How to become a private ski lesson instructor

Follow these two steps, and you can become a private ski lesson instructor. (Step Two is actually optional, but recommended.)

Step One: Pay your dues at a ski school

To become a private lesson instructor, you will probably have to start as a group lesson Follow these two steps, and you can become a private ski lesson instructor. (Step Two is actually optional, but recommended.)

Step One: Pay your dues at a ski school

To become a private lesson instructor, you will probably have to start as a group lesson instructor at a ski school to gain teaching experience. You don’t have to be an expert skier to teach; intermediate-level skiing ability is sufficient at most resorts. Research the ski area(s) where you would like to work and the application procedures. Many ski schools have job fairs where you can talk to supervisors and apply for positions. Emphasize any teaching or coaching experience you have (teaching anything), as well as any experience working with people. School activities and volunteer positions count.

Ski schools will usually invite qualified applicants to a hiring clinic (you often have to pay to attend these), where you will ski with supervisors for a day or two (sometimes longer), who will evaluate your skiing ability, technical knowledge of skiing, and interpersonal skills. The latter is the most important – skiing ability and technical knowledge can be improved; people skills often cannot. Ski resorts look for people who are friendly and outgoing and have the ability to entertain a group of strangers while teaching them to do something they are not comfortable doing – often in adverse weather conditions.

Those instructors who make the cut will be hired and assigned to teach different age groups (children, teens, adults) and skiing ability levels. Beginning instructors usually teach children and beginners. The ski school will provide training prior to your teaching in your first class.

It is possible to begin teaching private lessons during your first year as an instructor. Beginner’s sign up for privates, and parents sign up their children for one-on-one instruction. Some people request certain instructors, but many private lessons are randomly assigned to any available instructor who can teach at the requisite level. Do the best job you can (employ those interpersonal skills, especially patience and good humor); so that students and parents will request you for their next lesson and even refer you to others. Likewise, if you impress your students while teaching a class, they might request you for a private lesson later – and you’ll start to build your own clientele.

In addition to ski area ski schools, there are private ski schools that hire instructors as well. Many of these positions are volunteer, but you will get a free or discounted season pass and experience teaching. Private ski schools are not based at the ski area, but travel to a resort to conduct classes. Students generally sign up for a series of lessons at the beginning of the season. Many of these ski schools offer private lessons and opportunities to teach them.

Step Two: Get certified

Whether you are working for a ski area or volunteering with a private ski school, becoming certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) increases your status in the eyes of the ski industry and the skiing public. Certification can lead to more private lessons. In fact, many PSIA-certified instructors teach private or semi-private lessons exclusively.

Becoming certified involves studying for and passing a series of exams, which are offered twice a year. Instructors are graded on skiing skills, technical knowledge, and teaching ability; a candidate must pass all three areas. There are three levels of exams: I-III. To become fully certified, you must pass all three levels. This usually takes a few years; most Level III instructors have four or five years of teaching experience.

With patience, persistence, a good attitude, and willingness to learn and improve, you will be on your way to a career – or a great part-time job – as a private ski lesson instructor. instructor at a ski school to gain teaching experience. You don’t have to be an expert skier to teach; intermediate-level skiing ability is sufficient at most resorts. Research the ski area(s) where you would like to work and the application procedures. Many ski schools have job fairs where you can talk to supervisors and apply for positions. Emphasize any teaching or coaching experience you have (teaching anything), as well as any experience working with people. School activities and volunteer positions count.

Ski schools will usually invite qualified applicants to a hiring clinic (you often have to pay to attend these), where you will ski with supervisors for a day or two (sometimes longer), who will evaluate your skiing ability, technical knowledge of skiing, and interpersonal skills. The latter is the most important – skiing ability and technical knowledge can be improved; people skills often cannot. Ski resorts look for people who are friendly and outgoing and have the ability to entertain a group of strangers while teaching them to do something they are not comfortable doing – often in adverse weather conditions.

Those instructors who make the cut will be hired and assigned to teach different age groups (children, teens, adults) and skiing ability levels. Beginning instructors usually teach children and beginners. The ski school will provide training prior to your teaching in your first class.

It is possible to begin teaching private lessons during your first year as an instructor. Beginners sign up for privates, and parents sign up their children for one-on-one instruction. Some people request certain instructors, but many private lessons are randomly assigned to any available instructor who can teach at the requisite level. Do the best job you can (employ those interpersonal skills, especially patience and good humor) so that students and parents will request you for their next lesson and even refer you to others. Likewise, if you impress your students while teaching a class, they might request you for a private lesson later – and you’ll start to build your own clientele.

In addition to ski area ski schools, there are private ski schools that hire instructors as well. Many of these positions are volunteer, but you will get a free or discounted season pass and experience teaching. Private ski schools are not based at the ski area, but travel to a resort to conduct classes. Students generally sign up for a series of lessons at the beginning of the season. Many of these ski schools offer private lessons and opportunities to teach them.

Step Two: Get certified

Whether you are working for a ski area or volunteering with a private ski school, becoming certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) increases your status in the eyes of the ski industry and the skiing public. Certification can lead to more private lessons. In fact, many PSIA-certified instructors teach private or semi-private lessons exclusively.

Becoming certified involves studying for and passing a series of exams, which are offered twice a year. Instructors are graded on skiing skills, technical knowledge, and teaching ability; a candidate must pass all three areas. There are three levels of exams: I-III. To become fully certified, you must pass all three levels. This usually takes a few years; most Level III instructors have four or five years of teaching experience.

With patience, persistence, a good attitude, and willingness to learn and improve, you will be on your way to a career – or a great part-time job – as a private ski lesson instructor.

With patience

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