Ski Instructor Jobs & Work
Find information on becoming a ski or snowboard instructor and finding work.
For close to a decade Snow Season Central has been helping ski schools around the world find and recruit ski and snowboard instructors for seasonal employment. Whether you’re an experienced instructor looking for a new challenge, or someone hoping to get into the snowsports industry, the following page should provide an insight into instructor employment.
If you’re a snowsports school or resort looking to advertise, press post a job to feature any vacancies, or contact us for more advertising opportunities.
Where can you work as an instructor
Throughout the year international resorts will be recruiting at different times. Usually Northern Hemisphere schools (Japan, Canada, Europe and USA) will begin the hiring process between May and September. Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand, Australia and South America) will usually start in January. It is worth noting that this does vary, so it is advisable to check up on any resorts that you are particularly interested in, so you don’t miss out.
Generally speaking the larger resorts tend to have more instructor roles available each winter. However, if you are new to instructing you should look to spread your net far and wide. Apply for the small, medium and large resorts as positions can get filled quickly and competition for jobs can be fierce.
You may be limited to the countries you can work in due to visa restrictions and your country of citizenship. The majority of instructor positions are usually offered to residents or working holiday visa holders. Visa sponsorship is another option, however, this is usually reserved for instructors with 3 or more seasons worth of teaching experience.
To work as an instructor, it is essential that you have a recognised qualification from a legitimate governing body. Most instructor qualification pathways are governed by the International Ski Instructor Association (ISIA). In total, there are 37 ISIA member states, these include but are not limited to:
- UK, BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors)
- Canada, CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance)
- Canada, CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors)
- New Zealand, NZSIA (New Zealand Snowsport Instructors Alliance)
- Australia, APSI (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors)
- USA, PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America)
- USA, AASI (American Association of Snowboard Instructors)
There are varying levels of qualification, which are harder to obtain as the levels increase. Snowsport schools usually employ a wide range of instructors from each qualification level.
Level 1 instructors are entry level, they tend to take the beginner lessons on the nursery slopes. Level 2 instructors can take up to intermediate level lessons but can also expect their fair share of beginners too. Level 3 will be expected to take all types of lessons including advanced and privates. Level 4 instructors tend to be used solely for advanced or private lessons and more often than not are utilised in a training role within the school.
For unqualified personnel hoping to work as instructors, it is advised that you seek some professional training to fast-track into the industry. Recommended is an instructor internship programme, which consists of training, qualification and seasonal employment all in the same winter season.
On this page you will find job listings for both qualified instructors, and instructor courses which come with employment post qualification (instructor internships).
Pay and advantages
Instructing can be one of the best paid jobs in a winter resort. Senior instructors can earn up to $65 USD per hour in Europe, with entry level wages starting out at around $12 USD per hour in Canada. Be aware that work is dependent on snow conditions and varies depending on the time of season. During holiday periods you can expect to work a lot, but towards the end of the season and quieter times it will be less. There are ways to increase your basic wage with extra qualifications and positions of responsibility within the school. You will be paid more for requested lessons so upselling is a great skill to develop. Tipping is also commonplace in the majority of areas, providing your clients are happy with the service you have provided.
There are certainly perks to enjoy with instructor employment, these largely depend on the school you are working for. Typical are discounts on food, equipment and staff accommodation, as well as a season lift pass included in your employment package.