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How easy is it to get work once Level 2 qualified?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

You all see like a knowledgable group and i was hoping for some advice on how to actually get some work as an instructor for this 09/10 winter season. Both myself and my friend qualified as BASI 2 instructor (myself Ski he is a Snowboarder) and had the time of our lives with Base Camp Group in Meribel 2 seasons ago and we're both really keen to start our careers in the mountains and share our passions with others. The problem is with the economy that all the ski schools seem to have stopped hiring new instructors.

If anyone has any advice or may know where we should look then it would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 12
BASI web site...
post #3 of 12
Where do you want to work?

That qualification will make it easier to work in the US, but visa issues complicate the process. If you can come in under a student visa, it's easier than getting a seasonal visa. There'd be less trouble getting into Canada, eh?
post #4 of 12
Working on that Canadian accent therusty??

Getting a J1 will make things easier.  Many of our UK, NZ, & Oz instructors had to ride out last season in Canada.   I'm not sure what the numbers will be for this season.

Originally Posted by therusty View Post
 There'd be less trouble getting into Canada, eh?
post #5 of 12
Yes, you'll definitely want to make sure you're legally eligible to work in the US, if that's your plan. There have been all sorts of visa issues with our "international" instructors over the past two seasons, and I know that many larger resorts are cutting way back on hiring foreign instructors, out of necessity.

If you can get a visa, it's likely that you'll find work as a Level 2 instructor, although even that has become more difficult lately. With the economic situation, resorts are typically hiring fewer instructors in general, while getting more applications than ever. They can afford to be pickier than years past, and some may not be hiring anyone, or may hire only full-certified instructors.

To be sure, call the Director of any ski school you're interested in working at, and get the lowdown on their hiring policies, visa availability, and staffing needs. Do it soon--the season is quickly approaching!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #6 of 12
Hi jameswinter...
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Where do you want to work?

I think that's the crux of it. With BASI 2 you're a little limited - Canada, USA, Switzerland, Austria and Germany are all okay for full seasons (provided you have appropriate passport/visa), France is a no-no, Italy is a huge mess as far as regions go (but as a rule, you need ISTD and regional permission to work a full-season as an instructor in Italy). I also believe that the training hours with BASI up to L2 are enough to qualify to work in Andorra too - given the size of their English speaking schools (especially at Soldeu and Pas de la Casa) this could be an excellent option if you were looking for European work.

If you take a look at www.snowpro.com (the CSIA/CSCF/CASI website), and check their jobs listings, you will find that there is still a lot of available work in Canada. I couldn't comment on the States (though I remember reading about visa issues last season - perhaps someone will clarify). Andorra will probably be a good bet - as I say, very large English speaking ski school set ups (lots of Brits, Aussies and Kiwis), and the resorts may well do well as people work their way out of financial constraints, but still don't feel quite flush enough for Switzerland. I've done courses alongside a lot of guys from Soldeu, and they've all been very positive, the boss is a Brit who is very keen on instructor development and seems to take a good interest in how is colleagues are getting on.

PS. As justanotherskipro suggests, it may also be a good idea to check out the BASI website. They have a good page (hidden away somewhere) with information about what is required to work in most major skiing countries. Although I'm not BASI, I have found it to be a very useful resource.

PPS. If all else fails, there's always Aviemore. Though I doubt they'll have as good a season again this year... but you never know. 
post #7 of 12

I teach in the east coast of America, and last year, out lesson business was only affected slightly by the economy.  Because of the availability and cost of seasonal work visas, many of the eastern resorts have had openings for full time instructors.  Where I teach, we use students, working with student work visas, which is much different than the seasonal work visa.

How much actual teaching experience do you have?  A PSIA LII, must have a minimum of 150 hours of teaching experience (less than one season of full time teaching) or about two seasons of teaching part time on weekends.  Because of some competition for the openings, experience could play a role in candidate selection.

Hope this is help full.

post #8 of 12
I'd check with militaries that have soldiers stationed in the Alps and alpine countries.  They often have recreational programs, including skiing, for which they hire outsiders as instructors.  So look up military bases and inquire about work possibilities.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am overwhelmed with all the replies thank you so much!!  I will put as many of your suggestions into action as i can. A big problem i have is that there is no chance in hell i can get a Canadian Visa as they go like hotcakes over here (im 26 and to old for a student one too). I will defo look into Andorra and may perhaps have to hang tight for this winter and head to NZ for the southern hemisphere season.

Many thanks again to you all
post #10 of 12
Good point on the visa front... I've got one allocated myself, but am not going to get the opportunity to use it this season.   More instructing in Italy (fitted around other work and study).... maybe one day I'll instruct in North America for a season...

Anyway, I think that Andorra may well be your best bet for the coming season. It's worth checking out a couple of options in Switzerland too though, as there is a big requirement for English instructors, particularly in places like Wengen. (I've got a contact at one of the ski schools in Wengen if you were interested? Just PM me for details if you are).
post #11 of 12
Have you thought about applying for jobs in Japan, I worked in CO for a few years, then couldn't go back because of the H2B problems, I went to Japan last year and loved it, better snow, better money, interesting culture, hopefully going back this year. Only problem is that most schools will have done a lot of their hiring already. Search for schools in Hakuba (Evergreen) and Niseko (NISS, NBS, SAS, Sessions), they are the biggest resorts for English speakers.

Also I would be careful about planning on coming to NZ to teach, getting jobs down here is very competitive, the chances of you getting a job without at least a few seasons experience are very slim. Good luck though! 
post #12 of 12
In Japan, you might be able to get a job at Sahoro Club Med, they had a posting on the CSIA site for Level 2s, and Evergreen in Hakuba had a posting as well.

Most schools are done hiring for the season, but you might have a better chance as a L2!

Can you still get a Working Holiday visa?

Best of luck!
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