I'm 31 and earn £57k in a job where I choose my hours and holidays – wages have shot up and you don't need a degree | The Sun

MOST people assume a highly paid job with flexible hours is near impossible to land without years of training or special connections.  

But Ryan O’Connell, 31, now earns £40 an hour in a role he loves and says it’s a career open to most people.  

Based in Bracknell, Berkshire, Ryan estimates he’ll earn £57,600 a year, including four weeks of holiday.

On top of that, he’s his own boss, drawing up weekly hours to suit his schedule.

After dropping out of university and struggling to find a career he enjoyed, Ryan qualified as a driving instructor in 2018 and hasn’t looked back since.

Ryan said: “I bounced around jobs for quite a while before this one…

Read more on jobs

I earn £60k a year in a job that has a bad reputation but anybody can do it

Best jobs offering top pay rises of up to 76% – and you don’t need a degree

“I have full control of hours. If I do need extra money, I can work Saturdays if I want to.

“Or if I need to slow down, I can take time off.”

Since the pandemic, the amount he earns has shot up. He was previously charging £29 an hour.

He said: “In the pandemic there was a wakeup call that we need to be charging more.

Most read in Money


Warning over 'zombie' charges hitting pensions that could impact you


Thousands of households can apply for £150 in supermarket vouchers within DAYS


Full list of banks that DON'T charge you to use debit cards abroad


Major bank shutting branches after string of closures – is yours on the list?

“The demand is there.

“I don’t think we should be charging less than other teachers – such as a piano tutor, for example, who can charge £40.”

Ryan said he enjoys teaching and that it is a rewarding career.

He told The Sun: “You’re teaching a life skill – they are going to be driving for decades.

“It’s a skill that opens up options for people.

“They can drive somewhere on holiday – or apply for a new job.

“It’s so rewarding to see that you’ve brought that about.”

Stepping up a gear

Ryan is a franchisee of the AA Driving School.

Under the deal, they provide him with a car and all the costs associated with running, including insurance and maintenance.

He then pays £160 a week in franchisee fees – but these costs vary depending on the car you choose – on top of petrol.

Most of his clients have found him through the AA and sister company BSM but he has also used Facebook to find customers.

Ryan lives with his long-term partner and said she has been “been supportive the whole time” of his career.

It took Ryan about 12 months to do the training and pass the three necessary tests before becoming a fully qualified instructor.

He said: “You do have to be dedicated. There’s a lot of self-study involved.”

After passing the second test, you can start earning as a trainee driving instructor. 

And Ryan took about six months out between passing the second and third test.

As a self-employed instructor, there is no holiday or sick pay so you need to factor that in to your finances.

And the pandemic was tough for many driving instructors who weren’t able to work.

However, the AA allowed its instructors to use cars for different business purposes, such as delivery drivers, to help them get by.

The job is best suited to people who enjoy teaching or coaching, according to Ryan.

He added: “If you like motoring, judging situations and decision making…

“It will be to your benefit in the job.

How to become a driving instructor

You need to pass a three separate tests before becoming a fully qualified driving instructor. 

You will need to first pass a theory test which is essentially a tougher version of the test you take as a learner.  There are more questions and you will need to demonstrate an excellent understanding of the Highway Code, as well as giving answers specifically related to being an instructor.

You can take this test as many times as needed until you pass.

Once you have passed the theory test, you can take the driving ability test. Again, this is similar to what you do as a learner but you will need to prove you are at a higher standard with extra manoeuvres and more questions involved.

You can have a maximum of three attempts at taking this test. If you fail on the third attempt, you will need to wait two years before starting again and retaking the theory test.

Once you have passed this test, you can get apply for a trainee driving instructor badge – also known as a pink badge. You can have this badge for six months and start to charge for lessons, though usually at a discounted rate, which gives you more experience to help pass the third test.

If you have been training up as an instructor in your spare time while working another full time job, starting to earn means you can step back and focus on your new career.

The final test is giving a real life lesson while an examiner sits in the back and scores you.

Ryan said this is a challenging test and not many people will pass first time.

You will need to learn teaching strategies and how to apply them to driving.

As with the driving ability test, you have three attempts to pass or you will have to wait two years and go back to retaking the theory.

Ryan estimated that it cost him around £3,000 to train and pass the test taking a year in total – though he took the six month gap between part two and three of the tests. 

Trainee instructors can start earning in as little as 12-18 weeks, depending on their time commitment to study and DVSA test availability, the AA said.

To become an AA Driving School instructor, trainees can choose between a premium 1-2-1 training programme or a fast-track VR training course.

The AA said many of its instructors have chosen this career to allow them flexibility around their families, as well as having a long-term career.

If you are self-employed you will usually have to fill out a self-assessment tax return.

This includes :

Read More On The Sun

Katie Price reveals ‘real reason’ she’s had so much surgery

My tea towel trick will help beat the heat with an instant cool-down this summer

  • Anyone earning more than £2,500 from renting out property
  • Received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, for example from tips or commission
  • Are self-employed sole traders
  • Are limited company directors
  • Are shareholders
  • Are employees claiming expenses in excess of £2,500

Filling in your tax return can seem daunting, but with our step-by-step guide you'll be able to sort it in no time.

Source: Read Full Article