Canada, what a country.
Amazing scenery, welcoming people, the Rockies, endless pistes of powder and long winter seasons. No wonder so many trainee snowboard instructors dream of working out in Canada’s top resorts, like Banff and Bight White.
To help make the dream reality, here’s our guide on how to become snowboard instructor in Canada in 5 steps….
- 1. Get a Level 2 snowboard instructor qualification
- 2. Obtain a Canadian working holiday visa to legally work as an instructor
- 3. Send applications to as many Canadian resorts and ski schools as possible
- 4. Successful phone interview
- 5. Receive an offer, accept it and job secured!
1. Complete a snowboard Instructor course for a Level 2 qualification
The first step is to gain a snowboard instructor qualification that will be recognised by ski schools in Canada. You’ll need at least a Level 2 qualification; a Level 1 qualification won’t be enough. You can do this through SnowSkool, we offer multiple snowboard instructor courses.
There are three options with SnowSkool that will get you the Level 2 qualification you’ll need: CASI, BASI and NZSIA.
You can gain your Canadian qualification (CASI Level 2) in Canada at either Banff or Big White. But you could also get your NZSIA Level 2 in Cardrona, New Zealand or your BASI Level 2 in Meribel, France. All of these qualifications are recognised in Canada and will allow you to work.
2. Obtain a visa to legally work in Canada
Once qualified you’ll need to obtain a working holiday visa to legally work as a snowboard instructor.
Understandably, most ski schools will not even consider your application unless you have a visa sorted. The application process differs depending on your country - and if you’re from the UK, like many of our trainees are, then it can be a frustrating process.
Here's a bit more detail from us on how to get a Canadian Working Holiday Visa .
To find out what your country’s requirements are and how to apply, see the Canadian government’s immigration page
Note: There are age limits for working holiday visas - normally 30 or 35 depending on your nationality. If you’re over the age limit, then you won’t be able to get a working holiday visa. This doesn’t rule Canada out, it’s just that you’ll need sponsorship. Those eligible for a working holiday visa that did not manage to get one would also need sponsorship.
To get sponsored, you’ll need higher qualifications (L3 or L4) and years of experience. If this is you, then it could be realistic to find a resort to sponsor you so that you can legally work in Canada. Each resort can generally sponsor a few people each season
3. Send off as many job applications as possible
Application time. And you should apply to as many places as possible, rather than being too picky. Snowboard instructor roles in Canada are competitive and the more interviews you get then the more chance of landing a job. When you have more experience, you can always move to your ideal resort.
Bear in mind that if you fail first time round, and Canada really is your dream, then you can still take the long route and work outside of Canada to begin with. If you come back later with more experience then you’ll stand a better chance next time.
4. Successful phone interview
With the qualification, visa and successful application(s) in the bag then it’s time for an interview!
What does the interview process involve? You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s often enough to be offered a job following a successful phone interview alone.
Sometimes the process involves an interview day. This is tricky if you’re not in Canada but if you happen to be in the country then go - turning up in person is a great way to get beyond the other applicants who might not show.
But in most cases, as long as you have your visa confirmed (or are eligible for sponsorship) then a job offer can follow the phone interview alone.
5. Receive an offer and accept it!
Aced the interview? Then it’d be time for a job offer. This is the easiest step: accept it and CONGRATULATIONS. You can now officially work in Canada as a snowboard instructor.
Work through those five steps and you’ll get there – and a SnowSkool Level 2 snowboard instructor course will get you started.
Here are our snowboard instructor courses that begin in January 2019:
>13-Week Snowboard Instructor Course in Banff - flights, accommodation and meals included
>11-Week Snowboard Instructor Course in Big White - flights, accommodation and meals included
And here’s some more information about becoming a snowboard instructor.