Every winter sports enthusiast gets the blues when their vacation ends, but what if you could stay at a resort and make a living? Instead of getting your fix by scanning last minute ski deals at the end of summer, it is possible for you to quit your day job and live the dream as a ski instructor. |
You could spend your days teaching people the ropes, before hitting the slopes and breathing in that crisp mountain air. You can then indulge in the après scene and hang out at different bars (everybody loves drinking with the instructors!).
Before you hand in your notice, you will need to obtain accreditation and secure work as an instructor. Fortunately, this does not have to take long and you could soon swap the suit and tie for skis and goggles.
Many instructors claim that the best way to get qualified is through the British Association of Ski Instructors (BASI), which is an internationally-recognised training and graduation organisation in Scotland. What stands out about BASI is that after you have completed each level, you are then able to teach. This experience is priceless and will help you to land employment
- Alpine Level 1 – This 5-day course can be taken in various locations around the UK. Level 1 training involves demonstrating the basics, skiing safety, lesson planning, improving your own skiing and instructing ability and how to help in emergencies. Following completion, you can teach on all UK dry slopes and indoor snow centres. After 35 hours experience, you will be ready for Level 2.
- Alpine Level 2 – A 10-day course that takes place in Scotland or at a European resort (snow is required). You will spend 5 hours a day honing your skiing skills under the close eye of a BASI trainer, which is to ensure that you are teaching the proper technique. There are two hours of lectures every evening and you will get a glimpse into the industry that tourists do not get to see. Although challenging, this can be very rewarding and you are likely to bond closely with others on the course.
There are a further two levels, but Alpine 2 will find you work in European resorts teaching beginners and intermediates.
Austria and Switzerland are welcoming of Level 2s, but France is very tough to get into and requires Level 4. The best approach is to contact the larger resorts as they will have a higher demand for work. You should start applying in summer and look for where there are plenty of last minute ski deals – these places will be popular at first snowfall.
Once you have a foot in the door, most resorts will help you to progress; there is potential to earn a lot of money on this career ladder.
In addition to accreditation, you should also make an attempt to learn the language of where you intend to teach.
How to Be Successful
To be successful, you need to be much more than a great skier. You must have patience as you will be dealing with groups of teenagers, excited kids and nervous first-timers. Early mornings are part of the job so you will not be able to go drinking until sunrise and you must always have a friendly, professional and positive demeanour. Teaching large groups takes confidence and great communication skills, so you must develop these if you are to prove successful.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re heading off on one of the last minute ski deals Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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