Become an NRA Instructor

At StarFire we offer several courses to enable you to become certified as NRA Instructors.

Being an NRA Instructor is “the” national standard in firearm instruction and can be a rewarding experience, whether working with organizations like the Boy Scouts, 4H,  Hunter Safety programs, or training people in self defense at a local range.

NOTICE:  We require Instructor Candidates to complete the corresponding Student version of the course they are interested in teaching within the past 12 months,  either with us or another instructor prior to attempting the Instructor course.   Limited waivers are available for experienced instructors certified to teach other NRA courses.

Students who have trained with another instructor or program will have to meet the appropriate NRA instructor entry skills test prior to taking the instructor course, or we will request you repeat the student course.  This is to ensure you have an entry level understanding of how NRA classes are conducted.

First – and paramount to everything else in our NRA Instructor program is SAFETY!  You are here first of all, to learn how to TEACH others to ALWAYS be SAFE.   EVERYTHING we do requires us to ALWAYS keep safety first in our minds, and to teach our students to exercise safety at all times.

TEACH WITH US!  Graduates of our instructor classes may be invited to work with us as Assistant or Associate NRA Instructors in internship positions to enable you to gain additional teaching experience.


BIT is the class that teaches you how to TEACH the NRA Way.  This is a minimum 6 hour class that is the foundation of all NRA Instructor training.

You MUST take an NRA BIT course within 24 months if you are adding new instructor ratings.  What this means is if you took BIT and earned your Basic Pistol Instructor rating 26 months ago, and now you wish to add “Basic Rifle Instructor,” you must repeat the BIT.   This is NRA policy.

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This is the “entry level” instructor training class after BIT.  HFS is a non-shooting class designed to help people become “gun safe.”  This is a good rating to have as many EMS and other professionals require their employees who may encounter a firearm in the course of their duties to have a basic knowledge of firearms.

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This is the NRA’s foundational firearm safety class.  You will learn how to safely teach students to safely handle and shoot handguns, both revolver and semi-automatic.

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This is our “intermediate” level Instructor class.  In this class you will teach students to draw from a holster, introduce movement and barricade positions, malfunctions, etc.

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This is our “advanced” level instructor course.  Some states require this rating to teach state CCW courses.  To attend this instructor level course you MUST have graduated from the Student level PPOTH course, either with StarFire, or elsewhere.   If you received your PPOTH certification elsewhere you must still have instructor approval and pass a pre-qualification exam.

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This course certifies you to teach both the “First Steps” and “Basic” NRA rifle courses.

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This course certifies you to teach both the “First Steps” and “Basic” NRA shotgun courses and shotgun activities like Trap and Skeet.  It is not a “self-defense” course.

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This class is designed to teach Range Safety Officers (RSO’s) how to TEACH other RSO’s.   The Chief Range Safety Officer rating is designed for individuals who may oversee RSO’s, operate ranges or who may be responsible for training RSO’s at a range, Boy Scouts, etc.  It is a very intensive safety and firearm familiarization course.

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The NRA also offers additional instructor ratings in ammunition reloading, muzzle loading (black powder) and coaching.  We currently do not offer these options but plan to add courses as our training allows.

INSTRUCTOR CANDIDATES PLEASE READ:   Please be aware the difference between a student and an NRA Instructor Candidate.  The Instructor level classes are designed to teach you how to TEACH the NRA way, not how to shoot.  As an instructor you are supposed to already KNOW how to SAFELY use and shoot a firearm accurately.

When we teach a student if they are not yet muzzle aware or are having trouble understanding a concept the Instructor is there to help them LEARN.  As an Instructor Candidate if you are not safety aware or cannot pass certain pre-course evaluation qualifications, or you exhibit poor or unsafe firearm handling skills, you may be asked to take or retake the NRA STUDENT version of the course prior to proceeding into instruction.

We are here to help you achieve your goal of becoming an NRA Instructor, however we DO NOT automatically pass everyone who pays and attends an Instructor course.  You MUST meet the NRA Instructor graduation standards or you may have to recycle all or part of the course, possibly at additional cost.

Learning to TEACH is not hard and the classes themselves are designed to be SAFE, fun, informative, but not everyone has the skills, knowledge or attitude to safely and effectively teach others without additional training.  It is OK to need more training.  What is not OK is if we turn out a certified instructor who is not competent or capable of teaching firearm safety and/or self defense to others.

Other options are to work as an Assistant or Associate Instructor in an internship program for a period of time to gain additional experience.  We recommend working as an Assistant Instructor under and experienced firearm teacher for at least a few classes when you start out.  Team teaching is one aspect of the NRA method.

NRA Instructor classes differ from student courses in that YOU will be teaching segments of the class right from the beginning!  One goal of this program is to help you become comfortable speaking and explaining activities to others, and evaluating their progress. We are here to help you be the best firearm instructor you can be.