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Becoming an Instructor

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi, does anyone have any information on becoming an instructor? I'm after some details on registering, eligibility (I'm British), locations, prices etc.... Thanks
post #2 of 25
Where in the world do you want to find work?
post #3 of 25
I don't know what your plans are, obviously you'll want to do it somewhere different if you're planning on teaching there specifically, but I'll give you info on Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance Level 1 course.

There are tons of courses every year, all over the country, so if you're planning on taking a trip, chances are you'll be able to find something in the area you want to go to around the right time. The course is 4 days long, with 20 hours on snow and 6 off snow. It covers the "Canadian Approach," including lesson planning, techniques, etc. It's not really a course that will help your personal skiing much, as the skiing evaluation mostly focuses on being able to demonstrate to the level of students you'll be teaching - that is beginners and low level intermediates. If you're looking to improve your skiing, I would suggest the level one CSCF (coaching) course, which is geared a little more towards that. However I will note that the level 2 instructor is very good at improving your personal skiing, so you can take the level 1, and maybe next season go for 2.

The price varies depending on where you take it, but it's generally around $300-350 canadian. You can register online, as well as get all the details on the course at www.snowpro.com/csia/e/ . Hope this helps. If you have any more questions about this, feel free to ask.
post #4 of 25
post #5 of 25
So, you want to get into the high paying world of ski instruction. Have you checked out who you want as your accountant?
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

None

I was intersted in what the PSIA have to offer. I like the look of the hills over in America and from what I can see on the PSIA website it looks like a pretty good organisation. Thanks
post #7 of 25
Pssst. Here's another site to check, don't tell anyone, its a secret.

http://www.snowpro.com/csia/e/

Its the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance. Being from the U.K. thought you would appreciate it.

-------------------

I see Canuck beat me to it. I always knew those of us south of the Great White North were a little slow. :
post #8 of 25

Becoming an instructor PSIA-style

Rhys,

In the states, people become instructors by attending an Instructor Training Clinic at the mountain they intend to work at, then get hired by the mountain to teach. Most ITCs are 3-5 day programs combining indoor and on snow training. Killington offers a public ITC program for people interested in going through the process but not necessarily working at Killington. However, most resorts will let you take their ITC even if you tell them up front you don't want to work there.

Many resorts in New England hire a fair number of Brits and are familiar with the paperwork required to get you hired. A lot of the resorts in Canadian British Columbia (e.g. Fernie) also import a lot of help. If you're looking for Western US resorts, most of the big resorts will make it easy to get hired on.

You must be an actively employed instructor in order to join PSIA. When you join PSIA, you are joining a regional division organization as well as the national organization. In the Eastern Region of PSIA, most members join through the First Tracks clinic (a 2 day event). This clinic has a requirement of 25 hours of combined teaching and clinic experience. Other regions may only ask you to be employed before joining as a registered member. In the past most members joined PSIA by taking the Level 1 Certification Exam. Foreign members (non-US residents/working in another country) are welcomed by PSIA as long as they are certified by a national ski instructor organization.

PSIA is a wonderful resource for instuctors to grow their teaching and skiing skills. Like any organization, it has it's good and bad points. PSIA's greatest strength is the high quality and quantity of the clinics that are offered. If you visit the main PSIA web site, you will find links to sites for the regional divisions. There you will find specific information about requirements for joining PSIA in a particular division. We'd be glad to have you join the ranks.
post #9 of 25

Canadian Courses & Exams in Andorra

If you would like to become a Canadian (CSIA) certified instructor and you are based in Britain it could be more cost effective for you to go to Andorra to get qualifications.

The Instructor Acadamy offers CSIA and CSCF courses and qualifications.

The cost of a Level 1 course is 325 Euros and they have one starting on December 6th.

They also offer longer courses, for gap year or time out people. There is a 4 week course that ends in a Level 1 course/exam and a 10 week course than includes a Level 1 & 2.

Have a look at http://www.instructor-academy.com/

or ring on +44 (0)1743 270000 and ask to speak to Sandie.

I have no connection to the company, other than booking a place on the above Level 1 course!
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
7 weeks and $7k to get a level I?!?!?! :
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Rhys,

In the states, people become instructors by attending an Instructor Training Clinic at the mountain they intend to work at, then get hired by the mountain to teach. Most ITCs are 3-5 day programs combining indoor and on snow training. Killington offers a public ITC program for people interested in going through the process but not necessarily working at Killington. However, most resorts will let you take their ITC even if you tell them up front you don't want to work there.

Many resorts in New England hire a fair number of Brits and are familiar with the paperwork required to get you hired. A lot of the resorts in Canadian British Columbia (e.g. Fernie) also import a lot of help. If you're looking for Western US resorts, most of the big resorts will make it easy to get hired on.

You must be an actively employed instructor in order to join PSIA. When you join PSIA, you are joining a regional division organization as well as the national organization. In the Eastern Region of PSIA, most members join through the First Tracks clinic (a 2 day event). This clinic has a requirement of 25 hours of combined teaching and clinic experience. Other regions may only ask you to be employed before joining as a registered member. In the past most members joined PSIA by taking the Level 1 Certification Exam. Foreign members (non-US residents/working in another country) are welcomed by PSIA as long as they are certified by a national ski instructor organization.

PSIA is a wonderful resource for instuctors to grow their teaching and skiing skills. Like any organization, it has it's good and bad points. PSIA's greatest strength is the high quality and quantity of the clinics that are offered. If you visit the main PSIA web site, you will find links to sites for the regional divisions. There you will find specific information about requirements for joining PSIA in a particular division. We'd be glad to have you join the ranks.
This appears to be regional. In PSIA-RM, you do not have to be employed to join the PSIA-RM as an associate member. You can even take the Level I cert course. If you pass, you don't get your certification until you can prove employment, teach for 25 hours, and pay your national dues. (see http://www.psia-rm.org/prodev.htm for specifics)
post #12 of 25
Steve,

That's interesting. I checked a couple of regional sites and the national site. They all said one had to be employed. So is an RM associate member also a national member or not?
post #13 of 25
No, An RM Associate member is NOT a PSIA-National member. As SSH stated, they may join RM, and even take the L1 /ITC exam. If they pass, they are NOT awarded a pin. But should they gain employment, teach the requisite number of hrs, and pay their National dues, they would receive the pin.

Another opportunity is here in Vail. Noni Stocker (a BASI Examiner) is offering atraining program for BASI this winter. (It might be the same academy Martin Bell (Brit) was referring to).

Patrick Wells offers a similar program in Eastern Canada, and there is also such a program in NZ.

A little time searching the web will likely find even more of these training schemes.

Let me caution you- before paying the bucks for any of these programs, it is very important that you have a future plan for what you will do with this knowledge/ certification. Will you use it as a springboard to a career, or are you taking it just to gain a level of knowledge not normally available to the general public? (See ETU/ESA)

What ever your goals, good luck!
post #14 of 25
SSH-
By the way- thats a NZ Level 1! It is comparable to the PSIA Level 2, if maybe even a little tougher! Granted- thats still a pricey option!
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Steve,

That's interesting. I checked a couple of regional sites and the national site. They all said one had to be employed. So is an RM associate member also a national member or not?
Did you check PSIA-Western? As of last year they offered a "Registered" membership that did not require employment or ski school affiliation. This membership included membership to both the Divisional & National Orgs. This membership provided all the same rights/benefits (access to clinics/events) as their active teaching members, minus the certification. They too, would allow a perspective instructor to train and take the Level 1 exam. Their employment requirement wouldn't "kick in" until prior to the Level 1 Cert. being awarded much the same as Steve decribed above for the RM Associate member.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Becoming a Ski Instructor

Thanks you to everyone who has responded to my question. Having spoke to a few members from Epic, mainly those who have left a reply on here, the main problem I have experienced is being granted a visa. As some of you know already, I have been to Canada to sit the CSIA Level 1. I only passed the teaching element yet not the skiing. I did however manage to find a job in Vancouver using my 'half-qualification' so subsequently I applied for my visa. Then I experienced great problems with this due to immigration laws and have therefore not been granted my visa. Do any of you know of any ski schools in America who have had relative success in finding work visas for foreign employees? I'm guessing that immigration laws may be similar to those in Canada, making it difficult for visa authorisation. I'm hoping someone out there may be able to set me up with a ski school somewhere in the states so it's worth a long shot in me asking !!
Thanks again.......
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys
Do any of you know of any ski schools in America who have had relative success in finding work visas for foreign employees?
Thanks again.......
Basically any ski school in the US will take you as long as you can walk talk and don't have droolcoming out your mouth.

This thread relates nicely to the new Go with a PRo campaign.

The one country you can come to without any cert and work as an instructor is the good old USA! It's also by far the easiest to get certififed in. There's a reason that this guy lives a stones throw away from the alps and is looking to the US.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

Becoming a Ski Instructor

And this Go With a Pro thing is, in a nut shell........??
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
7 weeks and $7k to get a level I?!?!?! :
You'll make that back in the first month or two, won't you?

post #20 of 25

Go with a Pro - explained

Rhys,

The Go with a Pro program is a marketing campaign designed to get people to take more lessons by expounding the virtues of lessons via clever sound bites and logos on posters, etc. instead of a traditional boring ad.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys
Thanks you to everyone who has responded to my question. Having spoke to a few members from Epic, mainly those who have left a reply on here, the main problem I have experienced is being granted a visa. As some of you know already, I have been to Canada to sit the CSIA Level 1. I only passed the teaching element yet not the skiing. I did however manage to find a job in Vancouver using my 'half-qualification' so subsequently I applied for my visa. Then I experienced great problems with this due to immigration laws and have therefore not been granted my visa. Do any of you know of any ski schools in America who have had relative success in finding work visas for foreign employees? I'm guessing that immigration laws may be similar to those in Canada, making it difficult for visa authorisation. I'm hoping someone out there may be able to set me up with a ski school somewhere in the states so it's worth a long shot in me asking !!
Thanks again.......
There are a few folks on here (ant comes to mind) who do this, but it's getting more difficult by the year. Historically, quite a number of the Front Range areas have had folks from around the world, but I'm hearing that such as changed this year. You might PM those in this board who have this experience...
post #22 of 25
I know that out west (especially Big White, Silverstar and maybe Panorama), there are large numbers of out of country instructors (and area workers in general), particularly from NZ and Australia. I heard there was some sort of exchange program specifically for them, but I'm not sure. I would suggest getting in touch with an area that you'd like to work at and asking them what to do if you're CSIA certified but not a citizen. Also, I know that most big places state that they only want Level II and above, but I'm not sure how stringent they are about that.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Rhys,

The Go with a Pro program is a marketing campaign designed to get people to take more lessons by expounding the virtues of lessons via clever sound bites and logos on posters, etc. instead of a traditional boring ad.
I thought it was instead of nothing at all!
post #24 of 25
The ski areas have to participate in arranging work visas for foreign nationals in the US. Boyne USA, for example, employs Austrians, Australians and Brazilians, and possibly folks from other South American nations on a seasonal basis. The corporation has to initiate the paperwork for the visas. Some of the South Americans come here as part of some sort of education program that recruits young people for a variety of "work experience" assignments in the US.

So if you wish to come to a USA resort, you need to have employment through that resort before the work on a visa can begin.

In PSIA's Central Division, you can enroll in a "learn to teach" program called something like Fundamentals of Ski Instruction with no teaching experience by just paying the course fees and joining the division, which does not make you a member of the national organization. You cannot take any of the certification tests without having some employment teaching skiing. I think the Level I requires something like 20 hours of experience and a member ski school director's signed approval. Level II testing requires something like 60 hours experience.
post #25 of 25
In the east, you might want to contact Sunday River and Killington as they both deal with a great deal of international customers, they might be looking for international employees.
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