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CPR Instructor Course


Being an American Heart Association (AHA) CPR instructor allows great flexibility and independence for individuals looking to create their own income. Additionally, for many corporations it makes good financial sense to have an in house CPR instructor that can certify their staff in CPR and First Aid when needed.

In the American Heart Association (AHA) instructor course you will learn how to teach individuals in all fields how to perform either basic life support (BLS) or Heartsaver CPR & First Aid.

Prime Medical Training offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date CPR training approved by the American Heart Association.










Why become a CPR Instructor?

Many people benefit from CPR Instructor training.

  1. Corporate Instructors: 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. Independent Instructors: An individual looking for an opportunity to earn extra income may like the flexibility and independent work of being a CPR Instructor. AHA CPR Instructors 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:

How To Become a CPR Instructor



  • AHA Provider Card. Before going through AHA 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 an AHA BLS Instructor Course will need to be certified as an AHA BLS Provider. (certifications from brands other than AHA are not accepted)

Individuals who want 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.

Some instructors may use the AHA curriculum and test but make up their own certification cards. These instructors violating AHA copyright laws and their certificates are not recognized and cannot be accepted by employers. 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.

CPR Instructor Course Tests & Certificates 

Candidates must complete a 25-question written exam covering both online and in-person content with a passing score of 84 percent. Candidates will then receive a CPR Instructor certification within 20 days after passing the course.


BLS stands for Basic Life Support. It is the CPR class required for healthcare providers.

BLS is what they call the level of CPR for healthcare providers. It is the highest level of CPR that you can get. Classes referred to as simply “CPR” are generally for non-healthcare professionals who still require a CPR certification.

No. We do offer basic free CPR training at events and workshops throughout the year, but these are geared more for community awareness.

The best resource is directly on the AHA’s website. They use to update guidelines every five years, but in 2017 they began moving to a continuous evidence evaluation process to make updates as close to real-time as possible. There is also have a hard copy book available for purchase.

If you’re looking to do your BLS renewal online, the official course title is called “HeartCode BLS”. Individuals can purchase the online course from Prime Medical Training or from one of AHA’s distributors. Afterwards, must complete the skills portion at a local authorized AHA training center to receive a certification.

No, the AHA does not provide an official BLS practice test. There are resources on the internet from third party providers that offer practice test questions. The official BLS written exam that you will take is 25 questions, you must make an 84% or higher to pass.

Every AHA training center and individual instructor sets their own price for BLS classes. The AHA says “Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA course materials, do not represent income to the AHA.” You can view Prime Medical Training’s current BLS certification cost on our class registration page.

There are several study guides available online. A simple Google search for "AHA BLS study guide" gives several resources. However, most students find it unnecessary to study beforehand.

When you sign up for our AHA BLS class, you will be given the option to purchase the BLS for Healthcare Providers book. You can pick the book up early or wait to get it when you come to class. We ship books by request only.

Yes. The AHA revised the name when they released the 2015 guidelines. “BLS Provider” is more inclusive of all types of individuals who may need a BLS certification.

No. Individuals taking a BLS class typically already have a medical background that includes First Aid knowledge. If you need a First Aid certification, you will need to take that class separately by signing up on our class registration page.

That depends on what you do and what your job requires. If you have any kind of state medical license, you will need BLS regardless of whether or not your job requires a BLS certification. Those who do not have a medical license but their organization or work requires a CPR certification would want to take the basic CPR class.

Yes. The BLS certification offered by Prime Medical Training is an AHA approved course. Prime has been designated as an authorized AHA training center.

This article explains what to do if you lost your CPR card. Essentially, those who initially received an eCard via email can login to the AHA and retrieve it. If you initially received a traditional paper card, you will either need to contact the instructor who taught your class or the training center the instructor was aligned with at the time they taught your class. You may be charged a fee for replacement paper cards.

Yes. BCLS stands for Basic Cardiac Life Support. That is an old title which was replaced by BLS for Healthcare Providers. When the AHA released the 2015 guidelines, they revised the name again to BLS Provider.

Yes. These are two separate classes. Sometimes the courses may be offered back to back but they are still individual courses that each require physical and written testing. Taking an ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) class does not automatically give you BLS certification.

It is recommended that a BLS certification be renewed every 2 years. Some employers require refresher training, though, as often as every 3 months.

BLS healthcare training is the foundational program for healthcare professionals. By enrolling in this course, you will learn how to care for patients in in-facility and prehospital emergencies. It will enable you to achieve the best possible outcomes for your patients.

Unlike typical classroom-based courses, a BLS class for healthcare providers consists of interactive videos, lectures, and hands-on training. However, you will still take a written exam at the end of the session to determine whether you’re ready to apply your learning in real-life settings or not.

Our American Heart Association (AHA) healthcare provider BLS classes usually last two to four hours, not including breaks. This timeframe covers a six-student session with two manikins and one instructor. Classes with more students may take longer.

After completing your class, you will immediately receive a BLS healthcare provider certification and a temporary wallet card via email. Two to three days after getting your digital copy, you will receive your certification card by mail.

The BLS course is ideal for healthcare professionals and first responders who can save lives during cardiac and respiratory emergencies. These specialists include doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedics, and firefighters.

No, you don’t need BLS healthcare provider training annually. Once you complete your class, you will receive a certification and wallet card — these distinctions are valid for two years. If necessary, you can renew them every two years before they expire.

We offer BLS healthcare provider certification courses in three locations: Knoxville, Johnson City, and Memphis. Rest assured, you will experience our gold standard services no matter which center you attend. 


"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