How to Become a Ski Instructor

Ski instructor skills

If your adrenalin rush in life comes from spending a couple of weeks traversing the slopes on white powder then maybe a future in ski and snowboard instruction is right for you.

Whether you are skiing in winter, or visiting the British Ski and Board Show in the last week of October, companies like Snowskool, Peak Leaders and The International Academy could provide you with the information and incentive you need to change that part-time hobby into a full-time career.

Will Southon (26) from Surrey was one such individual who worked as a labourer to fund his European travel to the slopes every winter. With a keen enthusiasm for the great outdoors Will had the idea of becoming an instructor. “I was on a chair lift when I decided to explore the possibilities before enrolling on a course with Snowskool,” explains Will. “The 11-weeks of training was pretty intensive but now that I’m qualified with ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) it allows me to teach anywhere in the world.

“After completing my training I spent a season in Canada at the Big White Ski Resort,” he continued. “It’s not usual for your accommodation to be included and you typically earn around $10,000 (Canadian Dollars) a season but the social scene and spending my days on the slopes makes it all worth while.”

Ski and Snowboarding Instructor

Snowskool (www.snowskool.co.uk) operates ski and snowboarding courses in Canada, New Zealand and France. “Our 10-week course in Cardrona, New Zealand has proved particularly popular,” said Laura Hopps, Snowskool. “Spending your summer in the southern hemisphere training within an area of outstanding natural beauty must be on everyone’s wish list.” Departing July 2009, the ten-week course at Cardrona costs £7050 including flights and accommodation.

Like-minded snowboarder Hamish Livingstone (19) had dreams of becoming a snow sports instructor. Now a trained and certified Level 2 BASI (British Association of Ski Instructors) Hamish is fully equipped to instruct ski and snowboarding in many parts of the world. “The 10-week course was invaluable,” said Hamish. “As well as ski and snowboard tuition I learnt about first aid, backcountry and avalanche awareness, off-piste technique and how to operate a transceiver in emergency situations.”

Hamish completed his instruction course with Peak Leaders (www.peakleaders.com) in Zermatt, Switzerland. Now in its eighth year Peak Leaders offer courses in Asia, Canada, Europe, India, Japan and The Americas with its first course of the new season commencing on January 3rd 2009 in Banff, Canada. At a cost of £6,850, Peak Leaders offer the 11-week course including flights and accommodation with instruction leading to a Level 2 CSIA/CASI qualification.

Despite his love of powder snow Hamish has temporarily swapped the snowcap peaks of Switzerland for the dry slopes of Sheffield. He said: “Sheffield Ski Village may not be as glamorous as the Alps but it has enabled me to hone my skills and keep me busy until the northern hemisphere winter season starts.”

If you’re considering taking a gap year or a career break in order to train then The International Academy provide several ski and snowboard instructor courses in the northern and southern hemispheres ranging from five to 12 weeks. With their close links with Crystal holidays, The International Academy could give you the opportunity to turn your dreams into reality.

There are plenty of other opportunities to work at resorts as well as instructors. Natives.co.uk is the UK’s leading snowsport recruitment website and is run by ex-season workers who can give you help and advice. The Natives team will be at the show, answering all your questions on which resorts are recruiting, how to apply for jobs, what wages to expect and types of accommodation.

If snowboarding is your thing, then you could always get yourself on a snowboard instructor course.