Why you might want to become a ski instructor
You know that feeling. You come back from a ski holiday with a massive yearning for more. You want to jump back on the plane and enjoy more time on the pistes. But something gets in your way: Work, university or family life.
But you could change your life and become a ski instructor. To teach skiing, whether at home or abroad, does take dedication, skill and time but imagine the life of moving between ski resorts each season, teaching to earn enough money for rent and food and then getting to spend every other hour doing your own ski thing.
How to become a ski instructor
There are a wealth of qualification courses that take place in the UK and abroad. You can choose to join a course that is for a few hours each week and spread across many months, or else go for a full-scale intensive course in an overseas resort. It all depends on how much money and time you have to spare.
There are also a great number of schools offering ski school instruction. It’s important to ensure that these qualifications will allow you to teach in ski resorts and are recognised by different ski schools worldwide. Google is a great place ot find ski school instruction but do make sure it's a bone fide course.
The qualifications required for becoming a ski instructor
Get a BASI qualification:
The British, French, Italian and Austrian governing bodies for skiing and snowboarding have an agreement that sees BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) qualifications are recognised in Europe.
Pass the "Test Technique"
: However, in order to instruct in France, BASI-qualified instructors have to complete a slalom race called the 'test technique' within a certain time. You can then work as a stagieres
or trainee, within certain approved training establishments. To get full qualification, at some point you will need to take the European Speed Test.
Get a North American (CSIA/PSIA) or New Zealand (NZSIA) qualification:
If you plan to teach only in these countries then go for these qualifications. If not, follow the above.
Your first step to becoming a ski instructor
Choose the ski sport that you want to teach, including Alpine skiing, Telemark skiing, Nordic skiing or Snowboarding. Then become an associate member of BASI and attend a level one course. Many courses take place at local snow domes or dry ski slopes, or else you can go abroad.
The basic qualifications for ski instructors
Essentially there are two levels to achieve at the outset. If you want to teach in the UK at indoor snow parks or on dry ski slopes you’ll require level one.
But becoming a ski instructor isn’t meant to be easy! Of course, you need to be better than your class at skiing but you will also be required to learn on-piste first aid, child safety and put in many hours of ski schooling.
To achieve your Level 1 Ski Instructor certificate you’ll need to do a Safeguarding Children Module, a First Aid Course and 35 hours of Snowsport School experience. To receive your licence to teach you’ll also need a Criminal record Disclosure in place.
What does the Level One ski instructor course cover?
You’ll be assessed on skiing safety, planning and conducting a ski lesson, accident and emergency procedure and how to improve personal ski performance. You’ll also need to know a host of info about rules, regulations and structures of ski teaching.
Take your qualification to Level 2 ski instructor
Before even reaching this level wannabe instructors must complete another 35 hours of Snowsport School experience. Level 2 will allow you to teach overseas although to teach in France there is also the “Test Technique” to pass. Level 2 raises the bar on Level 1 and requires many more hours of learning and being assessed. Many people choose to follow this course as part of a long holiday.
Why ski instruction could be for you
Whether you’re looking for a gap year between school and university, a year out from your career or a lifestyle change in your 50s, becoming a ski instructor could be your ticket to fun and money. As a ski instructor you could spend entire seasons in resorts around the world, teaching and also making the most of your time close to the slopes.
- Tell us if you became a ski instructor and why.