NRA Certified Instructor Certification

The National Rifle Association provides instruction to first time gun owners as well as skilled shooters.
The National Rifle Association provides instruction to first time gun owners as well as skilled shooters. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Certified instructors with the National Rifle Association (NRA) must have the knowledge about firearm safety as well as the skill to teach others. Certification ensures that these educators are the best available to provide instruction to new or seasoned gun owners across the country. Instructors teach courses in safety, home firearm storage and the proper use of various types of weapons. An NRA instructor must demonstrate skill and knowledge to qualify for certification as well as the willingness to teach beginning shooters.

Instructor Training Courses

Courses available for instructors include home firearm safety, personal protection in the home, and concealed carry, along with rifle, pistol, shotgun and muzzleloading weapons. The trainer can complete courses in shell reloading instruction as well. Courses for instructors include public speaking, NRA policies, training methods and instruction in how to organize a course for students. The instructor student will receive training information and lesson plans to use with basic firearm students.

Instructor Requirements

Certified NRA instructors must be at least 21 years old to qualify to teach weapons courses. A person can qualify as an assistant instructor at 18 years old or an apprentice instructor if he or she is between 13 and 17 years old. Younger individuals may choose an assistant instructor certification to work with certified instructors and gain the experience to instruct others in handling firearms. Certified instructors select apprentice instructors from those who meet the qualifications, which include the completion of a basic firearm course.


The NRA-certified instructor must pass examinations with a score of 90 percent or higher. The examinations include specific discipline exams as well as an NRA instructor examination. Assistant instructors and apprentices must pass the examinations with a score of 85 percent or more to qualify with the NRA.

Background and Skills

Certified NRA instructors must have demonstrated skills in handling firearms before qualifying as an instructor. NRA training counselors provide the instruction for certified instructor courses. A candidate for instructor certification must demonstrate to the training counselor skill in using firearms safely. To demonstrate skills and abilities, the counselor will require the instructor candidate complete firearms exercises.

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