "Frame Academy" course for secondary school pupils. However, different places recognise different qualifications so make sure that you do one that is widely accepted (e.g. C&G, Cytech, etc).

2. £80 seems to be OK for a full day (dunno about London rates though). In many cases a full day is a few hours because of the way courses are structured. For instance, in schools you'd probably deliver three sessions of around 1.5-2 hrs each, starting at 9am and ending around 3pm. My local rates are somewhere around £25-£30per session (for course a lead who is NSIQ gets more than an assistant who is NSIP, but then the lead has to do more inc contacting the school, doing the RA, doing the certs, etc). At my local independent they pay around £30 per session, and offer two sessions a day. If you sell yourself directly to the public then you can charge what you want, however most instructors tend to work freelance for someone else who puts on sessions for free and gets money from the LSTF, etc for it.
Also, remember that if you are freelance you are not taxed by your employer...thus you may also have to pay tax at the end of the year on what you have earned....although commonly those who only do bikeability don't earn enough to pay tax on it ;-)

3. you will not become rich being a bikeability instructor, indeed, in many places you'll probably find it hard to scrape a living (where I am a number of instructors are semi-retired and do it to top up pensions, while others are students and do it to supplement loans, and a few have other jobs at the same time). However, you will probably enjoy it a lot. Also remember that in many places the work can be a bit seasonal - if you are working in schools it can all stop in the holidays and it goes quieter in the winter.