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How to become certified as a ski instructor

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My son is starting college next year at Univ. of utah. He and I were talking about how it would be cool to go abroad after he gets a degree. I wondered about the possibility of going to Europe or SA and working as a ski instructor. 1. He's a pretty good skier, but I assume much more is required to actually get certified as an instructor.But he'll be in Utah for 4 years, so how feasible is that? 2. Assuming he got some kind of certification, how feasible is it as US citizen to teach at some resort abroad?  Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post

My son is starting college next year at Univ. of utah. He and I were talking about how it would be cool to go abroad after he gets a degree. I wondered about the possibility of going to Europe or SA and working as a ski instructor. 1. He's a pretty good skier, but I assume much more is required to actually get certified as an instructor.But he'll be in Utah for 4 years, so how feasible is that? 2. Assuming he got some kind of certification, how feasible is it as US citizen to teach at some resort abroad?  Thanks for any input.
 

What is required is:
1) skiing with the correct technique
2) be able to teach.
2b) a good way to get your foot in the door is to have experience with kids, ie camp counselor experience, babysitting, etc.  (if he is a decent skier this will probably help him most)
3) call all the ski resorts near where he will be going to school.  Some will be hiring entry level instructors.  Find out if he can shadow the instructors.   If lucky they will either help him with the techniques needed to start, or simply hire him on the spot and start him with teaching skills, skiing skills, will train him to pass the psia test, give him experience teaching.

Some material for him to go over is the core concepts and alpine manual from here:
http://www.psia-rm.org/products.php?sorttype=alpine  (most read)

Also, the level 1 studyguide from here is also a must read:
http://divaskitips.blogspot.com/search/label/skills%20concept
 
Also the childrens manual will be a good read, plus their are a ton of good docs on divaskitips for him to read.

When he starts to read this, he will see the names weems and Barnes all over the place, they are on here.  Besides reading the level 1 studyguide and childrens manual, buying the core concepts and alpine manual, shadowing instructors, film him skiing and ask for people here for analysis. 

You should start calling ski resorts tommorow (of ski resorts near the u of u) since these resorts will close soon, ask for the ski school director, tell him/her your son would like to be a ski school instructor,  ask them if they are training people to be instructors next year, and if they only hire those with experience ask them of a ski resort nearby that would be good.

He can spend every minute of the summer reading and he still wont be able to read it all.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post

My son is starting college next year at Univ. of utah. He and I were talking about how it would be cool to go abroad after he gets a degree. I wondered about the possibility of going to Europe or SA and working as a ski instructor. 1. He's a pretty good skier, but I assume much more is required to actually get certified as an instructor.But he'll be in Utah for 4 years, so how feasible is that? 2. Assuming he got some kind of certification, how feasible is it as US citizen to teach at some resort abroad?  Thanks for any input.

unless he got his L3 he wouldnt be able to teach over seas. well not wouldnt but highly unlikely hed either get his L3 or be able to teach overseas with out it. Some places even a L3 isnt enough.

Id say still go for it. Snowbird/Alta will hire him as they need people and he can work towards his certification in america where the skiing is pretty damn good.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for info.
post #5 of 10
Good people skills are much more important than skiing skills.

An open mind and willingness to learn will go a long way..

Most ski schools figure if you have an open mind to skiing and are good with people (good communication and interaction skills) you can teach skiing. The resort trainers can teach you how to teach skiing. Teaching people skills is much harder.

Call the local resorts where he wants to work soon (right away) and make contact now. Then in the fall when they start looking for instructors they may be able to give you a call and setup an interview.

DC
post #6 of 10
Most overseas ski operations are very protective of their local instructor talent.  Most have all the English-speaking instructors they need from their own nationals and some absolutely require citizenship to get a job.

One option in Europe would be working as a civilian for the US military teaching recreational skiing.

As Bush notes, L3 certification most likely would be required.
post #7 of 10
Garmish (Germany) snowsports school is part of the Northern Rocky Mountain division of PSIA. If he is a good skier and "teacher" and gets even a level II in his stay in Utah, he would have a good chance of getting hired. I know of several instructors who got their level III while teaching in Garmish. At Bridger Bowl we currently have about five instructors who spent one or more seasons teaching over in Garmish. A good place to start for info on the Garmish School would be to contact our Executive Director, Turi, at director@psia-nrm.org. Good luck to your son.
post #8 of 10
Disclaimer: I have never been a ski instructor myself, nor have I ever skied in Europe, so I am by no means an authority on this subject.  I do have some observations from friends who are, or have been ski instructors here in the US.

First of all, in Europe as well as the US, there are the 'high end' well know resorts, that most likely have more requirements and restrictions on hiring ski instructors.  There are certainly many smaller regional ski resorts that hire ski instructors. At many (if not most) resorts, there are the instructors that are on-staff with the resort itself, as well as independent ski schools that have licenses to operate at resorts.  Some of the independents have lesser requirements, and some more, depending on their target market (beginner kids, or expert adults).  If someone is spending $ thousands per person for a week at a posh, world class resort, they mostly expect world class instructors. However, all resorts have lessons for beginners, and little kids (that are also beginners).  I have friends that instruct beginner kids (3 - 8 year olds) so, it's a big part baby sitting, big part making sure kids have a good enough time that they and their parents want to return to the resort, and a little skiing instruction thrown in. Friends that have done this have no certification, and are just average skiers themselves - but they are great with kids.  Even if you son is an expert skier, this may be a way to get his foot in the door.  some resorts to go out of their way a bit to hire people from other countries to give their resort a more 'international feel'.  I know that Whistler in BC Canada has done this.

Definitely go for it - sounds like a great idea.
post #9 of 10
Hi Steve!

I don't think Nick NEEDS to be an US-certified instructor. In Austria he could become an Anwaerter (= Trainee) within 10 days. BUT... those courses are in German (dialect...). So after all US-certification could be the easier way. As an Anwaerter he would be allowed to teach as an instructor with (easier) groups. Like ILOJ said, they believe more in the concept of somebody who had good teaching skills and/or is good with children rather than a pro-skier who isn't very good with people. In France it's the other-way around...
Brixlegg and St. Anton in Austria have many British tourist so English speaking teachers have more chances there I guess.

Let me know if I can be of any help.
Good luck!

-Dirk
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Nick enjoyed sking with you. sounds like a reason to learn German.I'll forward this thread on to him.
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