You do not really have to be a racer or PRO Rider to become a ski instructor. This profession has wide range of working deployment from kids instructor to freeride guide.

Is it the job for you?

Make sure ski instructor profession is something for you. You can look forward being in nature, having amazing views, meet great people and basically stay outside all the day long. You come up with unique selfies, you will forget about stereotype and you will live the holidays all winter!
On the other hand, count with “pain in the ass” clients who appear exactly when you don’t need it, count with freezing and rainy weather, be ready for screaming children beating you with your pole, or be sure that at least once a season some wild rocket hits you rushing down the slope. Are you ready for this? Then it is a job for you!

Pick up the right teaching tool?

Obviously, being the ski instructor is the most common profession on the snow as the most people ski. But it does not matter you must become a ski instructor. There are many tools you can put on your legs like snowboard, telemark skis or cross country skis. You probably have some experience having fun on snow or even trying some of the tools, then pick up the one you like the most and the one you can provide the lessons to other with.

How to become a ski instructor - snow office

How to get recognized as a ski instructor?

You cannot just come down the slope and put “Best Ski Instructor” on your back. There are specific requirements in each country to get the working visa, or to simply call yourself instructor. Recently the EU applied the “European Instructor” qualification, which is unfortunately designed only for those highest qualified instructors. Therefor we recommend you to find the national governing body providing the recognized education. The most common in Europe is ISIA structure well known all over the world.

Do I need to be an association member?

Do you have to? No, you do not. Do you need to? Question is what for. If you need to get some education or certification, the national governing bodies will provide you education only when you become a member. If you just need to get a job and be employed, better ask your employer what you really need. Some schools provide you with high quality internal education designed just for that school needs. But if you need to put a bunch of licences on table while drinking a beer with other certified instructors, then definitely become a member.

How to get a job?

It is quite handy to contact the school you want to work in before you sing up for any certificate or education. The school manager should inform you what exactly he expects from you to become a part of his team. There are hundreds of schools with all different requirements, expectations and market position. It can very easily happen that one school is happy for your intermediate English language, but other school does not even talk to you once you do not have the highest education.

Photo by Urban Sanden on Unsplash

How to find the right employer?

Once you are sure what you are up to on snow and what you know about it, choose the right employer. As all the skiing business falls in risk area and many laws and restrictions are applied, we do not recommend to start as independent instructor. You could quickly see a blind end road. So better check the opportunities on the market.

Which salary can I get?

The employment models vary throughout the world, we recommend to use the simple mathematics. Count down the net plus you will earn with net minus you will have to pay. Take a net profit and compare it with all other school offers. Then include the side effects that kind of job will have for you. Apparently each of you guys do it for some reason… You want to see the world, you want to train yourself, you want to meet many people, etc. Personally, I recommend not to focus on the salary so much and better get the life experience you need for the future. Just few of you really stay in this business forever, then better search money somewhere else later as an experienced all-rounder.

What can I expect from my career?

There is only a few possibilities on the market where you can really live the whole year from what you earn in winter. If you see yourself in that position tomorrow, you are either Marcel Hirscher, or you better get back to mental clinic you just left. Being a well-treated instructor require the same sacrifice and efforts as in any other job. By ski instructor, it´s just not only your mind to be updated, but also your body to be overheated. Make sure, it is seasonal job and on the way to become a Marcel Hirscher, you will probably need a good support from your parents or find some other seasonal job. When you undertake this path to the top, you deserve to enjoy the great views with great people, get tanned from long seasons in sunny resorts, and enjoy the summers on Hawaii drinking the mojito and planning your next season!

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