If you’re reading this, you’ve probably got a ski instructor qualification already. Nice one! Now onto the next step – finding your perfect role for winter.
Here’s our advice to help you find your dream winter job – where to look, how to apply and what to expect.
Where to Look
The first place to look is the BASI Jobs board. This is a great tool as it’s not restricted to one country – you can scroll through and see what kind of opportunities there are for BASI instructors and where! There are also jobs in the UK for any of you looking to earn some hours at home.
Many smaller ski schools opt to advertise on Facebook, which is fast becoming the best recruiting for ski instructors. Have a look at Snowsport Instructors of the World , Ski & Snowboard Jobs and BASI Members (BASI members only) Facebook groups for work opportunities (and ski news too!). We sometimes feature jobs on our page too, so keep your eyes peeled.
Lastly, if you’re looking to work in North America or Australia / New Zealand, you will usually have to apply to the mountain directly. Unlike European and Japanese ski resorts, one company will own and run the entire mountain. Mount Hotham in Australia is one example, as is Beaver Creek in the US which is owned and run by Vail Resorts.
When to Apply
Be prepared! Ski instructor jobs are very popular, meaning the application windows for each area tend to be quite small. You need to know when your preferred role is likely to open, and be prepared. These are the key times to watch the BASI jobs board and Facebook groups, and checking resort pages for job openings;
- Australia / New Zealand – April
- Austria, Switerland, and rest of Europe – May
- Japan – mid to late June
How to Apply
So now you’ve found your ideal role, it’s time to get applying!
Forget everything you’ve been taught about writing a CV. Sending in a formal CV listing your A-Levels won’t cut it for the typical recruiter. They know you can ski if you’ve got a qualification, so use your CV to show your personality instead. What can you bring to their ski school, and what kind of instructor will you be?
In real terms this means telling the recruiter your passions, why you love skiing and showing them with pictures, graphics, quotes, references – whatever you can think of! We’ve had people apply to our Work and Train programmes by sending in videos, recording songs and even publishing books. We’re not saying you have to do any of the above, but the point is you need to stand out, and show them what you can bring to the table (or piste).
Our Instructor Manager Adam has probably looked at hundreds ski instructor applications in his role. He came up with a list of things that make ski instructor job applicants stand out to him, and it’s full of great tips for writing your own CV. Use it wisely.
Other things to consider
If you’re looking to work outside of Europe, you will probably need to gain a visa to work legally in your chosen country. There are two types of working visa;
- Working Holiday Visa – this gives you the right to work in a specific country, and choose who you work for within a set period (usually 2 years).
- Sponsored Visa – an employer will support your application in return for you working for them.
Usually these are only available to instructors who are 30 and under, but there are exceptions.
Some countries have competitive visa applications, or only allocate a set number per year. This means the applications are only open for short windows of time, so it pays to be prepared. For example, the process to apply in Canada (via Government of Canada website) is quite complex, and ideally you want to apply for a visa at least 12 months before you intend to travel. This is in contrast to New Zealand which has no quota, and is relatively straightforward to gain (via NZ Immigration).
Recognition of Qualifications
There are some countries or regions which require instructors to convert their qualifications. The various regions of Austria are a notable example. If you wish to work in Austria, you must first choose your region (ie. working in St Anton = Tirol region) and apply to that government.
They will ask for copies of your instructor certificates and recognise you at the equivalent level in Austria. Therefore a BASI Level 2 will be recognised as an Anwärter, issued a recognition certificate and be qualified to work within a ski school.
What to Expect
So you’ve found a job, applied and have all the documents in place to begin working. What’s next? This varies from country to country
- Europe + Japan – You will likely be asked to interview over the phone or Skype. Note that in certain cases you may be asked to demonstrate some foreign language skills, though this is not common. If you are successful you will be given a job offer. Chapeau!
- New Zealand + Australia – This depends on the size of the resort. Most small resorts will require a Skype interview and provide a job offer after this. In larger resorts, hiring clinics are commonplace. If successful in your application, you will be invited to ski with the school the weekend before the season begins. If you impress, they will offer you an instructor role for the season, but an offer isn’t guaranteed. Therefore there is an element of risk for instructors from outside the country.
We hope the above information has been helpful, but if you have any questions we’re always happy to discuss your next steps. Just contact us using our online form and we’ll get right back to you.