Why you should become a ski or snowboard instructor
Ski & Snowboard instructors - Who are they & what do they do?
Ski & snowboard instructors... they could be described as many things. Those tasked with helping other skiers and snowboarders improve their skills on the mountain or, the person on the mountain, who gets to hang-out with their clients on their holiday or even the person with the coolest office in the world.
Ski and snowboard instructing is about as far from the 9-5, office workday routine as you can get however as much as that sounds completely glamourous, there is a lot to instructing that is nitty gritty and tough. Instructors themselves though come to love every single facet of their jobs. So the question remains, how do you know whether ski instructor right for you? Well we can't tell you that or make the decision for you... but we can tell you a little bit more about ski instructing and let you decide for yourself:
1. Winters are addictive
I remember in my first season in Whistler, Canada talking to a colleague and he laughed at me when I said I was just here for 5 months and then would be heading back to university. He said to me “wait till the bug hits you”. He wasn’t kidding. My 5 months extended to 9 and by the time I made it back to university, the next winter season was fast approaching and I couldn’t resist heading away for another one. Long story short, don’t get ready for 1 season… Get ready for a few!
2. If you’re not teaching, you’re not getting paid
Unlike the lifties and those on the guest services desk, you only get paid when you are teaching a lesson, not when you’re waiting around the resort for a lesson. I guess this is because you can, in fact, use this time between lessons for your own free-skiing!
3. Some weeks you may end up working 6 days!
With the nature of the job, a lot of instructors work 6 days weeks over the school holidays and then take lots of days off later in the season so they can just free-ski every day of the week if they like.
4. You need to be ready for a few frustrating days
Teaching can be frustrating when you have a 5 year old child that cannot listen… or a 50 year old child that cannot listen (Trust me, there’s those too) however the rewards to seeing someone’s light up when they’ve suddenly got the hang of things is huge.
5. Training is amazing!!
Has there ever been a time when you’ve gone to school and thought…. Ugh! This is not fun. Training on the mountain is learning yes but trust me – IT'S FUN! You progress very quickly and can learn how to assess your own skiing and even improve yourself with a bit of practice.
6. The hours are great!
Normally lessons don’t start for an hour or two after the resorts opened and of course, resorts close around 4/5 pm so you will never be working too late. What does this mean for you? A morning session of skiing in last night’s powder dump of course and a beer after work with your snow mates!
7. Speaking of mates, your EA mates will become friends for life!
All of the EA team are there for their first winter season experience so you’re in it together. The friends you make there with be with you forever. You could even go on a road trip together after the season spending the money you’ve earnt through your winter.
8. You will work hard and play harder rain, sun, hail or snow
Be it -20 degrees, pouring rain or spring skiing in t-shirts you will be out there so be very prepared to dress for the occasion. Have a great set of goggles with a few lenses to change with varying conditions, buy Gortex gear if you can and have a set of thermals to add or take away when those temperatures are changing.
9. What they say is true - it is the best office in the world!
You do make everyone on your instagram jealous of your workday snaps.
The big question you've been asking yourself now is 'Should I become a ski instructor?'
We've come up with a very simple, fool-proof way for you to answer this question for yourself. Give it a whirl and let us know what decision you've come to!
EA Ski & Snowboard offer internships with guaranteed job offers in resorts all over the world. Our places fill up quickly every year as more and more people are joining the snowsports industry and learning that it can tick the gap year box or be a great career path for those that love chasing winters.
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