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Question How to become a ski instructor?

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by teleroo, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Telejoey number 1, soon to turn 13, has decided she'd like to be a ski instructor when she finishes school. She's got two seasons skiing under her belt at Selwyn and also happily tootled around the blue runs on Mt Ruapehu in NZ. Last year she got 25+ days on snow including learning to telemark. She's also good with kids.

    Just so I can provide a bit of advice, what are some of the typical entry paths into this? Are there minimum age requirements for any of the local (ie in Aus) instructor courses?

    To early to tell whether she envisages it as a forever job or one to do for a few fun years before getting a "real" job. Likes the idea of Canada too.
     
  2. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perisher runs a hiring clinic at the beginning of winter. Over a couple of days they decide who they want, and then put those people through level 1 APSI. If you pass, you get a job. Pretty sure they have a minimum age..17 or 18?
     
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  3. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    While there were some really good skiers in my L1 course, there were also some ordinary ones. They are looking for ability to teach, and to be taught. Then you get to teach snowploughs.
     
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  4. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Start saving.

    it’s much harder than it used to be to get an overseas gig. Visas and all that tightening up killed it.
     
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  5. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well worth doing even if not planning on working. One son did his, he said even though he never worked in the industry it was the best thing he has ever done.

    I’m part way through training for SB right now and my riding is light years better than it was even 2 weeks ago.

    Few options: work and train; or course and train. Depends how much disposable income you have and whether you really want to get a foot hold in the industry.
     
  6. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  7. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, was kind of expecting the beginner instructors get the complete beginner classes. As I mentioned, she's empathetic and good with kids, which would put her in good stead.
     
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  8. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    How much do you want to spend and how far will she travel.

    Locally it's a matter of hiring clinics but getting enough work to sustain the winter can sometimes be difficult.

    If that does not work out then paying for an L1 course with a job at the end of it is available in many countries. Japan and Canada have working holiday visa arrangements.

    Paying for a course is pretty much the standard entry process these days.

    Lots of fun for the young and ski skills will improve as ski schools usually offer training throughout the season.
     
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  9. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    She's desperate to go to Canada. I'm guessing doing an instructor course in Canada would be the way to go, purely because I'd assume there are lots of options.

    As to how much does she/we want to spend, depends I guess on her level of commitment and also having to be even handed and balance out support to Telejoey number 2. I'd guess the course itself isn't too expensive, but sustaining a globe trotting ski life when instructor income may
    initially be fairly modest or unreliable could be the challenge. So I guess she'd better plan on getting a job during high school. Best to do it all when young I guess.
     
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  10. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tele instructor, not a career but a vocation!
     
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  11. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Under the Australian system (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors) she can do the L1 instructor course at 15. However she won't be able to work in Australia or get a working holiday visa overseas until she is 18.

    Most of the resorts conduct a hiring clinic as part of their interview for new instructors. Perisher does not and offers hired instructors a job if they can pass the Level 1. Lately resorts have ended up short on instructors (people accept jobs and then do something else) and often offer jobs to people at the start of the year public instructor courses. Pretty summary here. The APSI is part of the International Ski Instructors Association and its qualifications are recognised internationally.

    The L1 is focused on teaching children to snowplow and that's where she'd most likley be working, in with the little kiddies. When starting out its a good thing to be with the kids, the work is more reliable than for people who start out teaching adults. The first couple of winters will be tough money wise though.

    If she can link parallel turns on a blue slope she'll be fine for passing the skiing component of the Level 1.

    Overseas work is easy for your first few years as an adult. Working holdiay visas are a breeze to Japan or Canada and the US isn't too difficult if your studying at University. If you take all of your working holiday opportunities and work seasons in Australia it isn't hard to get sponsored Visas to Japan or Canada.

    I love teaching skiing but its very different to skiing as a holiday activity. When your teaching someone to ski your skiing for them, not yourself. Its something some people love and certainly isn't for others.
     
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  12. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    We paid for #1 son to do a course in Austria but he pretty much paid his way for the next five winters here and there. He was a pretty sharp skier prior to the course by went on to learn German and complete the Landesskilehrer 2 qualification by age 23.

    Canada would be a good option
     
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  13. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't know about the other resorts but at Falls there are students who just instruct in school holidays, and maybe some weekends - ie the highest peaks of peak season. The kids I know who've done it were ex race club, but I'm guessing that is not necessary if a kid does well in L1 and aptitude.

    that could be a way to get a foot in the door
     
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  14. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    A friend's daughter did her level 1 in Canada when she was about 15 and it took 4 weeks (?). I think she now got her level 2 and has been invited to teach at the resort she's been training at (Big White) as a trainee.

    Another friends daughter had been working toward her level three (she's seventeen now) in Japan. The aim is to get her to level four which will require learning a second language (Japanese) and having a second skill (tele).

    Note that I might not have all the details quite right.
     
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  15. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thank you all for the replies. A couple of interesting points from my perspective:
    You can do APSI courses in Japan in Feb. Good way to get a head start.
    Seems to be 16 us minimum APSI age.
    Higher level quals require a second language and second ski skill. Both Telejoeys and I have started learning German via Duolingo by coincidence and she can already tele, so we're already heading in the right direction there.
    bit frustrated to see the centrality of the snowplough to APSI L1. I see so many more benefits to straight to parallel but note it requires a higher level of dedication than average punter probably willing to put in at the beginning
     
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  16. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Must have been a different Level 1 or something, coz they seem to churn them through here in about 4 days.
     
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  17. Kenzie

    Kenzie Early Days

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    Before deciding where to do an instructor course she should decide where she would want to work. Not all countries qualifications are accepted in other countries (especially in the European Union and ESPECIALLY in France).
    Lots of info on becoming an instructor here:- https://www.instructorcourses.skinewgen.com/
     
  18. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    The second language and second discipline is for the ISIA stamp, not a Level of qualification. The stamp shows that you have completed extra qualification beyond ski instruction (avalanche, first aid, language, ext) which European resorts especially find desirable. There isn't much requirement for the stamp outside of Europe.
     
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  19. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Smaller resorts in western Canada usually run a level 1 course before Christmas and hire a few people from it. Easy to get working holiday visa but there is an annual quota so you wouldn't be advised to wait until passing L1 and then apply. After that you can work and train for L2. Working seasons in Aus backed with seasons in the N. Hem gets a person on the career track more quickly, but it's a big commitment. As @Telemark Phat says, instructing is very different from recreational skiing. You don't have any say about the weather and snow conditions, nor the personality and teachability of your clients. Apart from the physicality of the work, being in front of the public and having your customer service persona running all day is exhausting.

    If she ends up going all the way, the investment in time, focus and money for full certification is comparable to an advanced university degree - and the variability of income potential is similar too. There are ways to make decent money but it will take many years and highly developed interpersonal and corporate political skills. There's an old saying in the industry that still applies: "The more money you make, the less you'll get to ski."
     
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  20. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don’t discount learning to snowplough. Perhaps it’s different as a Tele skier, but as an experienced skier learning to snowplough properly was quite humbling. It reteaches all the balance, edge and turning skills many people lose by just tilting their body in any leaning on the edges. I found the same humbling experience when I learnt to cross country ski last year. It’s good to go back to basics every now and then.

    I only spent a couple of years teaching kids during school holidays and only did L1. But it was the best instructing I’d ever received (best instructors in Australia) and my skiing improved to the best it had ever been. Then I broke my leg.....been trying to get back to that level ever since.