How to Become a Ski Instructor


Skiing is a hobby and pastime enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. While some people are happy taking a few ski trips a year, others want to be out on the slopes each and every day. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible as most of us need to work for a living and simply don’t have the time or money to ski every day.

What if you could get out on the hills every day, and actually be paid for it? It might seem too good to be true, but that’s not the case. Being a ski instructor is a popular job around the world and almost anyone can do it. But before you go quit your job to become a ski instructor, you need to know how to become one and the skills it requires.

With that in mind, this guide is going to take you through the steps and provide you with some helpful tips on how to become a ski instructor.

1. Outline Your Goals

Before you ever become an instructor, you need to come up with a plan and have some goals. This is something people should do before embarking on any career change, including being a ski instructor. Goal-setting helps keep you on track and motivated throughout your potentially long journey.

You need to think about things like where you want to work, what type of skiing you want to teach, and what types of people you want to teach. Considering all of these things will help you come up with a plan of how you want to achieve your goals. Without goals, the process of becoming an instructor could be longer and more stressful.

2. Have a Lot of Patience

If you want to be a successful ski instructor, you need to have a lot of patience. People aren’t always going to grasp what you are teaching them immediately, and if that frustrates you, being a ski instructor likely isn’t right for you. Also, people will learn at different paces and in different ways, so you need to be prepared for that.

Not only that, but the process of becoming a successful ski instructor can be a lengthy one. You need to have the patience to spend months or potentially years honing your craft and building up your skills and qualifications. Even once you’re qualified and certified, there are no guarantees that you’ll find a position.

3. Be a Skilled Skier

Of course, in order to be a ski instructor, you need to be a talented skier. No one is going to want to be instructed by an individual who can hardly ski themselves. You should have a lot of experience and be comfortable on a range of different hills in various weather conditions, as well.

However, don’t think you need to have Olympic quality talent. It is more about your passion for the sport, your patience and your ability to help others learn the basics. These are all qualities of a good instructor.

Despite the fact that you may already be a talented skier, you will likely want to take some private lessons yourself. These can help you brush up on your fundamentals, and better prepare you to be able to teach others. Learning how other instructors work and present themselves can also be of value.

4. Register with the Governing Body in Your Country

In most areas, in order to work as a ski instructor and find success, you will need to register with a governing body. There are various different ones across the world, but in the USA the two major associations are the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) and the AASI (American Association of Snowboard Instructors).

They are responsible for issuing qualifications and helping teach people to improve their skills. Now, simply by registering doesn’t mean you’re an instructor yet. You simply now have better access to information and resources to help you improve your knowledge and skills. You should attend seminars, learn about what being a ski instructor entails in your area and eventually, begin your training to become certified.

5. Train and Work Towards Getting Certified

The ultimate goal is to eventually be certified and be able to work as an instructor. When it comes to being certified, there are many different levels. Most systems have three or four levels of certification. In the USA, you can get Level I, II, or III certifications from the PSIA-AASI.

The PSIA-AASI clearly outline their process for getting certified, to keep it as easy as possible. Before trying to become certified, be sure to put some time into training and studying, as that could be the difference between passing or failing your exam.

6. Find the Right Location and Apply

There are several places across the USA (and the world, for that matter), that you can work as a ski instructor. You need to find a location that fits your lifestyle and situation, or the one that makes you the happiest. Of course, if you are looking outside the USA, be sure to look at what sort of requirements there are for ski instructors. Once you have decided on a location, go ahead and apply to that resort.

Also, there are different levels of certifications and a variety of courses that can be taken by instructors. There are also new methods and ideologies coming out, so be sure to continuously educate yourself on all things skiing, even once you have your dream job. Keeping up with the trends is part of being successful.

Final Words

I hope that this guide has been able to help you learn the steps and some tips to becoming a ski instructor. It can be a very fulfilling job and can let you do something you love all day, while also helping others at the same time. While the process can be long, many ski instructors will tell you it’s well worth the time and effort.

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