If you’re into your snowsports, it’s more than likely you’ve considered working a ski season before. After-all, the experience offered during an entire season is very different to your average 1-2 week ski trip.
The seasonal option will allow you to greatly improve your technical skiing or snowboarding over several months while also allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture of the country you’ve chosen.
And because of these advantages, taking a winter season on a ski instructor internship has become the biggest new winter travel trend, especially among adventure travelers looking to make the most of winter.
Ski instructor internships are available in many resorts across the world, and as the name suggests, this is a paid initiative for skiers.
If this is something you’re interested in, continue reading as we explain what a ski internship is, and give you five reasons why it might be a good fit for you this winter!
Five Reasons to Consider a Winter Season on a Ski Instructor Internship
A Guaranteed Job
Finding employment in a ski resort is notoriously difficult, particularly if it is a popular resort destination where large numbers of seasonaires want to be.
But competition for jobs is only half the story, with other considerations being length of season/contract and location. Many employers only list job openings a short period before employment starts, and many require you to be in resort to interview.
This can be problematic as you risk travelling to resort only to be unsuccessful in finding a job. Each season, many seasonnaires will return home without having found a job for the winter.
A ski instructor internship is much less of a risk, as all the screening and interviewing is done well before the season starts. This means you have a guaranteed job offer before you even book flights.
The vast majority of internships also come with staff accommodation, which is not only inexpensive compared to regular accommodation, but one less thing to have to think about!
Your Travel Logistics Sorted
Transport, accommodation, orientation, bank accounts, visas, equipment, the list of things to plan before you travel goes on. Not only is there a risk of something important being forgotten, it can also be really time consuming.
If you decide to go down the ski instructor internship route, the training provider should arrange and assist with the pre season organisation. In fact, some providers, like WE ARE SNO, have a dedicated team and user platform to streamline your preparation period.
During your ski internship you will also have access to reps and managers in resort whose job it is to help you adjust to resort life. So, consider your winter travel season logistics sorted!
More Time on the Slopes Than Other Jobs
If you’re choosing to do a ski season, it is likely because you want to ski or snowboard, a lot! Many seasonal jobs can eat into slope time and have you working long and unsociable hours.
This is a big consideration, especially if you end up with very little time to make use of a season lift pass. But once you finish your instructor training you will start employment within a ski school.
In your first season you can expect to spend a fair amount of time teaching beginners, both adults and children. Whilst this may not sound like the most glamorous work it doesn’t mean you won’t get the chance to explore the resort.
Many schools offer their instructors daily/weekly training which can advance your general skiing/riding, off-piste and terrain park skills. You could even get to ride the lifts prior to any guests, which usually mean fresh tracks or pristine groomers!
A Well Paid & More Rewarding Job
Ski resort jobs aren’t traditionally high paying. There are certainly better industries to make your millions in, if you’re that way inclined. However, working in a ski resort offers a refreshing work-life balance and has many other benefits that make up for the lower wage.
That being said, ski instructing is one of the best paid jobs on the mountain. In a country such as Japan, an entry-level instructor can earn up to ¥4000JPY (£28 GBP) p/h. While the base wage is lower than this, it shows the potential for an ambitious instructor.
If you choose a level 2 ski instructor internship, you can expect your earning potential to increase as you gain more certifications. Secondary to the money, almost every instructor will agree how rewarding it is to teach someone something you love to do each day.
Career Choice All Around the World
Unlike most resort jobs, ski instructing is a career. There is a clear direction for progression and an ability to take on more responsibility and earn a higher salary.
While you are likely to achieve level 1, up to level 2 during a ski internship you would be able to attempt higher level qualifications after time in the job. Higher level instructors often take a less hands on approach within ski schools, and are likely to be managing staff, logistics, training and ski school performance.
The final kicker (pardon the pun) to becoming a ski instructor is the flexibility of the qualifications. The majority of certifications gained will be accepted by ski schools around the world, meaning it is often possible to work in Canada, Japan, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, the US and more.
This is obviously dependent on your ability to apply for a work visa, but some ski schools will sponsor candidates they feel are right for them.
Many instructors who have completed courses in Canada or Japan will go on to do a second season in New Zealand or Australia, before returning to the Northern Hemisphere to do it all over again!