For those who love to ski, becoming a ski instructor may be the next step to living a dream. The qualifications vary from resort to resort; however, there are a few essential steps that should be taken that will help make it possible to actually become a ski instructor.
First, it is essential to excel in skiing before you can become a ski instructor. It should come naturally to you and you should consider yourself to be an above average skier. Some ski resorts may ask applicants to take a “ski test” so they can prove their level of expertise. Techniques like skiing backward can be useful when instructing a class, as well. Other skills, such as skiing moguls, are valuable for teaching more experienced students.
Second, to become a ski instructor, it may help to receive national certification. In America, the certification program is through the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Each country has its own certification program. Although it is rarely a requirement to become a professional ski instructor, it can increase the likelihood that you will receive a job and put you above other applicants. It will also allow you to be paid a higher salary – usually several dollars more an hour.
For skiing there are three disciplines: Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and Adaptive skiing. Become certified in one or all three disciplines. There are also several levels of certification – depending on how skilled you are. Find out what level fits best with your expertise, study the materials for that level, and take the test. It can be written and/or physical.
Third, it is important to find a job to make it possible to become a ski instructor. There are several places where a job search can begin. The Internet has a wealth of possibilities. Check specific resort websites for job postings. Most top ski resorts have a ski school on-site. They can be a great place for search for a job too. Although skiing is a seasonal sport, you can travel from country to country teaching skiing and thereby have a job all year round. For example, when the ski resorts are closing in the United States, they are getting ready to open for the season in Chile.
Lastly, be prepared to follow the requirements for each resort. For example, Vail Mountain in Colorado requires its applicants to hold a current Level 1 certification. They also require a background check and several letters of recommendation before you can become a ski instructor. Another resort option, Heavenly along the California/Nevada border, prefers (but does not require) certification. Heavenly also prefers a certification in first aid and a high school diploma - but does not require such things. The bottom line is that by doing your research, you can make your dream a reality and find the right place to work as a professional ski instructor.