Originally Posted by Yuki
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.
Where I was trying to go is that in the US we under pay our educational professionals and we don't treat them with the same status as medical or technical professionals. The same argument that Defcon makes about ski pros could be made about elementary school teachers. Ths ski pro situation should not be shocking.
I agree with being rewarded for education and performance. I think a level 1 or uncertified pro should make more than a level 3 pro IF they work more hours or deliver better performance as measured by the criteria of the school (e.g. guest feedback, guest requests, on time performance, professional appearance, clinic evaluations, ability/willingness to teach multiple disciplines, schedule commitments, etc.). I think ski schools should give raises for certifications attained.
Do I get better classes because of my level 2 certs (PSIA and AASI)? No. I get better classes because I've proven that I can teach them and I volunteer to teach the bottom of the barrel lessons. I'm on the training staff for both disciplines, because I consistently get good feedback about the clinics I've taught. Why did I bother with level 2 certs? Because they were signposts to pass on the road to better teaching.
There seems to be widespread agreement here on Epic that the situation you experienced was deplorable. But there's also a flip side to a "rational" approach. At my resort, I usually triple the minimum number of hours working only 20% over my committed schedule. I'd rather work less and clinic more, but I do whatever the resort asks me to do. I taught 2 terrain park lessons last weekend not because I'm good in the park, but because the rules for being allowed to teach in the park are so onerous, few pros bother - thus I was asked to get qualified. I started teaching snowboarding not because I liked it, but because I was asked. This season, all cross dressing pros got a 50 cent raise (on top of previous pay increases for being multi discipline). That's a nice touch, but this was done because we are very short of riding pros. Now I have to work even harder to evenly split my time between disciplines. This situtation makes it harder for me to work for my level 3 alpine cert. Our SSD drives a Subaru. Our culture gap works in reverse. There's a lot of things my resort does well with respect to ski school, but a lot of things still suck about the job. One thing keeps me coming back - the smiles on my student's faces. Without those, they couldn't pay me enough or treat me well enough to get me to do this.
As long as there are enough stupid people like me, who are willing to work for the free skiing, a little gas money and a few smiles, ski pros in the US will be a dime a dozen.