Ski jobs in Japan might seem hard to come by but with the right training and resort contacts, this dream could be your reality.

How to become a ski instructor in Japan

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Last updated on
October 16, 2019

Whether you are on the hunt for a winter gap year abroad, looking for a career change, or fulfilling a life long dream becoming an instructor in Japan is a great place to start! We'll take you through the 4 steps on how to become a ski instructor in Japan.

  1. Gain an internationally recognised ski instructor qualification.
  2. Get experience working as a ski instructor.
  3. Get a Japanese working holiday visa.
  4. Choose where you want to go and apply for your ski season job in Japan

Apart from competitive wages and consistent work, some of the best instructor trainers call Japan their home away from home. There are tonnes of networking and training opportunities to improve your skills and gain future work. A ski season in Japan is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a career in the industry.

Japan also has one of the most consistent snowfall records in the world. Famed for its dry, light and almost never-ending powder, it’s no wonder it’s a hub for the snow sports community.

Niseko ski and snowboard instructors EA ski and snowboard

BUT, it’s not only about the snow on a Japan ski season. Japan is on so many travelers bucket list destinations and here are 3 reasons why.

1. Legendary culture.

2. Mind-boggling food.

3. Japanese hospitality.

These qualities are in abundance throughout its ski resorts and towns. A ski season in Japan gives you the opportunity to explore, experience and fall in love with this amazing country.

We partner with ski resorts throughout Japan such as; Evergreen, Go Snow, Niseko ISG, Hakuba, Shiga Kogen and more to offer a range of instructor courses so you can hit the ground running.

We’ve broken down the process of how to become a ski instructor 'one of the coolest job titles on the planet' into 4 steps to get you from zero to hero.

(To find out what it’s like doing a season in Japan, see here.)

Step 1: Gain an internationally recognised ski instructor qualification

To work as a ski instructor in Japan you will need at least a level 1 ski instructor qualification from an ISIA certified ski association. Without being on an instructor internship you will most likely need a level 2 to have a chance of gaining employment.

It’s super important to make sure your instructor qualification is recognised by the International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA) so that you can travel and work all around the world.

EA Ski & Snowboard courses will get you certified with at least a level 1 ski or snowboard instructor qualification. EA Ski & Snowboard run courses with world’s leading ski and snowboard associations such as BASI, CSIA, CASI, PSIA and NZSIA - all recognised instructor bodies by the ISIA. The majority of our interns finish their season with level 1, and level 2 in their back pocket and a full season under their belt. The perfect set up for a career as a ski instructor.

You can work towards your level 2 exam with us on our internship plus courses in Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Step 2: Get experience working as a ski instructor

Becoming a ski instructor is the dream career of many snow enthusiasts. It’s no secret that breaking into the ski industry and becoming a ski instructor is a tough task. Hopeful instructors will often get stuck at the first hurdle...

You need previous experience as well as qualifications to get the job. But how do you get experience without a job?

The fastest way to set yourself up in the industry is to join an instructor training internship. Internships offer world-class training, internationally recognised qualifications, and a paid job offer. Fast track your career as an instructor.  Finish your season in Japan with qualifications AND experience.

It’s important to remember that while a ski instructor course provider like EA Ski & Snowboard provides a platform to success. You still have to work for it.

Step 3: Gain a Japanese working holiday visa

Next up it’s time to join the working holiday club and get your Japanese visa! It can seem like a daunting prospect applying for the visa but it’s surprisingly easy! Unfortunately, you cannot apply for the visa online. You’ll have to visit the Japanese embassy in your country of citizenship.

You are eligible for a visa if:

  • You are a citizen from one of over 20 countries with visa deals (see the full list here).
  • You are between 18 - 30.
  • You have a valid passport.
  • You have not held a Japanese working holiday visa in the past.

For a full breakdown of the process here's everything you need to know about applying for a working holiday visa for Japan.

Step 4: Choose where you want to go and apply for your ski season job in Japan

Here’s where the fun starts, choosing where you want to go! It all depends on what you want from your season.

Is it to make the most money? Improve your skiing or snowboarding? Learn a new language? Or party your nights away?

With over 500 ski resorts to choose from, (that's more than the USA!) no matter what you're looking for, you'll find it here. Good vibes and good times guaranteed.

If you’re the sort of person who gets lost ordering food in a restaurant, don’t worry. We’ve created this little quiz to help you make your mind up!

Here’s 3 of our favourite picks and why

Cultural immersion: Canyons

Party scene (Classic ski town vibe with a Japanese twist): Niseko

Making that money: Club Med

Become a ski instructor with EA Ski & Snowboard

Ski jobs in Japan might seem hard to come by but with the right training and resort contacts, this dream could be your reality.

Complete step 1 by joining an instructor course and fast track your career as a ski instructor. We have ski and snowboard courses running worldwide.  

If you are interested in spending a gap year skiing in Japan, or want to fast track your career as a ski instructor see if you qualify for an instructor course today.

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