Oh Canada, eh…
What a country; the Rocky Mountains, bottomless powder skiing, frozen glacier lakes, LONG winter seasons, plenty of poutine. These are just a few awesome reasons to head to Canada for the winter and there are many more.
Our first instructor courses started here for a reason. Canada is where people dream of skiing and, with the reliable winters and champagne-like powder-snow compared to Europe, why wouldn’t you want to grace this glorious country. So I hear you ask, can this be made possible?
It can! But to make it easier, let’s break it down into steps.
Here is our guide on how to become a ski instructor in Canada, in 5 steps….
- 1. Get a ski instructor qualification that’s recognised in Canada
- 2. Apply for and be successful in gaining a Canadian working holiday visa
- 3. Send off as many applications as you can, to lots of Canadian resorts
- 4. Get through a phone interview
- 5. Accept your offer and job secured.
1. Get a ski instructor qualification that’s recognised in Canada
First things first, you’ll need to gain an internationally recognised qualification that will allow you to work in Canada. This isn’t so complicated: most respectable Level 2 qualifications will allow you to work internationally – including in Canada. This means you don’t need to have a specific Canadian qualification to find work.
If you choose to train with SnowSkool then you’ll have 3 different options, all of them enough: CSIA, BASI and NZSIA. You can gain your Canadian qualification (CSIA Level 2) in Big White or Banff in Canada. But you could also get your BASI Level 2 in The Three Valleys France, or NZSIA Level 2 with us in Cardrona New Zealand, and those qualifications would be recognised in Canada too.
2. Apply for and be successful in gaining a Canadian working holiday visa
After qualification, getting a working holiday visa is next. Most resorts will not consider your application unless you have a working holiday visa, which is needed so employers can offer you a job if your interview is successful. The application process differs by country and for many of our readers in the UK it can be a frustrating process. To find out if you are eligible, and how to apply, see the Canadian government’s immigration page:
Note: There are age limits for working holiday visas: 30 or 35 depending on which country you’re from. If you’re older, then unfortunately you are not eligible for a working holiday visa but, don’t panic, that doesn’t rule out working in Canada it’s just that you’ll need sponsorship. This also applies to those under the limits who did not manage to get a working visa, sponsorship is still an option.
You normally need higher qualifications and years of experience to get sponsorship, so if you have a Level 2 certification, dual certification, multiple seasons' experience or a higher Level qualification (L3 or L4) then you should be able to find a resort to sponsor you so that you can work in Canada.
Each resort generally has the ability to sponsor a few people each season but different resorts will have different specifications.
Here's a little more from us on how to get a Canadian Working Holiday Visa.
3. Send off as many applications as you can, to lots of Canadian resorts
It’s time to apply for jobs if you’ve got your visa sorted. And rather than being too precious about where you want to work, you should apply to as many places as possible so you can get interviews. You can always move to your preferred area when you have more experience.
As a side note, if Canada really is your dream then it may also pay to apply for jobs in other countries while also applying for jobs in Canada. While it may sound a little defeatist, with more experience you could stand a better chance next time.
4. Get through a phone interview
So, all being good, you will then be onto the next important step: an interview! Some resorts do offer interview days. If you happen to be in the country then go to them, showing interest in person is always a positive start. But, for most, as long as you have proof of a confirmed work visa (or have had a discussion over potential sponsorship) then a job can usually be offered following a successful phone interview alone.
5. Accept your offer and job secured.
Impressed during the interview? In which case it’ll be time for an offer. Accept it and CONGRATULATIONS. You are now ready to work in Canada as a ski instructor.
So if working as a ski instructor in Canada is at the top of your list, a SnowSkool Instructor course will get you started.
Here are our ski instructor courses for that begin in January 2019:
And if you’d like to know more about why you should do an instructor course in Canada, how you go about gaining work post course or what life is actually like in Canada as an instructor, look no further.