Switzerland is one of the top European choices for qualified ski and snowboard instructors due to relatively high earnings and top quality of life. The country was also recently voted the best country in the world to live and work as an ex-pat by HSBC!
Keen to live and work there? That’s understandable. Let’s go through 5 easy steps to secure a job in one of Switzerland’s many mountains….
- 1. Get an internationally recognised Level 2 instructor qualification
- 2. Apply to the Swiss resorts you want to work at
- 3. Get a Swiss work permit
- 4. Nail the interview
- 5. Get to Switzerland and start living the dream!
1. Take a Level 2 ski instructor course and gain an internationally recognized qualification
This first step isn’t surprising, you’ll need to qualify as a ski instructor! And the best way to gain your ski or snowboard qualification is to book onto a Level 2 ski instructor course or internship course.
Becoming a qualified Level 2 instructor in either France (BASI), Canada (CSIA) or New Zealand (NZSIA) means you can use the qualification to work internationally. It’s a great way to live and work abroad. Once you have this qualification you can hop over the Swiss border and start teaching.
Here are a couple of links to make this first step easy for you with SnowSkool. You’ll qualify outside of Switzerland on the Level 2 ski instructor courses. However, as well as the standard courses, we also run a slightly longer internship course in Switzerland that comes with a guaranteed job!
2. Apply to the Swiss resorts you want to work at
With around 335 Swiss ski resorts you are spoilt for choice when applying for jobs in Switzerland. We recommend applying to as many resorts as possible, so you’ll have the best chance of landing a job. Once you’ve gained some experience as an instructor you can start to be a little pickier about where you work. It’s easier to find work in the more prestigious resorts once you have more seasons’ experience under your belt.
If you train with SnowSkool, we provide the SnowSkool recruitment service as part of the course! We will help you find the right job using our extensive database of industry contacts. Yes, being in the industry since 2004 we’ve made some pretty good friends along the way and ski schools often come to us for our help to fill roles. That’s where you guys come in and of course we will put a good word in for you!
3. Get a Swiss work permit
First, here are a few key points on working in Switzerland.
- Switzerland is part of the Schengen area but It is NOT a member of EU!
- You’ll normally need a work permit if you plan to work in Switzerland for longer than 90 days.
As a Level 2 ski instructor you are normally classed as a ‘skilled worker’ which means you should find it pretty easy to gain the permit to work as an instructor. Check out this link for some detailed info on how to apply for a Swiss work permit.
4. Nail the interview
The ski instructor interview process for Switzerland, and for jobs in many other destinations, is often as simple as a phone interview.
While this may sound easy enough compared to other interview processes you’ve heard about, or have been through, the next few minutes will be the deciding factor on whether you are going to land your dream job, or not. No pressure!
Here are our top tips on preparing for an all-important phone interview
- Create a checklist of your strengths, weaknesses, your questions, your experience and why you want this job, a little research into the resort and even ski school will also help.
- Clear the room of any distractions
- Have a pen and paper ready to take notes
- Turn call-waiting off
- If possible, use a landline instead of a cell phone
- Keep your CV/ resume in clear view
- Be confident and be yourself!
5. Get to Switzerland and start living the dream!
This one’s simple. Get yourself organized and go!
Actually, it’s not quite as simple as that. Sorting out your accommodation should be one of your first priorities! Usually the ski school will have cheap staff accommodation. If this is not the case, or the staff accommodation is already full, contact the ski school and see what and where they recommend. Normally your employers will help you here.
If you’re flying, book your flights sooner than later, as it will be cheaper. Just make sure you know which airport is the closest (there are a few options in Switzerland) and don’t forget to add your ski bag!
Then once you get to resort, get in your room, pick up your ski pass and get on the snow! Blow off some steam, you deserve it!
Have an awesome season!
Take a Ski instructor course
SnowSkool runs ski/snowboard instructor courses in Canada, France and New Zealand. For more information about ski or snowboard instructor courses have a look at these Snowskool blog articles to give you a further feel for the job: Where are they now? Ex-Snowskoolers and Which is the best instructor course for me?
Here are some links again to help you get started on the steps to your dream job in Switzerland.
Ski Instructor Salaries – including figures for Switzerland.