10 Step Guide To Becoming A Ski Instructor and Living The Winter Season Dream. This guide by EA Ski and Snowboard Training will help navigate your through the process to become a ski instructor!

How To Become a Ski Instructor? - 10 Step Guide.

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Last updated on
March 18, 2024

10 Step Guide On How To Become A Ski Instructor & Following Your Passion.

Skiing offers a lifestyle filled with exhilaration and camaraderie. The rush of shredding down slopes on fiberglass, the thrill of pushing personal boundaries, and the joy of forging connections with like-minded individuals. Feel good, have fun, meet interesting people in amazing places and evolve and progress in every way possible.

If you enjoy the mountain lifestyle, then having a career on the slopes as a ski instructor could be your dream job. It is your ticket to explore and travel the world, meet new shred pals, and you get to rip down the mountain everyday! 

Whether you are thinking about endless winter ski seasons, or ready to commit to this epic career, this guide will help navigate your through the process of becoming a ski instructor!

Whether you are thinking about endless winter ski seasons, or ready to commit to this epic career, this guide will help navigate your through the process of becoming a ski instructor!

10 Step Process To Become A Ski Instructor

Step 1: Is the ski instructor lifestyle right for me?

Many people think becoming a ski instructor is their dream job. To carve it into a career path and make it to the top takes commitment, hard-work and tenacity, but the extraordinary lifestyle attached is incredible. It consists of exploring the world, living in the mountains, high job satisfaction and amazing après.

If you are considering a career as a ski instructor, you need to have a passion for the sport, patience, desire to learn, with potential to develop into a top skier. It’s a hard industry to break into, but the easiest route is via an instructor training course. You don’t need to be an amazing skier, but it is recommended to have some experience on the mountain. 

When starting out as a ski instructor, you will be at the bottom and have to work your way up the pecking order. As a new instructor, you will be teaching a-lot on the magic carpet. While this may not be your end goal, it is extremely rewarding seeing the progression. As you do a few winter seasons, and progress through the instructor ranks, more opportunities arise. If you fully put your eggs in the basket, in the long term you may become a trainer for future instructors, manage a ski school, go down the adaptive instructing route, or become a guide. There’s many epic avenues this career can lead you! 

For An Insight Into The Ski Instructor Lifestyle, read Harry’s story HERE

Want to be like Harry? Harry followed his dream and took a gap year as a ski instructor in Canada - a decision he never regretted, and he plans to have many more winters traveling the world as a ski instructor.
Want to be like Harry? Harry followed his dream and took a gap year as a ski instructor in Canada - a decision he never regretted, and he plans to have many more winters traveling the world as a ski instructor

Step 2: Have a goal to guide your journey

It is important to have aspirations and goals for a career in the snow-sports industry. An end goal to work towards, to help you progress, improve and become a better instructor. Some decisions such as which instructor course to train with, may be influenced by where you want to work as an instructor. You need to choose a qualification that won’t limit your opportunities. A qualification from an internationally recognised instructor system, allows you to work throughout the world, in the most stash laden ski resorts in the world such as Canada, USA, Europe, New Zealand and Japan.

In the video below our training consultant Kang discusses the internationally recognized qualification we offer at EA Ski and Snowboard. We offer level 1 and level 2 qualifications, which is recognised by most of the ski schools throughout the globe. You can then chase snow, explore, and travel around working as an instructor!


Step 3: Pick a internationally recognised ski instructor qualification

In the world of snow-sports instruction, qualifications are the foundation and a prerequisite to launching a career in the mountains.

You need to get an international recognised qualification if you want to use snowboarding as your ticket to travel the globe. All of the qualification systems below are issued by a national governing body and are overseen by the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association). The ISIA is the world body for professional ski and snowboard instructors. All these systems are highly regarded and popular systems around the world. 

Step 4: Pick A Qualification Level

For ski instructors, there are 4 levels of certification. The lowest level is Level 1, and the highest level is the Level 4 certification. Knowing what level you would ultimately like to achieve can help you plan out your career accordingly.

There are minor differences between each qualification, but they are similar. For aspiring instructors, the most popular qualification systems are NZSIA, CSIA, and BASI. These are very well recognised across the world and offer an achievable pathway to get started in the industry. All have very high standards for the final level, but allow you to begin working while training for these higher levels.

The qualification systems consist of three or four levels of certification, are internationally recognised offering employment prospects across the globe. 

Level 1. A level 1 certification tends to allow you to instruct in the country of the issuing body. It is an entry level certification that allows you to teach beginners. Level 1 training will give you a great start into the world of skiing as well as provide a structured platform to improve your own skills.

Level 2: As instructors progress to Level 2 certification, their teaching scope broadens to encompass intermediate-level skiers. Level 2 instructors are adept at guiding students through more advanced techniques and terrain, offering enhanced instruction and support. Level 2 allows you to teach intermediate skiers on marked runs. A level 2 certification is recognised internationally and allows you to instruct in most countries around the globe. A level 2 qualification is the goal for the majority of people trying to make a career as an instructor. If you are looking to establish a long-term career in the ski & snowboard industry we recommend you aim to obtain an ‘Intermediate’ level instructional certificate. 

Level 3/4. The next certification stages are the ultimate. They are high level qualifications that allow you to teach advanced skiers in varied terrain. It is a long road to get there as you need to be a well rounded proficient skier. Employment prospects increase greatly with these qualifications under your belt. 

The qualification system you should pick depends on your goals. This depends on where you want to work, and then do that country's qualification. For example, CASI is generally better recognised in Canada if you want to do a ski season eating copious amounts of maple syrup, having a higher hot cocoa intake than water, and carving through deep snow amidst trees everyday.

Step 5: Pick A Ski Instructor Course

To kickstart your career as a ski instructor, it is required to choose a ski instructor course. The course will help give you the fundamental ingredients to start your journey as a ski instructor. You will be trained on different criteria to pass the exam, have practical teaching experience, make industry connections, and have valuable career advice. 

These are courses run by companies like EA Ski and Snowboard Training. We offer the following courses below:

Ski & Snowboard Instructor Training Course:

Take your riding to the next level and gain an instructor qualification. We offer instructor training courses from 4 - 11 weeks long. Choose from 4 - 11 week training courses in Canada, Switzerland or New Zealand. The Ski instructor course has been specifically designed to improve individual skiing ability and provide program participants with world-class instructor qualifications. This is the perfect way to get a head start in the industry without committing to work.

Ski & Snowboard Instructor Internship Program:

This allows you to get qualification, trained, and guaranteed job offer at a ski school all in one season. Although a ski training course gives you the qualifications you need to teach, a ski instructor internship will provide you with a guaranteed job offer so you can train and work in the same season. Step straight into a ski school and start earning money working as a ski instructor. This is our most popular course due to the guaranteed job offer. 

Izzy and Liv decided to turn their passion into a career and joined our ski instructor courses in Canada. They trained, learnt, got qualified then were able to teach and coach others on the slopes. Watch their short film about what it is like doing a ski internship with EA Ski and Snowboard Training HERE

Step 6: Complete The Course

Once you're up in the mountains, the real adventure begins. Your primary goal here is to solidify your qualifications, so it's crucial to stay focused during your training as you refine your technique and master the art of teaching others. But don't worry, it's not all work and no play; there will be plenty of opportunities for shredding, exploring the mountains, and enjoying some epic après-ski.

By the end of your course, you should emerge as a certified ski instructor with internationally recognized qualifications. It's important to seize any opportunity to gain hands-on experience by shadowing real lessons and getting involved in instructing whenever possible. This practical experience will not only bolster your skills but also make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

Step 7: Get A Job At As Ski School

After landing your qualification, it is time to apply for an instructor job. With EA Ski and Snowboard we guarantee a job offer. This is typically hard as most people become a qualified snowboard instructor and then struggle to find a job as most ski schools require practical experience. EA Ski and Snowboard eliminates this issue, as we have world class training and a reputable course that has relationships with ski schools to slot into a job and hit the ground running.

At EA Ski and Snowboard Training, our extensive network of ski school connections can be a valuable resource for you to tap into. Additionally, our trainers we offer will serve as excellent mentors.

Step 8: Get A Visa For The Country You Are Instructing In

You will have to rely on a working holiday visa to become a snowboard instructor overseas. As you work up the levels and become more experienced, you may be able to look to sponsorship. But to start off, you’ve only got the one option of a working holiday visa. Most countries provide visas for 18 – 35-year-olds and are easy to obtain in some cases. It can be a lottery for other countries, which can be somewhat nerve-racking and takes pre-planning.

You can’t just become a ski instructor and start making money there—you’ve got to get some sort of visa for that. There are limited numbers of VISAs available for many countries. For example, to work in Canada, you will need to secure a working holiday visa. If you are planning on working the ski season in Canada, we recommend applying as soon as possible. This is because Canada works on a pool-based system, whereby applicants are drawn according to specific country quotas. The whole visa process can get confusing, and our training consultants help guide you through the entire process, as well as secure you a guaranteed ski resort job with staff accommodation before you arrive in Canada.

To Learn More About Our Training Consultants HERE

The EA Ski and Snowboard Training training consultants standing at The Remarkables in Queenstown Otago New Zealand.

Step 9: Soak Up The Epic Lifestyle Of Being A Ski Instructor

Life as a ski instructor is extraordinary. Get paid to teach your passion, work with like-minded people, and live an adventurous and exciting lifestyle! For a snippet into what the lifestyle is like as a ski instructor, watch Daisy’s instructor story video here. Daisy did a ski instructor course in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Step 10: Career Development In The Snow Sports Industry

Continuing professional development is indeed crucial for those aspiring to build a long-term career as a ski instructor. Progressing through certification levels and gaining experience over multiple seasons are key steps in this journey.

Typically, individuals spend 2-3 seasons at the level 2 instructor stage before having a crack at their level 3 certification. To ensure success in this career path, aspiring instructors should focus on gaining experience, pursuing higher levels of certification, and continuously honing their skills through professional development opportunities. By doing so, they can establish themselves as knowledgeable and skilled professionals in the field of instruction.

Why EA Ski and Snowboard Training?

EA Ski and Snowboard Training is the world's largest and most reputable ski and snowboard instructor communities. Besides being one of the worlds largest ski instructor communities, the unique opportunity to offer a job placement. This means that, as long as you pass the exam, we can guarantee a job offer at a ski school.

‍“So become a ski or snowboard instructor with us!  Get training + qualifications + job offer – all in one season with EA”

We awaken the spirit of freedom and adventure by connecting skiers and boarders around the world with epic jobs at some of the most snow-laden ski schools in the world. EA is a community of like-minded souls that have a passion for the mountain lifestyle. The perfect slope. Ultimate Freedom. If you want a season in the snow, check out this video which shows the benefits of doing a ski or snowboard instructor internship program or training course with EA Ski and Snowboard Training

The video shows the benefits of doing a ski or snowboard instructor internship program or training course with EA Ski and Snowboard Training.

How To Make It All Happen?

The Next Step Is To Either Download Our BROCHURE Or See If You Qualify HERE

Join us and do it for a living. Fill out your details and we’ll send you a full info pack to get you frothing to become a ski instructor.

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