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Instructor Certification

Why Programs use Certified Instructors

Certified instructors will teach to a national standard and be well versed in risk management, safety, and teaching techniques. It also protects the program and the instructor! US Sailing stands behind all of it's current certified instructors, providing them with up to $10 million in supplemental liability protection. Additionally, some insurance policies may require that all, or a certain percentage, of instructors are US Sailing certified. Other insurance providers may offer significantly lower rates to programs using certified instructors. Instructor certification is the best way to ensure that students are learning correctly, having fun, and doing it all safely. 

Getting Certified

Earning your US Sailing Level One Certification is your ticket to a great summer job! The Level One is universally recognized by yacht clubs and sailing centers around America. It's even recognized by many programs abroad. Earning your Level One is not as easy as just showing up for class. The 40-hour training course is crammed into four intense days. Level One candidates must show proficiency in both sailing and teaching techniques, plus power boat operation.

Candidates must come to the course with a firm grasp of the material. Studying the materials provided by US Sailing in advance and practicing ahead of time are key to becoming a certified instructor! Instructor Candidates will undergo rigorous evaluation, but there is plenty of fun and lots of learning opportunities along the way. Level One courses are offered around the country and throughout the year. Go to US Sailing's Training Page for the most up to date course schedule and registration.​

What do the Levels Mean?

US Sailing recently overhauled the structure of their training system. Level One didn't go through any major changes, it's still geared towards teaching beginning dinghy sailing and it remains the most popular training course offered by US Sailing. Instructors are encouraged to get their Level Two certification after a year or two of teaching with their Level One if they plan to keep instructing. Level Two is focused on teaching intermediate small boat sailing skills. It also emphasizes safety boat handling and rescue techniques, which go beyond those covered in Level One.

Level Three is the Small Boat Racing Coach. Because of the restructuring, anyone who took Level Two prior to 2012 is now automatically a Level Three coach, provided that their certifications are current. New for 2016 is the Level Three "Head Instructor" course, which is a professional development track focused on program management and administration.

Current US Sailing Training Schedule

Visit the US Sailing's Training Page for the most up to date course schedule and registration.​

View US Sailing Calendar