We’ve heard it said that there are two reasons people become instructors in the healthcare field. The first is because they have been a student with a fantastic instructor. The second is because they have been a student with a terrible instructor. It’s likely you can relate to that- and here you are, wanting to learn what kind of pay you could expect as an ACLS instructor. Read on as we discuss the average salary of ACLS instructors and BLS/ACLS instructors.
What is an ACLS Instructor?
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) instructors build on teaching students have already received in basic life support training. It is expected that students attending ACLS courses already have current BLS training and BLS training is not done by ACLS instructors.
ACLS Instructors will teach the importance of preventing cardiac arrest and team resuscitation with continuous high quality CPR delivered as soon as possible. ACLS instructors will explain systems of care, recognition and intervention or cardiopulmonary arrest. They will also cover post-cardiac arrest care, dysrhythmias, stroke, and acute coronary syndrome.
To be effective in this position, ACLS instructors will need to be people with in depth understanding of the skills taught. The knowledge taught is something some people can grasp purely with study but usually instructors have considerable hands on experience. Even if you are a nurse or doctor, that does not mean you would be a good ACLS instructor. The best ACLS instructors are usually paramedics, ER nurses, ER doctors, critical care nurses, military EMT’s, and flight medics. The people with experience in these roles have an in-depth understanding of the implications of material covered in ACLS courses.
What is the average salary of an ACLS Instructor?
Salaries vary across the U.S. due to cost of living and other factors. Additionally, in more populated states where there is higher demand for training there tends to be higher salaries. On average, ACLS instructors make $56,000 a year according to Salary.com. However, the range is from $49,000-63,000. Ziprecruiter.com states that the top 10 highest paying cities for ACLS instructors are in California, Florida, and Massachusetts.
However, most people in this role have other responsibilities as an ACLS instructor. To be employed as a full time ACLS instructor by someone you are probably going to be employed either fully time by a hospital or work for a CPR, BLS, and ACLS Training Company. Because ACLS is an advanced course there are not as many people required to take it. In order to have full time work, most ACLS instructors will also be teaching BLS and CPR courses. Additionally, many ACLS instructors also become PALS instructors as you cover much of the same content but for pediatric patients.
If ACLS instructors could teach 40 hours a week of just ACLS classes, the pay could be higher. However, to have full time work ACLS instructors teach other classes as well. The pay for other types of training is good, but not as good as advanced courses so that brings down the amount of pay a person can make.
Teaching for a hospital or a private business can be very rewarding and offers security. However, to make more as an ACLS instructor you have more opportunity to retain the income you want if you are teaching independently. ACLS instructors that choose to open their own training business and also teach CPR and BLS, make higher salaries on average. It’s important to consider the time it takes to build up business though. While you can make good money starting out, it gets much better over time when you have built up a client base.
How do I train to become an ACLS Instructor?
- Get ACLS certification. To become an ACLS instructor you first need to have ACLS certification. For the American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS instructor course you are required to specifically have an AHA ACLS certification card that is not expired.
- Take the American Heart Association Instructor Essentials online course. This course teaches you the basics of being an AHA Instructor.
- Attend an ACLS instructor class held by AHA Training Faculty. This portion of training is only offered in person through the AHA.
- ***Online training was allowed for a short time due to the COVID-19 Pandemic but is no longer allowed.***
- So, how can you make sure you take a quality ACLS instructor class?
- First, expect to pay at least $400 for the training but usually more. Anyone offering training for less is likely a scam or not meeting AHA requirements.
- Next, look for courses that are 6-8 hours long. The AHA does not have a defined amount of time for ACLS instructor training but in general the course takes *at least* three hours more than an ACLS renewal course. This is according to the most experienced ACLS instructors. Anyone that says otherwise is probably not teaching legitimate ACLS courses or is inexperienced.
- Be monitored teaching your first ACLS course. The AHA Training Faculty that taught your ACLS instructor course will either monitor you in person teaching your first class or may ask to monitor you virtually. Following your class, they will give you feedback.
- If you successfully complete the steps above your AHA Training Faculty member will issue you an AHA ACLS instructor certification within 18 days of completion.
How do I find an ACLS Instructor Class?
We offer ACLS instructor classes a few times a year. You can view if any upcoming ACLS Instructor Classes are scheduled here. Another place to find people able to teach ACLS instructor classes is on ClassEagle.com.
How do I maintain my ACLS Instructor certification?
AHA ACLS instructor certifications are valid for two years. You must teach a minimum of 4 courses in that two year period to renew your certification. Additionally, you will need to be monitored within 3 months prior to your renewal to get a new certification.
Do ACLS instructors need an ACLS Provider card?
Once you become an AHA ACLS instructor, you no longer need an additional AHA ACLS Provider card. Instead, your instructor certification can take its place. Some employers or workplaces still require ACLS instructors to take an ACLS class with another ACLS instructor every two years but that is not a state or licensing requirement.
ACLS vs BLS Instructor salaries
ACLS instructors make about $10,000 more annually than just CPR and BLS instructors. CPR instructors make an average of $17-$28 an hour with New York being the highest paying state for CPR instructors. If you are looking for a CPR instructor course, check out our options here.
To learn more about starting a CPR and ACLS Training business watch this video: