Using your Ski Instructor Qualifications

Whether you are thinking about doing your ski instructor course as a way of kickstarting a career or as part of a year out knowing what you can do with your qualifications will probably make your decision a little easier.

Being able to use your ski instructor qualifications after your course is a huge bonus.

A huge thank you to James Thompson for these awesome photos.

My ski instructor course is a gap year only, when will I be able to work?

At the start of all our courses at our welcome meal we ask our BASI 1 and 2 students to close their eyes and with a simple raise of hands say whether this is a gap year or whether this is the start of a career. There is always about a 50/50 split between the two. At the end of the course we do the same thing but by now about 80% of people say this is the start of a career. So while you may think this is a gap year make sure you think about the long term too.

If this really does turn out to become a gap year then worry not, there are plenty of opportunities to use those qualifications.

Immediately at the end of all our courses there is the opportunity to go straight into work with either us or our partner schools across Europe to see out the season. This gives you an awesome opportunity to find your feet and gain some invaluable experience. If after a season in the Alps and the last few weeks to a month of teaching is not enough to fill your ski needs then you can always head to the southern hemisphere. Even if you are starting university.

The Southern Hemisphere ski resorts are at their busiest through July, August and the start of September so you will be able to head down and work right up until you start Uni. It is even possible to return to the southern hemisphere year after year during your university summer holidays. We recommend grabbing a week or two in Asia or the Emirates on the way there or back though. Otherwise winter to winter can get quite full on.

Where you can use your ski instructor qualifications will vary depending on your level

The other university holidays also fit really well with using your qualification. The Christmas/New Year break, February half term and Easter holidays are all really busy periods in the ski world. Ski schools are looking high and low for instructors so finding work could not be easier. You get to go skiing for free and get paid what could be better?

Finally skiing in the UK is becoming ever more popular as dry slopes and snow domes make the sport far more accessible. This is leading to an ever increasing number of instructor roles being available here in the UK, it is a great form of part time work while studying and keeps you doing what you love.

This was the start of a career, where can my qualifications take me?

The short answer is pretty much anywhere with snow. One of the best parts of working in the ski industry is the ability to travel the world, work in foreign counties and experience completely different cultures. Provided you have chosen the right qualification system where you choose to go will be completely up to you. Many of our former BASI 2 students head off to Japan and spend a winter there, or spend summers in the southern hemisphere. While those who have completed their ISIA often decide to take a year out and explore the Americas, Austria and further afield. The ski industry is growing at an incredible rate, From China to Morocco emerging alpine nations are offering an ever increasing number of opportunities for qualified instructors.

There is always time to have some fun as a ski instructor

The long answer is far more complex, I would start by saying where do you want your qualifications to take you? Many of our current Course mentors and some of our BASI trainers started their careers on courses just like this. Tom Waddington our Swiss area Manager and himself a BASI trainer joined us for his BASI 1 & 2 course 8 years ago.

The only real limitation on what you are able to do with your qualifications is you. From opening your own ski school to become chief product tester for the Daily Telegraph ski magazine the choices are all yours.

The important thing is that it is possible to make a career and a financially rewarding one at that from ski instruction.

James is enrolled on one of our 3 Valley BASI 1 & 2 programmes. You can find more of James’ photos on his Flickr page just click here.