New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

what do you get paid.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Trying to figure out what the industry standards are for instructors. I don't need actual numbers if you don't want to post them, but they would be helpful.

The question some of our instructors have is primarily in regards to private lessons.

average base rate for our instructors is $10/hr.
Privates...requested or not...$15/hr

In the past, we got more money as the number of students went up. Now it $15 regardless of number. 1 or 15...same pay. profit for the ski school grows...instructor get the same.

What do your schools do?

Thanks-
NBC
post #2 of 20

Pay

For regular group lessons, pay is determined by years of service plus any PSIA certifications. I think starting pay is $6.50.

For regular private lessons get you an extra $1/hr/person.

But, requested private lessons get you 60% of the cost of the private.
post #3 of 20
SirMack,

There is some relevant discussion in this old thread.
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=19196&highlight=pay+instructor+pr ivate

I think you'll find location to be a factor in pay rate. Western resorts generally pay more than Eastern/other resorts.

There's a certain resort in the mid Atlantic that pays an hourly wage for hours worked only. New instructors start out close to minimum wage. There are bumps for seniority, multi discipline, certification, etc. There is a 2 tier compensation system based on year of hire. Those with "seniority" get paid $15/hour for walk in privates, "juniors" get their normal wage rate. Level 2 or higher certs get $25/hour for requests, others get $15. Full timers get paid 2 hours for a 90 minute lesson. Clinic leaders get paid for teaching clinics. Clinic takers do not.
post #4 of 20

-$

I'll comment on two mid-atlantic areas.

One starts at $5.15 per hour, the state minimum wage. The other is $7.00 per hour.

Neither offers any additional pay for certs and you are only paid for the hours on the snow. The average weekend pay after taxes comes to appx. $35.

One offers "benefits" such as half price food for instructors only, the other gives a cafeteria discount for family members.

One offers a $10 ticket for family(no season passes and you have to wait and beg for the "chits"), the other a season pass after the five year mark teaching for them. The system of getting a "free" lift ticket was so complex that no one ever did.

Keep in mind that you may have to pay $150 to $200 to take the in-house instructor course prior to teaching or when changing areas.
post #5 of 20
In response to what theRusty said, you need to note that that is for privates. For groups, the pay starts at about $6 for a rookie w/ no certs, and goes up to around $10/hr for L3s. Otherwise, it's a lot like Yuki said: no addt'l pay for # of heads, 40% discount on food, benefits for dependents of vouchers for lift tickets is based on yrs of service and hours taught the prior season, and rookies who have to go through the ITC need to pay for it.
post #6 of 20
At my area I'm getting $16.70/hr. Group or private. I'm Level 3 and have 16 years experince teaching skiing. I think our newer hires are closer to 10-12/hr. We don't get a lot of teaching. maybe 2 -3 hours of lessons per week end day, mid weeks are usually just 3-5 lessons for the whole day total for the ski school. Holiday and vacation weeks we are swamped though and one could get 4-6 lessons a day.
post #7 of 20
New Hampshire Area:
$7.00 - new instructor
up to $12.00 - full cert.
post #8 of 20
What do the Salt Lake or Park City areas typically pay their instructors? Is it at all reasonable to support yourself during the season?
post #9 of 20
Without going in to details ($$$) which I think is fairly un-professional, I say make more part time than I did full time back east (for the full season). (I back east I was making about think that was about $10/hour when working.) Currently I get paid per student, with the base rates for privates more than for groups. Basically 2 class lineups/day. Privates can go out anytime. We get paid a show up minimum, which basically works out to 3 group lesson students (I think there has been 1 day this season where I've made showup pay (taught less than 3 students)). Some training is paid, some isn't. Some duties are paid, some aren't. Overall, our pay system is very fair. There are many more benifits that I won't go into for various reasons. If you want to make money in this biz, teach kids. They are always kids to teach....

L
post #10 of 20
We have a nice encouraging wage system and pay is good compared to industry standars (part timers only). It really motivates the instructors to work hard compared to bigger schools were you eather work your ass off for 10 bucks an hour as a full timer or you just do it for a week or two as a part timer and consider it a skiing holliday.
post #11 of 20
FWIW

I'm in Ohio and am pleased with what I get.

Thanks boss!
post #12 of 20
You can obtain pay matrixes from many areas merely by asking. I don't believe there are any deep dark secrets.

I have often said there is more BS about pay among ski instructors than around used car lots. Some guys.....stretch things a bit..... and others seem afraid the IRS has plants in the locker room.

I did a clinic this year with a fairly representative group of eight level III certs from six different resorts. All were full time. We got to talking about pay scales, tips and benefits. Keep in mind at many resorts "base pay" increases as the year progresses with the number of hours worked during a given calender year.

Pay ranged from a low of $14 per hour to $24.00 per hour if my memory serves me correctly. I want to say everyone had about 3-7 years experience. Base pay is augmented by "ticket pay" or "head pay" in group lessons, incentives for return business, private requests, etc.

Tips are where things get stretched or minimized. I work at Eldora and Winter Park. I know of a highly requested instructor at WP who keeps tips very close to the vest. I've seen money go into his hand at the end of the lesson and then like clock work he goes into the locker room moaning that he never gets a gratuity. It's both odd and amusing. Most instructors seek to work "privates". I know of a long time WP instructor who typically teaches group bump lessons and swears the gratuities are far better in this niche market.

I would guess non certs start in the area at the $8.00 to $10.00 range. Remember you only get paid if you work.
post #13 of 20
How plentiful is the work for someone for someone starting out their first year? I would think obviously if the profession plans on sustaining itself it needs to be able to support future instructors through their career.

Given what I have casually observed at the larger western resorts there is more than enough work during the busy Holiday weeks, but not every day is part of one of those. How many hours a week (given working a 5 or 6 day work) is typical?

For someone starting out, making $10/hour and being able to work 40 hours or so a week is not great, but also not tragic (assuming they are not supporting a family).

Thanks for the responses. Sorry if I am hijacking the thread a bit with my questions, I have just been really interested in this topic lately since I have a strong desire to make it a reality.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
How plentiful is the work for someone for someone starting out their first year? I would think obviously if the profession plans on sustaining itself it needs to be able to support future instructors through their career.
Funny my first year back at it I was always impressed at how many assignments "the rookie" was getting compared to the "old pros". Then this year as I finally negotiated a decent hourly wage I find out why... All the work goes to the cheapest instructors first and then if there is any work left over they might assign a lesson to someone making more than $8/hr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
Given what I have casually observed at the larger western resorts there is more than enough work during the busy Holiday weeks, but not every day is part of one of those. How many hours a week (given working a 5 or 6 day work) is typical?

For someone starting out, making $10/hour and being able to work 40 hours or so a week is not great, but also not tragic (assuming they are not supporting a family).
Remember the common rule (although not the federal law) you only get paid for the hours you work. IE: show up and be ready for 8:00 line up, if no work by 8:15 go ski and be back at 8:55, no work by 9:15 go ski and be back by 9:55, etc., etc., all day long. No lessons = no pay. One group lesson = 2 hours pay.
Oh and one other little goodie, If you are "reserved" for a request private and they do not show up by XX:15 all the other assignments have been given out and you can go FREE ski for an hour.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
How plentiful is the work for someone for someone starting out their first year? I would think obviously if the profession plans on sustaining itself it needs to be able to support future instructors through their career.
It depends upon where one works at a given resort. Kids vs adults....privates vs groups.

I think the safe thing to do is to budget/plan for a worst case scenario. If one works six days a week, 20-25 hours work would be a safe average. That is factoring holidays and slow periods. I think you also need to factor a few sick days. Teaching six days a week takes it's toll on the strongest person. It seems that there is always a period each winter when the flu ravages a locker room. Take away three or four days of work to lie in bed and there goes the "average". Tweak a knee and want a few days rest? You don't get paid unless it's a workers comp case.

Busy times you can count on six hours work per day. There are certainly slow periods during the course of the year between holidays.

If you want to make a steady income wait tables or tend bar.

Your query about the profession sustaining itself could open a whole new thread!
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
Busy times you can count on six hours work per day. There are certainly slow periods during the course of the year between holidays.

If you want to make a steady income wait tables or tend bar.

Your query about the profession sustaining itself could open a whole new thread!
Based on your response and the one from Stache, it appears as though it is basically impossible for a rookie instructor to support themselves via ski instruction. Even if we assume $8/hour, and an average of 20-25 hours a week, that it still not even close to affording the basic necessities of life (housing, food, etc...). At least with other low paying jobs you can usually drum up enough hours to squeak by.

Unfortunately, the intangible benefits like proflific skiing and enjoying helping others won't cut it when the bills are due. But it might make the whole thing worthwhile.

So, it definitely appears as though you either need someone supporting you (unlikely) or a night job to help pay the bills. Given that both jobs are likely to be low paying, they will require a lot of time. Thus, I suppose it is probably also fair to say that someone looking to live that life needs to understand there will be little to no free time of their own during the season.

Does this assesment sound consistent with reality? These are all important things to consider before embarking on the journey. Comitting to being a full-time instructor seems to entail much more than simply accepting the job and being enthusiastic. Anyone here currently going through this?
post #17 of 20
It is a lifestyle choice. With the perks and freedom come some responsibilities.
I absolutely love to ski. I admit I am a ski junkie. I like to get others hooked on my "drug". Nothing is more emotionally rewarding and fun to me than teaching skiing. I would rather teach a lesson at any level than just go free skiing by myself (although I do love those runs too).
Have I had to "trade" other things for my life as a Ski Instructor? Yes.
Do I feel I got the better end of the trade? Yes.
Do I wish we still got a 20-50% cut of the face value of the lesson like when I started teaching two decades ago? Yes!
Will I ever quit being a Ski Instructor no matter what the monetary compensation? Yes, when they exercise that living will thing I signed.
Priorities.

Janis Joplin = "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Sheryl Crow = "It's not getting what you want, it's wanting what you got"
post #18 of 20
Stache,

It sounds like you have exactly the attitude that would make the trade-offs worthwhile. I think the interesting thing about the instructor pay threads are that they illustrate this point. It would be a sobering reality for someone who merely likes to ski to commit to teaching full-time and then to find out that it is really a lifestyle choice, not just a job. If there weren't some drawbacks, wouldn't everyone be doing it?

Personally, I am pondering that decision myself.
post #19 of 20
I just left a meeting concerning pay rates/recruitment/retention. It is a hot topic.

One factor to consider. Many resorts offer employee housing. That may well be the biggest factor in how first year instructors survive.

Please don'r forget the 20-25 hours per week figure is VERY conservative. My boss just poked her head in here and said to tell all the eastern instructors we will hire you next year.....part time/full time/seasonal/holidays.
post #20 of 20
You should figure that even out here in the West, it takes the average instr about 3 seasons of full time teaching before they will break even on the cost of living, such as housing, food, and basic utilities. (sans any extras, eg.- car payments, car insurance, long distance telephone, mortgage, student loans, etc.) The idea of having a nest egg or a second (or third) job, is about the only way to survive those first few seasons.

After that, hopefully you have begun the cert process, have begun to figure out how to work the pay system at your area to your best benefit, have picked up a couple /few private clients, and have moved into a slightly higher level of seniority.

The average instr currently coming into PSIA-RM has an expected career span of approximately 3.5 seasons, according to the most recent statistics. And if you figure that it takes the average instr almost 3 seasons to become productive, then it all kind of washes... Approximately 20% of new instrs that come into the Vail system stick it out for more than 3 seasons. But of those who do come back for a 4th season, over 60% will make it to 10 seasons or more!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching