Become a Ski Instructor
Every winter snow falls and coats the mountains in a white blanket of fun.
People from all over the world go on magical ski vacations. A few plan thrilling ski seasons by choosing to become ski instructors – an exciting career where you get to ski and teach in a mountain wonderland in exchange for a paycheck and season pass.
Ski instructing is a job that may only last a winter, but for many it lasts a lifetime. It’s not a hard gig to land either. Do you know how to become a ski instructor?
- Learn to ski or snowboard. You don’t have to be an expert, but you do need to be a competent skier. Skiing may be a lifelong passion or a new pursuit, but to teach other people how to ski you need to have good basic skills.
- Decide where you want to work. At least 35 states have ski resorts. You may want to teach skiing close to home or school. Do you want to work full-time or part time? Maybe you want to spend time out West or up North? Do you want to work at a big name resort like Stowe, Heavenly, Whistler, Deer Valley, Vail, or Aspen? There are plenty of choices.
- Consider what type of ski instructor you want to be. There are alpine, telemark, cross country, and snowboard instructors. There are instructors who teach adults, kids, teens, or people with disabilities. Once again there are plenty of choices.
- Apply for jobs. Contact ski areas where you would like to work. You can apply online or call Human Resources. Some ski resorts have job fairs, where you meet potential bosses face to face. It always helps if you know someone in the ski industry who can put in a good word for you. Apply early – start the process in August and be persistent.
- Prepare your resume and get ready for an interview. Ski instructing is a job, so treat it that way. Highlight your skills and talents. Ski instructing is about customer service and teaching. Being bilingual is a huge asset. Make yourself standout from the crowd – show that you’re fun, happy, and ready to teach.
- Be adaptable. Ski resorts always need ski instructors, especially during the busy times like Christmas vacation, President’s Week, Spring Break, or Easter. Every resort needs full time ski instructors, but there are also opportunities for part time and holiday positions. Part time ski instructing is a great way to get your foot in the door and your hands on a seasons ski pass!
- Many resorts hire ski instructors without any experience, but they love a ski instructor with experience. Look into certification with the Professional Ski Instructors Association (PSIA) or the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI). If you’re certified, jobs are easier to find. Plus certification is the only way to chase the endless winter or get a job in another country like New Zealand, Australia, or Argentina.
- When you get the job, congratulations! Grab your skis and smiles and get ready to live the skiing dream. Your next six months will be amazing. Most ski seasons start in November and end in April.
If you daydream about skiing or snowboarding while you’re in class or sitting in the office, why not get a job at a ski resort somewhere in the world? Give it a try. Sliding on snow is one of the best feelings in the world and becoming a ski instructor is a decision you’ll never regret.