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post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
How does one become a ski instructor?
post #2 of 12
Run, don't walk to your nearest ski area you want to work at. They usually have hiring clinics in November/December. If you has enthusiasm, they will train you.

What area are you thinking of?
post #3 of 12
Originally posted by Powderdog:
How does one become a ski instructor?
OK so lets be honest instructors “See A Shrink”. Then call you’re nearest ski area and find out their needs. THEY NEED YOU! (Don’t tell them I told you so. That is inside information.)

We have a hiring interview in October, then classroom sessions and a written exam, then a ski off in early December, then we determine our loss ratio from last year, and then we take all of them and find a spot from kid’s camp to beginner lessons. The newbies in beginner lessons shadow lessons a few times and then ski/teach with a level III instructor looking for a sign off so they can teach alone and start receiving a large sum of money. Up to the signoff I get your paycheck if I am with you while you are teaching or looking for a signoff.

Have a GREAT day and JUST DO IT!


Ps: Then you join PSIA and start working towards your certifications because each level at our area increase your pay!

[ September 09, 2002, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: John Cole ]
post #4 of 12
So, you want to be a ski instructor, eh?
Here's some advice from an Ex-ski instructor:

I taught at Okemo for a couple years. It was mostly a whole lot of fun. I loved teaching others to ski and I got to work with a lot of great people. The staff there was very nice and were very accomodating to my need as a part timer to work a pretty odd schedule. A lot of places won't let you do that.

I simply called up there in the fall, spoke to the ski school director, and she said come on up for training in November.
Apparently there is a lot of turnover, and if you're not a great skier, nobody will notice when you're teaching SKIWEE.
You'll probably end up teaching SKIWEE at first, no matter how good you are depending on the Ski School.

I was about a level 9 skier and started out mostly teaching levels 1-4 adults and older kids. Fun, but very hard work on a busy weekend or holiday. In my second year I began to work my way up to levels 5-6 after passing my PSIA Level I exam. That was a lot more fun.

One of the biggest benefits I saw though was how much my skiing improved by skiing with some of the best skiers there, and by taking lots of clinics. The PSIA has fantastic clinics, and that's reason enough to give it a shot, if you want to improve your skiing.

I certainly didn't make any money doing this, but I'm sure you know that already. You have to be around for quite a while if you want to survive as a full timer.

Unfortunately, I couldn't keep it up. I live too far away, and my wife had enough of my shennanigans. My biggest complaint though is that even though the Ski School Directors were very nice people, the Big Resort Management doesn't give a shit about you. They couldn't care less about losing experienced instructors. They give you the season pass, but you really think you're going to get to free ski with it? Not much. I was obligated on my free skiing days to check in with the ski school to see if they needed help. Guess what? They always seemed to be shorthanded.

Ski with the family? You better wear a face mask mask so they don't recognize you and yank you for SKIWEE.

It's all very short sighted. It costs the resort $0 to give you a ski pass. It's a piece of plastic. Don't even try to argue their side of it. If they only asked for 20 days from you as a part timer, that would keep a lot of people from quitting. Maybe you could get 10 days in yourself, with the family.

But of course, they have to milk you for about 30 days. That's a lot for many part timers and because of this, many drop out.
They drop out because it's too much to ask from a poor slob who works M-F all winter long. They lose people just as they're beginning to get some experience. Bad for the ski school - Very Bad for people taking lessons. They'll just hire another new guy, milk him dry, and throw him away in a couple of years too.

IMHO, a big reason why people don't continue to take lessons.

They don't realize that if they hired more instructors, gave them a few more free days, a few more plastic passes, and didn't suck them dry it would be better for everyone and the quality of instruction would improve. Unfortunately, they seem to treat most part timers as if they're trying to scam them out of imaginary lift ticket dollars.

Of course, all resorts are different, this was just my experience.

But I still say DO IT, If you have the time. It's a very rewarding experience, and if I can ever find enough free time, I might be back myself.

>>Rant completed at 01:45 EST.>>

[ September 09, 2002, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: Carvemeister ]
post #5 of 12
Originally posted by John Cole:
Up to the signoff I get your paycheck if I am with you while you are teaching or looking for a signoff.
Are you serious?!

[ September 10, 2002, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: Seth ]
post #6 of 12
Are you serious

It is not as bad as it sounds. Our new instructors shadow other instructors for a couple of lessons and are asked to demo etc. The next step is we shadow the newbies for a couple of lessons. After a few shadows the head instructor asks for sign off yes or no and we advise the head instructor if they are ready to go. At that point if they are ready they start getting paid or return to more training/shadow etc. Prior to a sign off we are paid for the lessons they shadow/teach.

Have a Great day!


[ September 10, 2002, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: John Cole ]
post #7 of 12
Ydnar, is this how it works at DV as well?
post #8 of 12

No, if you work you get paid. You will have a non- teaching rate which you will recieve for your training and you will be paid to shadow one class. You can shadow more if you want but they will be unpaid.

Send me a PM and tell me just what pay grade you were hired at and what your background is and i can give you a better idea about what to expect. I don't want to talk to much about this on the open forum.

post #9 of 12
You answered a question I asked you in the PM I just sent before I had even asked it.
post #10 of 12
>>>I don't want to talk to much about this on the open forum.<<<

Are pay scales a secret? ...Ott
post #11 of 12

Pay scales aren't secret. Its just that I have an ingrained attitude that what a person earns is personal and private information and not for public discussion. Have no idea where I picked it up but it is quite strong.

post #12 of 12
OK, so be it, EXCEPT, our schoolboard pays a certain payscale and it is published in the paper, so is our politicians and administrators payscale, and yes, our ski school pay rate, it is the same for everyone in particular payscale segments and a candidate will know how much he will be paid now and as he advances in his carrer.

I worked for a Knight-Ridder paper as a photojournalist for 35 years and every year the payscale was published in our Guild paper, as was the payscale of every other paper and TV station in the country.

Since financial rewards are part of why ski instructors may want to work for a resort that has higher pay and more perks, it should be no secret how much they pay.

How much he works and how much he eventually earns is his business, but hourly wages should be published by the resorts as part of attracting talent.

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