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How much $$ did you guys make first year? - Page 2

post #31 of 34
Originally Posted by shortturns View Post

If you are assigned a group for the week, and teach most of the same group for the week, you aren't escaping for a request, and should be embarrassed for thinking you should.

Some instructors refuse, or make it known that they would prefer not to teach young children, or less accomplished adults. It is those skiers who will return for the next 6 - 10 years that keep you on skis.

A resort has to keep as many people happy as possible, and most ski school directors will make up any personal loss of requests many times over because they appreciate what it took to be requested in the first place.
Originally Posted by shortturns View Post

As recently as 5 years ago, I directed a ski school that taught 400 lessons an hour.

We researched instructor compensation to insure that we were at, or above the norm. Many eastern schools were paying a percentage; however, requested privates were not a large part of their business.

Destination resorts that teach more than 70% privates cannot comfortably pay a percentage, as much of the income from the lesson is used for overhead. If they do pay a percentage, then many other forms of compensation are set aside. One example is pay for showing up. Resorts that pay a percentage are unlikely to pay you just to be available. Some resorts paying a percentage do not give adequate discounts for meals. Many resorts that don't pay a percentage have an employee cafeteria, where the savings are significant. Finally, percentages do not fairly compensate long time instructors vs. less experienced instructors, unless the percentages are scaled. The math in the scale rarely works out for the long time instructor.
Shortturns, thank you for your insightful detailed information...it's obvious that you have been involved in the snowsports industry a long time. We need more people in this business who are as knowledgeable and professional as you.
post #32 of 34
My resort doesn't pay a percentage and doesn't do "show-up" pay. We do get a good discount at mountain restaurants.

The only percentage I'm aware of is that when I take a $1,000 class up the hill (every day in busy periods - five kids at $200) I get less than nine per cent ...
post #33 of 34
when i taught in the early 90's starting out with beginers i was making 6$ an hr but you had to bust your ass to get more then 3 or 4 hrs a day. usually 1 1/2 hr lesson in the am and one in the afternoon. but the big benifit was the free season pass.
if i taught a private lesson i think i got 50% of the rate. for a collage kid it was awesome.. good luck
post #34 of 34
The first year is the hardest one. but is it not the same in every new job? And the answer is Yes you can make enough money as a ski instructor. It will depend of you , your motivation and your efforts. If you waiting that your ski school bring you lessons on a plate for sure you will eat hard bread and peanut butter for a little while cause you will be the last one to be serve. First of all when you are not teaching and have to wait for another disappointing meeting (disapointing cause you didnt get any lesson assigned by your supervisor), go to ski and help the people and talk with them in the slope.. help potential student who have dificulty. The exit of a chairlift is a great place to figure who need help. And if you was smarter enough you will sport them before they have took the chairlift and ride up with them and have a chat. You can help them for few minutes and not giving a free lesson. Offer your service and open the possibility to take a lesson with you. They don't want it's ok let them your business card and go to the next one. If you do it until you find your person who will take a lesson with you, you should teach almost everyday right and if too late in the day , book them for tomorrow. He can take you 3 peoples , 100 peoples before you get the right person so don't loose your motivation . More you do it, better you will be to talk with people and choose the right person in the slope. When I was working in New Zealand the best seller of the mountain was this guy who was waiting all morning at the front of the rental shop almost every morning when he was not booked (level 1 or 2 guy) , he was helping the people around and people are enough smart to see his jacket. He was almost book everyday in private request lesson, not because he was the best skier but because he was taking care of his students. What is the mind of the guest is probably something like this '' he helps me for free'' which is true '' imagine what I can get if I take a lesson with this guy''... so that's why it all depend of you. If you begging for work they will feel it and they probably not be interested. But if you give the best costumer service before you will get some result. It is not the top gun of the ski school who help them it is you, the guy they will ask if you are ''free to give a lesson today''. This is just the beginning of what you can do to be sure to survive as a ski instructor. You want to know more tell me. I will write to you more idea. I pretty sure I can write a book. I make over 20 000$ last winter and it was my second season at this mountain where we are 1000 ski instructors.
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