Deciding On A Ski Instructor Course

I opted for the 18-week level 1, 2, and 3 course. My parents generously fronted a good chunk to make it all work, and I saved up from various jobs for most of the equipment. I was 20 when I left Worcester, UK, for Sun Peaks Ski Resort. Between family holidays since age 3, I had about 15 weeks of skiing under my belt before setting out. Before the course, I was mainly grafting in local businesses, just doing manual labour. Skiing, my favourite sport, was always a beckoning horizon. University didn’t quite appeal to me, not as much as skiing did. As soon as COVID restrictions eased and I gathered the funds (thanks to some help from my folks), I jumped on it, hoping for both the challenge and the thrill.

Becoming A Ski Instructor

The arrival in Canada was a cocktail of excitement and nerves. It all felt surreal, especially when surrounded by strangers. Yet, the anxiety eased when I met folks in a similar boat at the airport. The initial days felt like an extended holiday before it dawned that this ‘holiday’ might just morph into a career. Becoming a Ski instructor, what are my career options? 

The course was structured yet laid-back – skiing from 9-3, with an hour lunch, four days a week. Surprisingly, it gave us enough downtime to recover, practise, or have a pint with mates. As for my skills, while I started proficient, I reckon I ended on the same high note.  A cheeky tip for anyone setting off – save up a bit more for the toasty gear. Heated socks, perhaps? Everything Else You Might Need For Your GAP Ski Course

Ski Internship v Ski Course

Reflecting on my journey, the 18-week course during my first season was ace. It landed me qualifications without burning through a work visa. The second season saw me venturing into a level 3 internship. While initially, I had my sights set elsewhere, the resort’s perks with the internship – guaranteed job and accommodation – swung it for me. The internship was more social, offering a more extensive network, and although it was two days of training, the ski school provided additional daily training, which was gold.


CSIA Level 3 Training

Working during the season was rewarding, though not as intensive as one might expect. For anyone pondering their path, training for a year without using a visa and then harnessing two full years to hone your skills is the way forward. After forking out for the level 3 exam, my focus sharpened. Completing level 3 in my second season was a game-changer: pay bump, elite lessons, potential sponsorships, and a massive boost in employability overall. What’s next? Still in two minds. I could chase the next qualification or enjoy the coming season, pint in hand. Getting a Ski Instructor Job after your Course Finishes

Ski Season Review

I wish I had done this earlier, though COVID’s to blame. It’s made me realise – even my uni-going brother’s a tad envious of the ski season I had. The experience has boosted my confidence and gifted me with skills, a circle of lifelong mates, and invaluable connections. I hope this gives you a good picture of what a season is like and inspires others to do the same. How to do a Gap Year Ski Season: a Step-by-Step Guide


Undecided on university? Thinking about becoming a ski instructor? Take a look at some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Can Anyone Be A Ski Instructor?

If above 15, given the right attitude and ability, anyone can be a ski instructor. Training through a provider like the Winter Sports Company can ensure a speedy journey to becoming a ski instructor. Embarking on an intense training programme is a surefire way of learning the correct methods and, more importantly, understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses so that the student can improve through learning, practising and teaching the techniques and skills associated with a ski instructor.

What Is A Ski Season Like?

Working a ski season is not all about endless bluebird powder days; it’s generally hard work. Long days in subzero temperatures, with children who do not always want to engage, can make the season hard to endure. Add some late party nights and early morning starts; this can eventually drain the batteries. Keeping on top of your health and your finances needs to be a priority. A level 1 or 2 instructor will earn enough to break even month by month. When you reach Level 3, you will start to forge a solid career out of this. Until then, it’s a balance between having the best time of your life, making new friends, surviving the season and gearing up for the next adventure.

How Much Do Canadian Ski Instructors Get Paid?

A typical salary ranges from $17-19 as a Level 1 ski Instructor to $19-22 as a Level 2. A level 3 instructor can start to make a good living with more hours and a higher wage of $23-28, depending on the resort. Private lessons and tips will help increase your take-home pay. When you reach fully certified Level 4 standard, you can maximise your earning potential and hours and become a sought-after commodity. This level will significantly increase your employability and offer many other gateways to earn a considerably well-paid salary.