cpr instructor courseCPR Instructor Course

The CPR Instructor Course offered at Prime Medical Training is an authorized American Heart Association (AHA) course.

The AHA has two types of CPR Instructors: HeartSaver Instructors and BLS Instructors.

Here we will detail the differences between the two types of instructors, explain how to become a CPR Instructor, the costs of being an instructor, and answer some frequently asked questions about CPR Instructor training.

AHA CPR Instructor classes are offered locally at our 4 locations.

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Why become a CPR Instructor?

There are couple reasons why it might be beneficial to have CPR Instructor training.

  1. Corporate: An organization that requires several employees to be CPR certified may find it more cost-effective to have an employee who can perform the training in-house.
  2. Individual: An individual looking for an opportunity to earn extra income may like the flexibility and independent work of being a CPR Instructor. Instructors can make on average $300 for a 4 hour class.

Read below to see the cost of becoming an instructor and determine what the best route is for you or your organization.

BLS Instructor vs. HeartSaver Instructor

The AHA offers two different CPR classes that target different professions or types of responders.

HeartSaver is a family of classes that include CPR/AED, First Aid, and Bloodborne Pathogens.

BLS stands for Basic Life Support which covers CPR/AED with advanced techniques for team rescuers.

The AHA HeartSaver courses are formatted for individuals working in a non-healthcare field who may be required to have a certification for their job.

AHA BLS is targeted towards licensed healthcare professionals and healthcare students who are required by their state licensing board or employer to have a CPR certification.

BLS Instructors are given the highest training of a CPR Instructor. As a BLS Instructor, an individual can teach all classes which include:

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How To Become a CPR Instructor


Provider Card

Before going through CPR Instructor training, individuals will need to have a CPR provider card in the discipline they want to teach. For example, someone who wants to take BLS Instructor Course will need to be certified as a BLS Provider.

Someone who wants to be a HeartSaver Instructor must be certified as a HeartSaver CPR/AED and First Aid provider. These certifications must still be valid at the time of taking an instructor class. Expired certification cards can not be accepted.

A Red Cross certification or other non-AHA certifications are not accepted when becoming an AHA CPR Instructor. Please be sure your certification card is an authentic AHA card bearing the AHA seal and verifiable QR code.

There are instructors that will use the AHA curriculum and test but then make up their own certification cards. These are not recognized and cannot be accepted. If you have questions about your certification please give us a call!

Training Center Approval

Every AHA Instructor is required to align with an authorized AHA Training Center. Training Centers monitor and renew instructors certifications as well as provide instructors with certification cards to issue to students.

Individuals must receive approval from a training center before taking a CPR Instructor Course. Individuals can find local training centers by searching the AHA’s website, and subsequently submitting an Instructor Candidate Application form to the training center of their choice.

Individuals who sign up for Prime's CPR Instructor course are automatically approved to align with our training center.

Step #1

After completing the prerequisites, the next step is to take the AHA Online Instructor Essentials course.

There is a separate course for BLS and HeartSaver candidates. This may be included in the cost of the instructor course, or students may need to purchase it on their own.

Candidates must have a copy of the appropriate Instructor Manual as the online course asks very specific questions referencing charts and material that can only be found in the instructor manual.

After completing the online course, a certificate will be issued that instructors need to bring with them on the first day of their instructor course.

If the training center does not provide it in the cost of the course, the Instructor Essentials course, Instructor Manual, and other AHA Instructor Materials can be purchased by one of AHA’s 2 distributors.

Step #2

The next step is to attend the CPR Instructor Course. The official agenda takes at least 5-7 hours. Training Centers may choose to add additional content to the agenda which in turn increases the class time.

At the end of class, candidates will be required to take a 25-question written exam which covers what they learned during the online and in-person portions of their course. An 84% or higher is required to pass.

Step #3

Instructor Candidates will need to teach a class while being monitored by their instructor or another AHA Training Center Faculty member within 6 months of taking the CPR instructor course.

It’s recommended to schedule monitoring as soon as possible so candidates have skills fresh in their mind.

During the monitoring, candidates are graded using the AHA Instructor Monitor Tool form. After successful completion, candidates are issued a CPR Instructor certification within 20 days.

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Finding the Right AHA Training Center

Like any organization, not all training centers are equal. The truth is, there are good and bad training centers out there. Good training centers deliver quality and timely support to instructors.

When choosing a training center or deciding whether to transfer to a training center, look for the following:

#1 Response Time. An instructor can call and email a training center over and over without getting a response. This effects the instructor’s ability to do their job by holding up the process and getting certifications to students. Make sure you choose a training center that responds in a timely manner.

#2 Issuing of Certifications. Training centers are required to give certifications to instructors within 10 days of receiving a roster. However, the rule is not always reality, and some training centers can take several weeks before sending cards out or may fail to ever issue certifications.

#3 Systems. Every training center operates differently. Some training centers may require you to mail in rosters and testing materials. Consider how these systems may affect the students you are teaching by delaying the time it takes to get certifications in the hands of students.

Look for training centers that use an online system to receive rosters and payment electronically. Furthermore, be sure to ask how long it takes for certifications to be sent after a roster is submitted.

Check out the testimonials below about instructors aligned with Prime Medical Training, or contact us about aligning with our training center.

How Much Does It Cost To Become a CPR Instructor?

A CPR Instructor course cost is made up of several factors. There are initial costs to becoming an instructor as well as costs that continue throughout a person’s time as an instructor.

Below is a breakdown of possible expenses along with cost estimates for each item which differs with every training center.

Prior to becoming a CPR Instructor:

AHA Instructor Manual - $36-54

Online Instructor Essentials course - $30

AHA CPR Instructor Course cost - $150-350


Roster fee (some training centers charge a flat fee per roster submitted) – $10-25

Certification Card Fee – Each training center sets their own fees.

Renewal Monitoring – Every 2 years an instructor must be monitored again, and often times there is a fee for this service or the renewal.


Instructors have the option to purchase their own equipment or borrow/rent equipment. Regardless, starting in 2019, all manikins used must have feedback devices that at a minimum give rate and depth feedback to students.

Here is the BLS Equipment Checklist and the HeartSaver Equipment Checklist for CPR and First Aid. Instructors must maintain a 1:9 Instructor to Students ratio, and a 1:3 manikin to student ratio.

Purchasing equipment - $1,000-2,000

Renting equipment - $10-50 per day (where available)

AHA Course DVD - $80-165

Renting DVD's - $5-$10 per day (where available)

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What Is Taught In CPR Instructor Classes?

So what do instructor candidates learn during the CPR Instructor course? During the Online Instructor Essentials course, candidates are familiarized with their instructor manuals.

The instructor manual contains information such as proper equipment, course setup, how to remediate students, lesson plans, and more.

During the in-person CPR instructor course, candidates will review more of their instructor manual and put some of it into action. They will learn about the structure of the AHA, the core competencies expected of each instructor, how to fill out and submit paperwork, and be given opportunities to practice testing and remediating students on their CPR skills.

One thing that cannon be overemphasized is that candidates do not learn how to do CPR. A candidate should not only hold a CPR provider card, but also be proficient in their skills and knowledge of CPR.

If it’s been a year or two since taking a provider course, candidates should study before coming to class to refresh themselves. Lack of proficiency in the skills and knowledge of current CPR guidelines can result in failing the instructor class.

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How to Renew a CPR Instructor Certification

The AHA sets the same CPR Instructor requirements for BLS and HeartSaver instructors when it comes time to renew.

Every 2 years, an instructor’s certification will expire and must be renewed. In order to renew, the instructor must have completed the following things.

  • Teach 4 classes within 2 years.
  • Be monitored teaching a class by an AHA Training Center Faculty.
  • Perform the skills of CPR for Adult and Infant.
  • Pass the written exam with 84% or higher.

Note that only the instructor’s primary training center can perform the renewal process.


"I cannot describe how HAPPY I am with Prime and am honored to be an instructor with an organization ​that still has values and follows all required guidelines. It gives me more confidence being out in the offices doing what I do knowing I belong to a legitimate training center and sponsor!" - Michelle Hoffner

"I just wanted to take a minute and let you all know how much we both love working with Prime Medical and how fast your responses are and how well we have felt taken care of here at Tennessee High School. It is a business relationship but you and Andrew both make it feel more like a friendship. Michelle [another instructor] and I have discussed many times how much we appreciate you both and are so thankful that we got lucky enough to be a part of Prime Medical. The balance of professionalism with warmth and kindness is very much felt and appreciated on our end." - Pam Moore

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Frequently Asked Questions About CPR Instructor Course

What if the training center I want to align with is not offering CPR Instructor classes?

An individual can align with a training center that is offering a CPR Instructor course, and afterwards, transfer to their desired training center if they are accepting new instructors.

Where can I purchase AHA Instructor materials?

AHA Instructor materials such as a BLS Instructor Manual or a course DVD can be purchased from one of three AHA distributors: Channing-Bete, WorldPoint, Laerdal. A training center may also have these supplies for purchase.

Can I become my own training center?

The AHA has limited who can become a training center. There are very few places in the country that the AHA would deem necessary to approve another training center.

How long is the CPR Instructor Certification good for?

CPR Instructor certifications are good for 2 years just like the provider cards.

Do I need a provider card if I have an instructor card?

According to the AHA, an instructor does not need a provider card as long as the instructor card does not expire. However, some employers still require a provider card, regardless. Contact you AHA training center if this is the case.

How can I find a CPR Instructor course near me?

You can search on the AHA’s website for classes in your area by date, course type and location.

How long does it take to become a CPR Instructor?

It depends on the person. The Online Instructor Essentials course takes on average a couple hours. The in-person class can take 1-2 days depending on the training center.

Finally, an instructor has up to 6 months to be monitored teaching their first class before they can receive their CPR Instructor certification.

How do I transfer to a different AHA Training Center?

The AHA has a Instructor Records Transfer Request form that needs to be filled out by the instructor and their current training center, and then is sent over to the new training center.

Can I be aligned with more than one AHA training center?

Yes, the AHA allows instructors to be aligned with a Primary and Secondary training center.

Where can I find a First Aid Instructor course?

Generally, a First Aid Instructor course is not offered as a standalone course. If you need to become a First Aid instructor, you will need to take the HeartSaver Instructor course which includes CPR and First Aid.