Becoming a Boater Education Instructor
The Boater Education Program's goals are to reduce boating and water related accidents and violations; promote safe, responsible and knowledgeable boating; and enhance boating traditions, ethics, and values. We now have more than 1,000 active instructors statewide, who include game wardens, volunteers, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, and professional educators. These volunteer instructors certify an average of 10,000 students per year.
Steps to Instructor Certification
- Complete the Boater Education Student Course if you have not already done so.
- Request an instructor application.
- Take your completed instructor application to a TPWD Game Warden, who will interview you and submit your paperwork to TPWD. If you need a list of game wardens in your area you may contact your nearest TPWD law enforcement office.
- Complete the Boater Education Instructor Training. See the instructor course schedule for course listings. If no classes are currently available, please contact us at 1-800-792-1112 to speak to a Boater Education Training Specialist and arrange an instructor course in your area.
- Special provisions have now been incorporated for U.S. Power Squadron, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, certified school teachers, and certified law enforcement officers. Please see Certification Procedures (Word 41 KB) for more details.
- After processing your application, interview, and course results, TPWD will mail you a Congratulatory Packet with your instructor card and instructors patch.
What You Should Know: Instructor Responsibilities
- Boater Education Instructors are responsible to the Boater Education Staff of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
- Volunteers will instruct students of all ages in the Boater Education program as prescribed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
- Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, of reasonably good health, high integrity, pass a written examination and provide an oral interview by a game warden. A criminal background check will be conducted and those failing to meet certain standards may be denied certification.
- In order to maintain instructor status annually, instructors must teach at least one course per year with at least 6-8 hours of instruction. Failure to meet this minimum requirement will result in inactive status.
- Instructors must graduate from a state-certified Boater Education student course in addition to the Department's 6-8 hour (one day) Instructor Training Workshop (free workshop).
- Voluntary in-service workshops are provided by the Department on a yearly basis to assist instructors obtain experience in a variety of subjects and vessels related to basic boating safety.