Thinking About Being a Ski Instructor This Winter?

Joseph Phillips | | Industry NewsIndustry News
ski instructor
Ski Instructors. Image: Snow Skool

Becoming a ski instructor or snowboard instructor is easier than you think! Especially this season since the ban on work visas will likely leave ski resorts short-staffed. On June, 22nd, the US put a hold on J-1 visas (the most common visa used by foreigners to come work at US ski resorts). Even as ski resorts are taking measures to limit people this year, many will still need more workers.

J-1 visa and border closure
The US banned most J-1 visas this winter. Image: CNN

Many resorts hire skiers or boarders without any teaching experience. There has been a flood of job postings for both experienced and inexperienced staff on company websites. As a new instructor myself last year, I can confidently say you will be teaching kids the first year. While there can be bad days, I found the experience to be very rewarding and extremely fun.

ski instructor carrying kids
The glamorous role of kids ski or board instructor. Image: Christy Sports

In your first year as an instructor, it is easy to advance. In the United States, the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) is the most common and widely accepted certification. They have three levels, and the first one is very attainable in the first year of instructing. They have accessible clinics all around the country, and some resorts will even pay for you to get it.

So what are the benefits? Tons actually. Aside from getting to work outside and teach others how awesome skiing is, you get great ski perks! You also get pro deals on gear and get to meet tons of other great skiers and boarders. And while the pay is not glamorous at the start, I personally think the experience is worth it.

PSIA, ski instructor
Professional Ski Instructors of America. Image: PSIA

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