What Is a First Aid Trainer? (And How to Become One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

First aid trainers are educators in emergency aid. They deliver first aid courses to various people in a range of environments, such as offices, schools and community centres. Understanding what a first aid educator does and the requirements to become one can help you determine if it may be a suitable career choice. In this article, we discuss what a first aid trainer is, explore their responsibilities and how to become one, review the skills they usually require and share their national average salary.

What is a first aid trainer?

A first aid trainer teaches emergency first aid skills to teenagers and adults. These educators teach people how to provide CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and first response care to an individual who has sustained an injury or has become unwell. This can include teaching course participants how to call for emergency medical assistance and how to help the injured or unwell individual until the medical assistance arrives.

Instructors then assess their trainees' ability to deliver CPR and first response care before issuing them with certification. First aid instructors usually teach people in small groups by verbally explaining and physically demonstrating first aid methods and life-saving techniques.

First aid instructor responsibilities

The primary responsibility of a first aid educator is to teach and certify people to respond to emergency situations appropriately. To achieve this, their daily duties often comprise:

  • researching, planning and developing first aid syllabus

  • organising training course times and venues

  • providing beginner, intermediate and advanced course participants with detailed first aid information

  • delivering high-quality and comprehensive course materials in a way that all trainees can understand

  • showing trainees how to administer emergency first aid treatment

  • introducing various pieces of first aid equipment and demonstrating their operation

  • assessing trainees' capabilities and certifying those who meet the requirements

  • keeping training resources and equipment clean and maintained

  • managing course bookings, payments and attendee records

  • providing potential participants with course information

  • evaluating ongoing first aid training requirements

  • monitoring the outcomes of the training courses they deliver

  • taking part in first aid development and

  • implementing first aid policies

How to become a first aid teacher

Whether you wish to be an independent instructor or gain employment with a first aid institution, you can consider the steps below:

1. Become a certified trainer and assessor

To teach first aid, there's usually a requirement for candidates to have a minimum of an entry-level teaching qualification. As of 31st March 2019, the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 state that first aid instructors and assessors require a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or equivalent. They may also be eligible to teach first aid if they hold a similar teaching qualification that the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) recognises.

Getting a certificate of training and assessment or similar can help you develop the skills you require to teach and evaluate vocational skills. You can expect to complete a certificate IV in six months with a full-time commitment. A university degree is not a requirement for becoming a first aid trainer, but hiring managers may favour that level of qualification. You can consider a degree in teaching which you can expect to complete in three years with a full-time commitment.

2. Obtain first aid qualifications

Once you're a qualified trainer and assessor, the next step is to become first aid qualified. It can be beneficial to know that sometimes you can apply for a first aid training job with only your teaching qualification. Some first aid training institutions prefer to provide you with the emergency response knowledge you require as part of your on-the-job training. If you're thinking of becoming an independent first aid teacher and assessor, there's generally a requirement for you to get your first aid certification on your own.

The Provide First Aid Level 2 certification, previously known as Senior First Aid, is typically the most popular choice for budding first aid trainers. This comprehensive course has a national accreditation and can provide you with the hard skills and theoretical knowledge you require for delivering effective emergency first responder care. Upon successful completion of your course, you can expect proficiency in injury and illness first response and emergency life support, for example, using a defibrillator and performing CPR.

Related: What Is On-the-Job Training?

3. Organise the necessary insurance cover

Anybody who provides training of any kind usually requires public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Public liability can cover accidents that may take place at a training venue. Professional indemnity can cover you if a trainee makes a claim against you.

If you intend to seek employment as a first aid teacher, you can typically expect your employer's insurance to cover you. When working as a self-employed first aid instructor and hosting training at your own venue, public liability and professional indemnity insurance are usually your responsibility. If you host independent first-aid training at a venue that isn't yours, it's generally a requirement for the venue owner to have public liability insurance in place.

Related: Your Guide to the Types of Employee Benefits

4. Purchase first aid training equipment

This step is likely only a requirement if you intend to deliver emergency response training independently. It isn't possible for instructors to demonstrate, nor have trainees practice, all first aid skills on real people. Because of this, there's typically a requirement for first aid equipment to facilitate effective training courses that teach practical skills.

As an employed first aid instructor, you can expect to have access to your employer's first aid training equipment. As an independent first aid instructor, you may purchase CPR and training manikins, first aid kits, defibrillators, casualty simulation tools and other general first-aid supplies to use in your classes.

5. Apply for a job as a first aid instructor

Once you complete the necessary education for delivering first aid courses, you can apply for a job as an instructor or begin marketing your services as an independent instructor. Before applying for a job or marketing yourself to potential clients, it can be a great idea to ensure your resume or first aid instructor profile is up to date. When updating your resume or profile, you can ensure you include all your relevant qualifications and any skills or attributes you possess that could help you be a successful trainer.

To find work delivering nationally recognised emergency response training, it can be a good idea to approach registered first aid and workplace training organisations. You may also search and apply for training jobs online.

Related: How to Create a Stand-Out Resume (With Template and Example)

Helpful skills for a first aid trainer

There are many skills that can be beneficial for someone delivering training. You can find some of them below:

  • Communication skills: When teaching course content, effective communication with course participants can be essential. Well-developed communication skills can allow you to deliver training in a way that a range of people can understand.

  • Teamwork skills: As a teacher in the first aid field, you can expect to teach mostly small to medium-sized groups of trainees. Teamwork skills can help you listen to and understand others effectively while contributing to the greater aim of a group.

  • Subject expertise: Because of continual medical and technological advancements, emergency first aid methodologies and equipment can be constantly developing. Subject expertise involves maintaining your current subject knowledge through research, networking and professional development courses.

  • Adaptability skills: When teaching first aid, you can expect to instruct a range of demographic groups at different times and from different venues. Adaptability skills can provide you with the flexibility you require to teach various people and adjust to different working environments.

  • Interpersonal skills: Any kind of training usually requires a good level of interpersonal ability. These skills can help you interact with others and may make it easier for trainees to approach you and ask you questions.

Related: Why Interpersonal Communication Is So Important at Work

How much do first aid trainers earn?

The national average salary of a first aid instructor is $53,037 per year. There are various factors that can affect how much you earn in this career. These factors may include your level of qualification, how much experience you have, who you work for and in which part of the country you work. As a self-employed first aid instructor, you can set your own rates for delivering training courses.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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