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How to become a Ski Instructor

Ski Instructor
avg. starting salary

Thinking about becoming a Ski Instructor? It’s a slippery slope… Ski Instructors teach people how to ski, helping everyone from absolute beginners to more experienced skiers improve their skills and make the most of their time on the slopes. They work everywhere from artificial ski slopes to big snow-filled ski resorts, and could deal with teaching large groups or provide dedicated one-on-one lessons. And, although most ski instructor positions are seasonal, there are year-round jobs available for the top professionals. Typical duties for a Ski Instructor may include:
  • Greeting new students
  • Helping people get into their skiing gear, and safety check their equipment
  • Teaching how to safely enter and exit ski lifts
  • Teaching core skiing techniques, new skills, and tricks
  • Planning lessons, answering questions, and supporting all learners
  • Rescuing and calming distressed skiers
  • Administering first-aid, and performing life-saving measures in emergency situations

Aside from excellent skiing ability, it will take genuine passion and enthusiasm in order to become a ski instructor, as well as a real desire to work with people. You’ll often be teaching people with little to no previous skiing experience, and the ability to build their confidence and encourage them to push themselves will be similarly essential. Patience is also an absolute necessity for any ski instructor. For some of your pupils, even a slight incline will be a terrifying challenge. Unfortunately, going off-piste won’t always be an option… Other key skills for a Ski Instructor include:
  • Quick reactions
  • Good communication skills
  • Empathy
  • A flair for languages (if working abroad)
  • Excellent judgement skills
  • An in-depth knowledge of first-aid
  • Physical fitness and stamina

"I went on my first French skiing holiday when I was about 4 years old, and I’ve been hooked ever since. When I was 18 I did my BASI Alpine Level 1 qualification in Scotland, and I went on to do my first season in Bulgaria. I’ve now taught in six different countries (you have to travel around to keep in business really), and helped hundreds of people start building a love for my favourite sport. It can be tough, especially when you’ve got really young kids or adults who are unwilling to push themselves, and you just want to be out on the powder yourself. But I find a good sense of humour helps – and I get to ski all day. My office is basically a mountain. It’s pretty crazy."

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