Plumber to Ski Instructor


Grant Tipler sets out in December to work in Canada as a ski instructor. Having successfully qualified as a CSIA Level 2 ski instructor with the Winter Sports Company in April 2013, he has bagged his first instructing job at Mount Washington resort on Vancouver Island. Congratulations.


A Dream Come True

Grant skied for the first time at 8 years of age – he never touched the slopes again until he was in his late 20s. He then went on holiday to Megeve and caught the skiing bug.

Grant knew he wanted to be on skis everyday, but could not make the move to the mountains as he was mid way through his plumbing and gas qualifications at college. However, once qualified as a plumber, Grant went to work his first full winter season employed as a maintenance man in Val d’Isere. And this is where his ski instructor career began.

Ski Instructor Right From the Start

Grant told us, “Whilst helping some of the real novices from the hotel staff in Val d’Isere with their skiing and boarding I felt that this is something I could do and enjoy so I went to Sun Peaks with the Winter Sports Company and got trained up.”

How to Find a Job in Canada

Grant (unbelievably) is over 30 so does not qualify for a working holiday visa. So how did he find employment in Canada? This is his advice.

“The Winter Sports Company knew I was looking for sponsorship as I was over the age of working holiday visa qualification. I already had a CV drafted up and I had been applying for as many jobs as I could beforehand.

I got Steve from the Winter Sports Company and Adam from the snow school at Sun Peaks Resort to do me a couple of references and sent a strong covering letter outlining why I so wanted to change my career from plumbing to ski instructing and waited for a reply. I got one pretty soon to be honest offering me a Skype interview with the head, Mike, at Mount Washington snow school on Vancouver Island in Canada.

We had a few issues at first with the time difference and trying to arrange a time when we were both available, coupled with poor internet connections at the most inconvenient time but we got there in the end.

The interview was great. Never had one like that before, using Skype, but it was pretty good as a medium especially being so many miles apart.

I was offered the job there and then and I really had to contain my excitement until the Skype was turned

Got the confirmation sent and that was that.”

Exciting Future

I am leaving behind a lot of friends, a well paid job and family for an indefinite period really. I’ve chosen to get a one way ticket and I am hoping to travel afterwards, possibly buy a cheap car and do a road trip across America and visit my cousin in New York ( a place I have never been to yet ) but who knows what will happen.

I am taking up Spanish in a hope that I may get a job in South America in Chile or Argentina and if so a trip over to Brazil for the World cup may be on the cards too.

All I can say is watch this space.”

And just to add to his incredible life change, Grant has enrolled on a short snowboard instructor course with the Winter Sports Company. This means he travels out to Canada a few weeks before his job starts to add  a level 1 snowboarding qualification to his list of achievements.


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