If you're thinking of becoming a ski or snowboard instructor - then here are 5 reasons why it's a great career to get going with:
1) It’s your ticket to ride
If JR-M and the douchebags from ERG get their own way, the UK will become a more depressing place to be. And so you will want to get out and see the world more than ever, broaden your horizons and all that. Having a ski instructor certificate is your ticket to ride*. It will ensure your eligibility to work in the 39 member states of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Alliance) once you've qualified.
So if your desire to teach in Israel is overwhelming - get yourself over to Tel Aviv and then on to Mount Hermon. Or, if you can’t decide between teaching skiing and eating sushi, surely Niseko or Nagano should be your next destination (and if so, see our guide on how to become a ski instructor in Japan!),
A ski instructor career can be a truly global one....
- * Ticket to ride – please note, ski instructor certificates do not normally replace plane or train tickets.
2) Build a career
There is a perception that training and working as a ski instructor is what young people do on a gap year and, whereas many Ski Schools rely on their more transient employees (particularly during holiday weeks), there must be four or five full-time, long-term ski instructors for every 'gappie' out there.
You can continue to progress, as most Ski Schools offer professional development (by senior instructors to rookie instructors) to build up the qualifications of their staff. The more qualifications you have, the more you can earn not only in terms of hourly rate but also in terms of increased hours.
Move around and find the right resort / school for you and then settle there into long-term accommodation. Our advice is to discard the idea that you are on holiday - you are working and so, after a day on the slopes, you need to think about dinner, laundry, gym, TV and not smashing it at Dick’s T-Bar until 3am! At least not every night.
Amittedly, you are unlikely to be able to save up to buy an Aston anytime soon but you also won’t be commuting for two hours to sit in an office from 8am until 8pm.
3) The most formidable form of the instructors
Instructors play an important role in our lives – from the teachers that help to form our direction from the age of 5 to the ladies and gents that teach us to drive to the HR instructors in large corps that stifle our creativity and claw back our bonuses. But, hands down, the coolest of all of the instructors is the ski instructor. Or maybe the snowboard instructor?!
But it is not all about the perceived status of the job – there are other factors that make being a ski instructor cool: your office is thousands of acres of pristine mountain terrain, you’re fit and healthy and you live in a holiday environment. And because of Social Media you can subtly show everyone too, without boring them to tears in the pub!
4) It’s a great skill to have
The pressure on (young) people these days to stand out from the crowd is pretty full-on. So, as well as having more than a handful of GCSEs / A-Levels, showing that your hobbies are more unique than going to the gym and hanging out with mates is near essential if you are to secure a position at a good University or get an interview at one of the top law firms, investment banks or accou........zzzzzzzzz! Sorry, dropped off there.
Anyway, even if you don't pursue instructing as a career, being a ski instructor is a massive stand-out point on one’s resumé. It’s not just a case of trying to convince the interviewer that you are a really good skier, you’ve got the badge to prove it! And no matter how irrelevant ski instructing is to your ability to gauge the risk of the firm’s equities exposure to Latin American Tech & Tels, they will be impressed - way more than if you've spent a few years working in a hotel / bar / store.
5) Develop your discipline
Training as a ski instructor is not just about making your turns tighter and neater and being able to communicate that to other skiers, it is also about training your brain to think about constantly trying to make those turns tighter and neater and to think about how you can become a better skier. And for most of our graduates this is not a short-term fixation, it is something that will stay with you for life.
In short, it's about discipline. And that's a very use-able and transferrable skill.
Now, being a kite-surf instructor or water-ski instructor may also be pretty cool, and could arguably help you do the same, but how many groups of friends or families take an annual kite-surf or water-ski holiday? Correct: None. But everyone loves a ski holiday and what’s better than if one of your friends or family members is an instructor and can walk everyone through the basics?
So, in summary - here's a recap why to become a ski or snowboard instructor:
- Travel and work globally
- Build a career from instructing - especially beyond Level 2
- Be the coolest of the world's teachers and instructors
- Develop a skill that can be helpful in other careers too
- Foster your discipline, doing something healthy and active
Decided to become a ski or snowboard instructor?
Good decision! You can see our next ski and snowboard courses below: