Finding work as a ski Instructor

The main requirement for becoming a qualified ski instructor is certification and membership of the Professional Ski Association, called PSIA in the USA, BSIA in the UK, and CSIA in Canada.

It involves the attendance of a ski school course and completion of the exams. There are three level of certification; Level 3 being the highest. Annual membership renewal of the Professional Ski Association of the country you work in is required. A word of warning though - less than 70% of candidates pass the second level exams the first time around. The Level 3 ski instructor normally has several years instructing experience.

Ski instructor grading is based on the following skill areas:

  • Ski ability
  • Technical know-how
  • Instructor skills

Even though certification is required by most ski resorts, some people start as snowboard instructors or by working with young skiers on the bunny slopes while they prepare for the ski instructor course.

One ski instructor shared his method of getting into the field:

'I first applied for a kitchen job at a ski resort and practiced my ski abilities during my off time. After two weeks, I approached a ski instructor and asked if I could provide some assistance with the children. He gave me a chance and I worked on the bunny slopes for that season. I then applied at a ski school for training on level I and after passing the first exams, I applied for a job at the same ski resort. The parents were kind enough to tip me on several occasions. After another season, I was ready for the hills and started to teach the adults.'