The reason I did not get certified is I would have made less money the first few years I taught. By the time I paid for all the tests, the membership, and received the pay raise and other "benifits" of being certified my take home pay would have been less or the same. I could have easily taken all the tests and gotten level 1 and 2 but their was absolutely no benifit to doing so. The last few seasons I taught I was actually making more as a uncertified ski and snowboard instructor than the level 3 instructors on staff, again no benifit to me. Ski instructing was not a career I was going to follow, I never saw any kind of future being a instructor.
As a kid skiing with the school group we were required to take lessons. I could not stand them. To me the biggest problem was the instructors did not look like good skiers. Their were much better skiers on the hill I wanted to ski like and the way the classes were going was not taking me in that direction. Later in life is when I learned the whole PSIA thing and now know why the instructors are people I did not look up to when I was younger. So no the general public does not know what PSIA is, they do know what the local ski school jackets look like and see the instructors on the hill. Again it all boils down to offering something people want. Unfortunately the way the majority of PSIA certified instructors ski is not something alot of people want.
Another reason people do not get lessons was mentioned earlier in the thread. On average people do not ski very many days a year, They are there to ski not stand around and talk about skiing. This is something there is almost no solution for when it comes to group lessons. With private lessons the standing around can be greatly reduced. Now the cost has gone up throwing another road block in the mix.
When I grew up I spent my time watching guys like Jean Luc Brassard in the bumps. I have always been a huge freestyle skier. What little I have seen of the PSIA Demo teams has not left me wanting to see more.
I have no idea what it will take to get more people to take lessons. I am just pointing out some of the things I have seen that is causing people to not take lessons.