Becoming a Ski Instructor: What it’s Like and How to Become One

By Team Carv

October 16, 2023

5 min read

Hey there, skier! Are you thinking about turning your passion for skiing into a career and becoming a ski instructor? Ski instructing is a fantastic way to share your love of skiing with others and make a living out of it. If you're an advanced skier and thinking about becoming a ski instructor, this article is for you.

Carv, which is the #1 skiing technology to improve technique and has collected data from Olympic skiers and over 30,000 users, will help guide you through the process. In fact about 10% of our users are instructors - and a number of our users have even become instructors as a result of using Carv - so we feel we can share a few things on this topic!

So, what qualifications do I need?

To kick off your ski instructing career, you'll need at least a Level 1 qualification, which should be recognised by the International Ski Instructor's Association (ISIA). As you level up in the ski instructing world, you can work towards Level 4 qualifications, making you an expert ski instructor or examiner.

How good at skiing should I be?

You don't need to be a ski pro just yet. Just make sure you can control your speed, confidently link turns on red slopes, and maintain parallel turns on blue runs. Don't stress about being perfect, as the aim of an instructor course is to help you develop your ski skills too.

What other skills should I have?

Besides being a good skier, you'll need to be great with people—that's who you'll be teaching, after all! Get ready to explain and demonstrate skiing techniques, analyse, and provide helpful feedback. If you can speak another language, that's a bonus for working with international students or at resorts abroad.

How long does it take?

Typically, it takes one season to get both your Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications through a ski instructor course. Going for the higher-level qualifications might take a few more years of teaching and training—but hey, you'll be skiing for a living, so it's not a bad gig!

How tricky is it to become a ski instructor?

The initial Level 1 qualification isn't too hard, focusing on teaching beginners in a 4-5 day course. As you venture into the higher levels, things start to get more challenging, but nothing a passionate skier like yourself can't handle.

How do I get started?

First, find one of those epic organised ski instructor courses from a reputable provider. The best ones include flights, accommodation, lift passes, and expert tuition. These all-inclusive packages give you the ultimate chance of getting qualified while having the time of your life on the slopes.

Can Carv help me?

Over 1,500 ski instructors currently use Carv as part of their own training and development. Its real-time feedback, performance metrics, skill progression tracking, and data-driven coaching can help you fine-tune your skiing abilities, making you better-equipped to teach and guide others in the world of skiing. Carv is an indispensable ally for those on the path to becoming a successful ski instructor. Are you ready to start using Carv in your instructor journey?

What's it like being a ski instructor?

Imagine your day job involving swooshing around the mountain, sharing your love for skiing, and taking in that fresh alpine air. Not bad, right? You'll be teaching people of all ages and abilities, and continually developing your own skiing skills.

How much can I earn as a ski instructor?

Your earnings will depend on a few factors, like your qualifications, experience, and where you're working. Remember, higher qualifications can lead to higher pay. Plus, there are always tips from happy clients to look forward to!

What hours will I work?

Expect to be on the slopes during prime skiing hours—that's when your students need you! Just make sure you manage your time well, so you'll also have some free skiing time for yourself.

Where can I work?

You'll be able to work in various countries and resorts around the world, as long as you have the right qualifications and a valid working visa. Just keep in mind that some places, like France, might require a bit more certification. Plus, working in different locations is an awesome way to boost your skills and adaptability.

Wondering what ski instructors do when the snow melts? Many of them find seasonal work in other industries, like coaching other sports, working in tourism or hospitality, or taking on outdoor adventure roles. Some instructors use the downtime to focus on personal projects or professional development opportunities. There’s also always the option to get a job teaching in the Southern Hemisphere, like New Zealand or Chile.

Now, here are some top tips to help you become an ace ski instructor:

1. Pick a solid ski instructor course that offers all-in-one packages with flights, accommodation, lift passes, and lessons.

2. Hone your skiing skills and get in shape before starting the course, so you can make the most of it.

3. Work on your communication chops and maybe learn a new language, too. This will help you score jobs and work with all kinds of clients.

4. Make friends with other ski instructors and pros in the biz. Knowing the right people can open up some sweet job opportunities and help your career grow.

5. Kick off your career by applying for gigs at smaller ski resorts. This will help you gain experience and build your confidence as an instructor. As you level up, you can shoot for bigger, fancier resorts.

6. Stay up-to-date with skiing trends, techniques, and teaching methods by keeping in touch with other instructors and learning from each other.

7. Think about going for higher-level qualifications and certifications to make yourself even more valuable, knowledgeable, and better paid.

In short, becoming a ski instructor takes dedication, skills, a positive attitude, and a love for the sport. If you're a top-notch skier who enjoys sharing your knowledge, a career as a ski instructor could be right up your alley. Carv can help you, especially if you are looking to improve your technique before embarking on your instructor journey. Read more about Carv's metrics here. Once you start to improve your skiing, you'll be well on your way to becoming a certified ski instructor and living the dream in the mountains.


Written by: Team Carv