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Why are ski instructors paid so little?

post #1 of 134
Thread Starter 
Before I found Epic, I would never have imagined (like I'm sure most people don't) that ski instructors are paid such a small amount for the lessons, that they need to pay even for their jackets, can't even cover their costs, and depend on tips. I don't know if this has been discussed before, but its something I find disturbing, and since so many of you are instructors, even directors, I figure this is the right forum.

The way I see it, the value of any establishment lies as much in the people as the facilities. This is especially true for a service industry like a ski resort. From the point of view of a first time visitor, a good lesson can be the difference between a customer for life and a never ever. Which would lead one to assume that instructors are key and should be treated as such.

Yet, from what I've read here, ski resort management make most of their money from real estate and thus feel no real need to invest in such trivialities like a ski school. Is the no. of lessons statistically insignificant? Is customer retention not a goal? Or is it a question of supply/demand - i.e. they know there are enough people who want the job (be it for their love of skiing, the free pass, whatever) at such a low wage.

To be honest, I've never taken a private lesson, and never will unless my fortunes increase dramatically. It just bugs me that (just like musicians vs labels) so little of what we pay makes it to the real provider.
post #2 of 134
Yo Stache,

That's your cue. (or Def search for "demand certified")

I have to go do my slave work for the man.
post #3 of 134
i don't think it is always the case that pay is low or in any way unfair.

first of all i don't know of any resort in colorado where an instructor has to rent/buy his jacket. at winter park we are provided a full uniform and one of the nice perks is laundry service on site for the uniform. companies are increasing health care benefits, meals are heavily discounted, we ski at a wide range of resorts for free, my family skis free and can take free lessons, as a rep for a company instructors are given free equipment and can supplement their income via pro sales and/or by sending retail customers to local ski shops.

much of the responsibility is on my shoulders to drive my own business. in other words if i create return customers in group lessons or private clients my pay increases dramatically.

base pay for a full cert ski instructor at large colorado resorts ranges from $15.00 to $25.00 per hour. that does not include ticket pay or head count on the group side and/or return percentages. the pay matrix can get a little complex. an instructor at the median pay rate who has a request private at time and a half makes $180.00 per day. toss in a 20% gratuity based upon a $400.00 private lesson and it becomes a $260.00 payday for the instructor.

granted that is a good day. there is plenty of work and at least in our case there are no longer very many slow periods. i have worked every day this season and have been asked to work on days off due to the sheer volume of business. if you are a full cert and want work it is waiting.

i work for three of the best supervisors that i can imagine and enjoy a phenominal training staff. i can catch fresh powder any morning at 8:00 a.m. for an hour and a half before work with a trainer. on thursday i skiied with a guy who gave me one of the best tips that i have ever heard

i guess i don't see the glass as half empty. i see an opportunity. the reality is that i could very easily be in a cubicle somewhere. how do guys/gals make ends meet? they either teach year round or find a summer gig.

if someone doesn't like it they can always get a cubicle. i don't think life is too bad. in fact.....some days i have to pinch myself.
post #4 of 134

your mileage may vary ... ? .

To start out with the answer you have to start at the source. Advertising!

Here in the NY/Philly "Metro" area, where 97% of the lessons will be given to never evers and the starting "salary" is Pennsylvania minimum wage, they lure you in with ads in gas stations and local papers.

A hill that sounds like Sean's Knee in Pennsylvania last year had ads placed on gas pumps along Route 31 and 46, the major feeders from NJ to get there. Now I don't know factually that Sean's Knee stuck those signs on the gas pumps, but I don't think it was the work of the forest elves or a prank pulled by the Russian and Pakistani gas jockeys who man the pumps.

But .... the signs said:

Have Fun .... Make Money ... Ski for Free ..

When I went through the ITC at Sean's, there was a charge of something like $175 or $200 to take "the course".

"The Course" is given in the first two weekends of December when the hill is essentially vacant so that in itself is a money maker from jump street; a $$$$ maker for the mountain, they got over a hundred people to come and pay about $50 a day. You do get a "free lunch" and you may even get to ski "dependent on snow".

To start with, you are given no factual information regarding pay or perks, but your course "facilitators" are very well schooled on dodging the issues while "the course" is in progress. It's all done with "RAH, RAH, RAH" innenuendo, "We are gonna' make money, have fun, part of the team ... tips, tips, and tax write off's for equipement and deals galore as a PRO and your family will get to ski for free" .... What could be finer?

At $5.25 an hour for "on snow time only", how much can you make?

I nor any member of my family ever got to ski for free. The part they didn't tell you was that there was a "formula" for hours and years employed .. after three years and "X" hours you got a season pass for one. For "X" hours taught per year you get one free ticket that may be used by you or another person ... problem was that "the formula" always seemed to have a catch clause "consecutive and accumulated in a single season" ... so the "magic" number never seemed to be reached.

Of the ten or so people in my ITC group, I was the only one to stick it out (long term), after the real numbers were presented and ... since I knew a few instructors there, I found out some of the numbers and pushed the issue on the last day. The "facilitator" was a bit pissed (he was a nice guy and you could tell he was embarassed), a few got up and walked out. I felt sorry for them because two were local moms who were hoping for a real job (they needed the money) and were now out almost $200.

One kid was a renagade who refused to use poles and didn't last the first week. The second was an older Ph.D. from Russia who had some illusions of at least making enough money to pay for a cheap hotel so he didn't have to drive fifty miles from Philadelphia on weekends; he lasted two weeks.

Me, I was stuck there because I had a kid in the race program. Like a good sailor, you need to read the wind on the water. They asked me to teach so they waived the ITC fee for me (after I told them no way would I pay), but I assumed that once I signed on, and paid for the uniform that they would refund my season pass .... poor assumption. Worse yet, when I tried to ski on my pass one day during the week, I got pulled into the office. When some of the old hands in the race program found out that I was signed on to the ski school, they just started to crack up .. I had no idea what was in store.

It got worse ... I could go on .... that's the "short version".

After some five years as an instructor I have never had a free ski day at any mountain, despite the claims that you get to ski free when you visit other hills. You need a letter of introduction from you SSD, to ski at another hill and that is provided that "your mountain is in operation" and you would be willing to teach if needed at the other hill. Try to get an SSD to sign the letter when your mountain is open .... "I'd like to but we need you here."

My read is, that it is a "churning operation" by design. They keep enough "core staff" to keep the machine going. The rest are expendable. For that matter, I think they count on a high turn over at the bottom in order to keep from giving the annual raise (twenty five cents) to keep the bottom line down.

One last funny one. The line boss called us out one afternoon ....... this stuff is choreographed like Jerry Springer with the assistant bosses leading the clapping and cheering .. "BIG NEWS EVERYONE! WE have been given a RAISE! (assistants begin to clap and hoot), .... It'll be in your checks at the end of the week!" The REAL story was, the State of Pennsylvania had raised the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $5.25 an hour ..... they had to give us a raise.
post #5 of 134

I could go on and on!

It's a 70 degree day so I took the sleeves off my jacket .. they zip off.

"Yuki! YOU are out of uniform; go see the boss!"

The "boss" was selling vests appropriate for the occasion .... $35.
post #6 of 134

and on ..

It was a sunny day so I put on a black ball cap.

"Yuki! YOU are out of uniform; go see the boss!"

The "boss" was selling ball caps appropriate for the occasion ... $10.
post #7 of 134

one more ..

Atomic ski had a demo tent.

"Yuki! Get out of that line and go see the boss!"

The "boss" was a Rossignol rep

Yuki was on his own time because there was no one to teach and Yuki did have permission from the assistant to demo.

Bad Yuki!
post #8 of 134
Yuki, why have you worked there for FIVE YEARS!!! have you ever heard the saying "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." I'm not sure what fool me five years in a row qualifies as.
post #9 of 134
Yuki, can you imagine the reaction I would have to some of that "stuff." I'd have to injure me a SSD...
post #10 of 134
NOW you know why we told you to skip the PSIA path...
post #11 of 134
I only lasted a few years there. I was almost relieved (god this is sick), when my kid racer had a "melt down" towards the end of the race season.

on his "coach" ...

"Dad, all ___ does is curse at us all day. She calls us little baztards and swears all the time. YOU even race and ski better than she does"

I'm still trying to figure out if that was a compliment or an insult?

I checked with a few of the kids. They said it was true. "Management" .. "investigated" and said that the allegations were unfounded.

Coach ___ , did not stay long the following season. Coach ___ , was let go because Coach ____, had some ... other issues?

I went down the road to another area. Things were better in some ways but not enough to stay teaching. We had other instructors from other areas in and out ..... seems like we were all looking for a place where we didn't run in the red. An instructor should not have to rent his locker for $150 a season. An instructor should have a day of free skiing at least once. It would have been a plus, since at the second hill, the policy was that family members could ski for $10 a day. Problem is that the race kids had to be on snow at 8:00 and they don't hand out the "$10 chits" till 9:30 so I still had to fork out something like $600 for a pass for my kid .... "We don't give employee discounts here" .... but the "pay" was $7 an hour versus $5.25.

At hill #1, we had to pay about $180 for a bottom of the line Karbon jacket that leaked like a sieve and held water like a sponge. At the end of the first year we had to buy an new jacket since I was on the "tail end" of a three year cycle ..... $200 more out the window.

At hill #2 ... we "rented" the jacket for $100 the first year, $75 then second and then $50 for the last year with the understanding that we then owned the jacket. It was a bottom line Spyder, but overall a good coat.

BUT .... ooops ... we have a new "policy" .... when you finish your season this year, the jackets will be collected and turned over to the maintenance crew. HEY! WE paid for the damned things ...

One of the final straws that broke my back.

I have had an offer where some of my friends are happy, but it is a three hour ride and when I retire in a few years, I'll join them and resume teaching.

Do I miss some instructors and even a few managers ... You bet!
post #12 of 134

Ps ..

My point in all of this, is to go in with a clear understanding of the work agreement.

All hills don't treat employees the same way.

I do miss teaching ... well ... most .. of the students.

Just don't walk in the door blind.
post #13 of 134
Competition makes the price low. If there is only 10,000 ski instructors in the USA, I bet 10 to 1 the ski areas will pay more. But I think there are at least 100,000 to 500,000 ski instructors in the US. Thus supply and demand takes place...

Perhaps PSIA makes passing the instructor test too easy?

post #14 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwan1

Perhaps PSIA makes passing the instructor test too easy?

That may be true.
The fact that the National Ski Areas Association and PSIA are located in the same building makes me uncomfortable. I don't know what kind of legal conections between the two(one?) are, but the NSAA does not seem like a group that would be looking for ways to increase compensation for ski instructors.
post #15 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwan1
Competition makes the price low. If there is only 10,000 ski instructors in the USA, I bet 10 to 1 the ski areas will pay more. But I think there are at least 100,000 to 500,000 ski instructors in the US. Thus supply and demand takes place...

Perhaps PSIA makes passing the instructor test too easy?


Note - unlike Canada you can work as an instructor with NO certificate... so PSIA has nada to do with it... some resorts are known for importing kids from overseas on J1 visas to put into instructor jackets.... these kids have no instructing experience ....

Vail is known for employing non-certified instructors that teach privates...

Unless someone makes being certified compulsory it has nothing to do with PSIA as long as it is just a certifying body...

Now if the instructors had some sort of association that negotiated such things as minimum wages & conditions...
post #16 of 134
As much as I hate the fact that instructors get terrible wages... I hate unions more... It would be nice if it was easier for responsible management to do away with them in the business world... but that is a topic for another thread, probably located in the lounge.
Later
GREG
post #17 of 134
FWIW not all ski areas in the New York metro area are as Yuki describes.
post #18 of 134
Yuki....


How do you REALLY feel???????


Ski instuctors are paid so little, becasue it is "supply and demand" and falls under the 80/20 rule. 20% of instuctors make 80% of the money (referrals & repeats), and 20% of the instructors at a particular mountain are core and return every season.

If you want to be on the snow more and be "involved" become a Mountain Ambassador like a :Max Capacity:
post #19 of 134
Let me start by correcting a few of JACKWAN's figures.

According to PSIA- NAT, there are 28,000 registered instructors in the PSIA organization. Add in approximately another 1000-2000 foreign instructors who are not part of PSIA, and we have a solid 30,000. Of those, maybe 10,000 are full time ski pros. The majority of the full time pros work in Western resorts, where apparently wages are significantly better than elsewhere in the country.

No doubt, there are ski areas which do treat their pro's very poorly, as described above. But not all are so wicked. As Rusty Guy described, some of the major resorts actually do provide some reasonable benefits and pay. After all, there must be some reason that so many pro's from all over the country migrate toward the larger, more lucrative resorts. They have made decisions about how they want their careers to go, and the standard by which they expect to be treated.

I would suggest that anybody who wants to have a complete career as a full time pro, wants access to training, and achieve a certain level of income, they need to do their homework, and transition to a resort which will offer them those rewards.

But back to the original question of this thread.

Not all pro's are poorly paid, but there isn't a single pro out on the hill that would turn down a raise! But what each pro will accept as their work conditions is up to each of them. If they don't like it, move on! Maybe one day the resort managers WILL come to understand that the staff is an important and integral part of any successful operation. And then they will make an effort to retain their top pro's, just as importantly as retaining their guests.
Until then, they will be welcome at those resorts which DO make an effort toward providing an adequate living.

OK, time for me to get off my soapbox.......
post #20 of 134
First of all, PSIA is an educational and certification origanization and has very little to do with wages resorts pay and doesn't even pretend to do so. As members of PSIA, we bring professional and recognised training and certification to an otherwise unregulated area of public training and instruction.
It cost me $1000's of dollars to stand there ready to teach, only to be bypassed for a student on summer vacation from South America with about 6 hours training to be assigned the work instead of me.

Unfortunitly, ski area mangement thinks of experienced professionals as despensible, or even disposible and we are the a$$ holes for putting up with it. Most people, once they have a good lesson will never be satified with less again, so why give them anything good?

Most of the work I perform of weekends is requist privates and work I have made for my self by giving people their money's worth. On week days, I often have no or little work because much of the quality that goes out to the public is bad to say the least and everyone that wears the same uniform I wear, gets classified the same.
Most of the assignments made to instructors are based on seinority, so how many people in this forum would want to take a lesson again from someone who walks with a limp, has no enthusium for skiing, limited credentials, and gets assigned because they worked longer at that resort longer than someone who has more experience, loves skiing, better credentials and is activally persuing a higher level of carear achievement?
And for the same cost?

Defcon,

Quote:
Why are ski instructors paid so little?
We are considered a volunteer work force and only needed to make the resort money at busy times to fill the demand. Sorry to vent.

RW
post #21 of 134

south americans

Ron brought up another point and I had posted before on this. I paid the dues to the PSIA and put out the effort to start the process.

Management brings in a load of "wedge turners", gives them room and board and who knows how much (or little) "pay" and we stand around with nothing more to do than polish our "pins" ????

Naw! PSIA is supported by the instructor dues and there should be some level of advocacy for those members.

Look at that HUGE ... PSIA shield above the ski school desk. The implication is that you are getting a certified instructor. The reality is that few line instructors have any certification.
post #22 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon
Before I found Epic, I would never have imagined (like I'm sure most people don't) that ski instructors are paid such a small amount for the lessons, that they need to pay even for their jackets, can't even cover their costs, and depend on tips. I don't know if this has been discussed before, but its something I find disturbing, and since so many of you are instructors, even directors, I figure this is the right forum.

The way I see it, the value of any establishment lies as much in the people as the facilities. This is especially true for a service industry like a ski resort. From the point of view of a first time visitor, a good lesson can be the difference between a customer for life and a never ever. Which would lead one to assume that instructors are key and should be treated as such.

Yet, from what I've read here, ski resort management make most of their money from real estate and thus feel no real need to invest in such trivialities like a ski school. Is the no. of lessons statistically insignificant? Is customer retention not a goal? Or is it a question of supply/demand - i.e. they know there are enough people who want the job (be it for their love of skiing, the free pass, whatever) at such a low wage.

To be honest, I've never taken a private lesson, and never will unless my fortunes increase dramatically. It just bugs me that (just like musicians vs labels) so little of what we pay makes it to the real provider.
Defcon,

Ski school is a profit center at most resorts. Beginner lessons are usually the most profitable because they consistently have the highest sutdent to instructor ratio. In 2000, NSAA started a program (Model for Growth) to change some of the fundamentals of the ski business. One of those fundamentals was that only 15% of first time skiers take up the sport. With a steady stream of first timers bringing a fat wad of cash, the resorts were fat, dumb and happy on this business. Why "improve it" when it's already very profitable? Well, in 2000, NSAA realized that demographics were changing and the steady stream of beginners was about to dry up. To their credit, they realized that instructors were only a small part of the problem of what made the first time experience so daunting for beginners. Unfortunately, this also meant that investment in solving the 15% problem needed to be spread out over many areas besides instructor pay. So for now the bulk of investment is going into new facilities dedicated for beginners only. And as many have noted, with no shortage of people willing to work as instructors for low pay, the law of supply and demand means there is no perceived need to raise pay. Some resorts realize that experienced pros are extremely valuable to the business because their high quality product can "pull through" a lot of revenue. Some resorts are making an effort to improve instructor compensation and working conditions.

I think the best way to understand the economics of the situation is to play a PC simulation game called Ski Resort Tycoon. Yes it's just a game, but play it and you'll see that tinkering with ski school has very little effect on the health of the business. Regardless of reality, this is how most resort operators view the business. There are some resorts that feel differently and more importantly have proven that investing in a quality ski school can reap handsome rewards for the resort, but they are in the minority. As a result of the Model For Growth, we're seeing more resorts experiment with attempts to improve the beginner experience, including changes to instructor compensation and working conditions. But it's a very slow process.

So here's a question to you. Who should get paid more: A top ski instructor or a top first grade teacher?
post #23 of 134
It's too bad that PSIA won't define what resorts/ski areas it will "endorse" over resorts/ski areas that it will not "endorse" and make those endorsements very difficult to get. The responsibility then would be for the ski school to build a better program. Yes there would be a push for instructors to be certified, but the efforts on PSIA's side of things would push the industry to a higher standard.

While they are at it it might make an opportunity to provide competition within the industry between PSIA and any other un-named system...

It would actually be nice if ski schools were under public scrutiny like binding manufacturers always are...

Later

GREG
post #24 of 134

therusty

My understanding is that in Europe, a ski instructor and a first grade teacher are acknowledged and paid as professionals.

I don't understand where you are trying to go with this.

In a "rational" world, we should be rewarded by education and performance. Should a PSIA L-1 make more than an L-3 .... no, certainly not. Should the L-1's who clinic their asses off and show at every line up make more than the newly minted low/no time ITC crowd .... I would hope so, but that was not the case.

When you stand idle and wonder if you will "make your hours", while working toward L-2 and the newbees are getting the hours (cause it's cheaper that way), what incentive is there to stay in the system?

Will I get a raise or better classes if I make L-2 .... nope! Why bother?

So our SSD can show up in his tricked out Porsche sporting a Rolex ... and I run in the red.
post #25 of 134

A newbie instructor's perspective

As a newbie with all of one season under my belt (second half of last year and the first half of this) I wanted to clarify a few things, from my limited perspective.

I notice that Yuki continually refers to his mountain's for-pay hiring clinic as an "ITC". At least out here in Rocky Mountain, "ITC" stands for the PSIA Instructor Training Course. ITC is not something run by the individual mountains - it's run by the PSIA as part of their core certification curriculum. There is a charge for it, just like for any other training.

If you're already employed by a member school, upon successful completion of the ITC, you receive your Level I certification (there's a couple of other requirements involving Nastar Bronze and 25 hours of teaching time.) In RM, you can join PSIA-RM (not the national, just the region) as an "affiliate member" and take the ITC prior to being employed.

However, taking the ITC is no guarantee of being employed. And from my experience starting the ITC last year and realizing that everyone else was already teaching, it's not a good idea to do it that way. I defered the rest of it, and a month later when Breck ran a (free because who would pay for a job interview?) hiring clinic, I applied and attended, and got hired. I'm taking the ITC this year in March, and I think I'll get a lot more out of it due to having a season under my belt of teaching beginners modern technique.

It sounds like Yuki's hill is running a scenario where they get people to pay in order to try out. I don't consider that to be either a "hiring clinic" nor an "ITC". It certainly has nothing to do with a PSIA-run ITC.

It does, however, sound like the same kind of operation a "broadcasting production company" I worked at in the 70's in NYC did - "We're not a school but if you pay us we'll help you learn radio and maybe you'll be able to get a job." I had a large amount of emotional satisfaction in shutting them down for a time, once I realized the unfairness of their approach.

By the way, note that in order to become certified, you already have to be employed as an instructor. In other words, there is a pathway into and up through the certification ranks: "Registered PSIA Member" (also known as Level 0 if you look at your card - that would be me at present), LI, LII, and LIII. Like any profession, there has to be a way for people to learn and practice the profession under appropriate guidance.

So I can't justify the often-quoted "Demand a Certified Pro or Demand your money back" trope that was referred to earlier in the thread. Clearly that mantra means "full-cert/Level III". Tell me - where are Full Certs supposed to come from if there isn't a way into the profession? "Demand a Certified Pro" the way it's presented around here guarantees that there won't be a next generation of certified pros, IMHO.

Not to mention the long-ago-certified full-certs who still teach defensive tail-pushing. Not that I've ever seen any of that at various Colorado mountains! A newcomer who is trying to learn the profession and is trying to teach modern, offensive/positive movement patterns, is going to give a better skier level 1-level 4 lesson that somebody certified 20 years ago who's still teaching "push out your heals" or "drop your right shoulder and shift your weight right to do a left turn". And I've heard too much of that at both Intrawest and Vail Resorts operated schools around here, from guys with pins on their jackets. Not from the directors, supervisors or trainers - but from the older "full certs" and "associate (LII) certs"

Sorry - end of soapbox.

As to why does somebody go into this? I don't know - maybe the satisfaction of helping somebody start out right, not learn movements they have to unlearn. Help them find out how much fun it is to be out here playing in the snow. Kind of a "pay it forward" concept, or as our school's motto goes, a "share our passion". And the free pass and negligible-cost dependent pass is certainly nice too - but there's a satisfaction in taking 10 people who've never seen snow before (my usual clientele) and getting them excited about our sport. Plus being around a group of people who mostly are excited, dedicated skiers and teachers.

That's why I do it. As a PSIA-member, not-yet-certified pro, but somebody who gives a good beginner lesson again IMHO. But if I had to pay for my uniform, if I didn't even get show-up pay when not needed for a class (which covers my gas and time to get to the hill), if I had to pay for the privilege of being interviewed for the job, then no way would I be doing it. It sounds like some hills are abusing their instructors. But as Ric/VailSnoPro pointed out, that's not really how it works around here.
post #26 of 134
Here is some food for thought. I've visited the Sunburst ski area in Wisconsin probably 12 times in the last 2 years. In addition to my own lift ticket and concession money, I've brought my friends along with me. I'd estimate I am directly responsible for $1500 of revenue that Sunburst has recieved in that time period.

However if Arcmeister had not been teaching there and I not so impressed with the quality of his teaching, Sunburst would have received $0. My friends and I would have never gone there or continue to go there. I hope they pay him well enough considering the revenue he generates for them.

Instead of going to Sunburst, we would have gone almost soley to Alpine Valley. Better terrain and much closer to our homes. However, I will likely never take a lesson at Alpine Valley. This is due to unfortunate stereotyping on my part. Ron White is absolutely correct, skiers on the hill will group all the instructors together just because of the jacket.

Every time I ski at Sunburst I am impressed by the quality of its instructors, even through casual observation. I can tell there is a real dedication to the quality of their skiing. The majority of people are using modern equipment. Contrasted to Alpine Valley, the majority of the instructors there do not look like high level skiers. Many of them are still on older equipment. I want to ski like the instructors at Sunburst so I would be inspired to take a lesson there. I do not want to ski like most of the instructors I see at Alpine Valley and given my alternative I'm not real motivated to seek out the good ones.

The equipment thing is a bit of a nag, but I don't trust an instructors skiing right away when I see them on straight skis, skis that might as well be straight, or a pair of shaped skis which are not from within the past 3 years or so. I find most people who are really dedicated to a sport to be using modern equipment.

Food for thought from a recreational, but serious, skier who spends quite a bit of money on lift tickets.
post #27 of 134
MarkXS is correct. The ITC that I refer to is not a PSIA affiliated activity and is probably still not.

When I joined, you needed to be employed by a ski school and had at least 40 or 50 hours of logged instruction time before you were eligible to take the L-1 exam. It was not the walk in "automatic" that I have heard about, there were several individuals who dropped out during the process and "Uncle Al" from Montage was pretty rough on us. You were constantly put on the spot and had to have the answer ..... there was however .. one "political appointee". The rest of us worked pretty hard for the pin.

My intent here is not to demean or belittle "the process" and progression.

As I have stated in many prior posts, (despite management isssues), I learned a lot.
post #28 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonissimo
A lot to read here, but I did catch something like $15-25 per hour plus tips.

I assume that people do it for the 'Love', not the 'Money'.

If it paid 400K+, I'd do it.
Are you trying to brag that you make 400 grand? That post coupled with the pictures of your C4S sure do paint that picture.
post #29 of 134
Here is some thing I think can change ski instructor's status. Its a color system, like have a hand band pined to the uniform. No certificate instructors get the white, Level 1 instructors get yellow, Level 2....

You got the picture?

So people can choose instructors by its ranking....

And the ski areas will start to pay some one because he/she will be selected more frequently.

post #30 of 134
Quote:
Why are ski instructors paid so little?
Because the instructors accept that low pay. It is exactly that simple. I checked with a local concession ski school here (in the Seattle area, many concession ski schools are not connected with the mountain, but have a contract allowing them to bring students up on a package plan and provide instructors). They pay new instructors minimum wage and provided a ticket for the day. As long as they get the people they need, why should they pay more? I rode the lift and skied with a multi-year, Level II instructor that works for the mountain three days a week. He gets a pass and the pay almost covers his travel expenses.


Ken
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Why are ski instructors paid so little?