Ski Instructor Jobs: New Zealand

Advice on finding skiing instructor jobs in New Zealand

If you’re looking for advice, suggestions and opinions on skiing and working in New Zealand, Tom Beard and Andy Stanford are the men to ask. They’ve been working back-to-back winter seasons in Canada and New Zealand for the last few years, but The Winter Sports Company managed to stop them long enough to get a heads up on the ski scene in NZ.

Where to apply for ski instructor jobs

Large commercial resorts: experience required

TIP: As a general rule, you have to have done your time at one of the smaller resorts before applying to the larger commercial ones.

Andy and Tom suggest it may be more difficult to find work as an instructor in New Zealand if you only apply to the larger commercial ski areas – Mt Ruapehu in the North Island and the three mountains managed by NZ Ski in the South Island (Coronet, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt).

If you’re lucky enough to get an offer of employment as an instructor from a larger commercial resort, expect to be paid only for the lessons you teach. Large resorts usually do not pay standby rates, so you may hang around all day for just one 2-hour lesson.

The benefits of working at a larger snow school are access to support from their snow school trainers. This is good for your personal ski and instructor development.

Check out the links above for details of resorts and vacancies NZ Ski at Coronet, Remarkables and Treble Cone. You may apply for only two positions with NZ Ski. You can choose to apply for two positions on one mountain, or one position at two mountains (these rules change periodically, so it’s best to do your own research and make sure these details are correct).

TIP: Treble Cone has opportunities for level 3 courses for next season which include some paid work. Please contact Steve on for more details.

Middle-sized commercial resorts: work full-time

Don’t be put off by smaller resorts like Ohua, Mt Dobson, Round Hill, Snow Park and Snow Porters. They may look like they have less terrain, but with a little hiking or traversing you can reach much larger areas.

At a middle sized commercial field you can expect to find full time employment, paid at 8 hours a day. Some of this will include instructing, however you’ll also be expected to work in rentals, in the cafe, cleaning or shovelling snow. You’re likely to find yourself financially better off at these resorts, but you’ll have to be adaptable. The communities also tend to be smaller, where your workmates become your family for the season.

Your accommodation will usually be provided in shared housing in the village/hamlet in the valley beneath the mountain and you may not have TV or internet access. The road to work may only be a mud track and the nearest town many kilometres away.

TIP: Round Hill is a beginner hill so consider applying here if you want more teaching experience.

Club Fields: the ski purists’ choice

These are run by not for profit organisations – local enthusiasts who just love to ski. They may only need six people to run a whole mountain. They have few proper lifts, but they have great terrain, powder days with no people and amazing skiers to share your passion with. These resorts do advertise jobs, which will require you to take part in all aspects of running a ski hill – so go into it with an open mind.

What you can expect to earn, where

Expect to earn $300 a week working for a larger commercial field. Work one day and you have earned your rent; two days and you have paid for your rent and food; three days and you have rent, food and beer. Work four, and you are in clover.

Wages will be more consistent at middle-sized and smaller resorts. It may be nearer the minimum wage, but there will be guaranteed hours.

TIP: Don’t forget to factor in the cost of your flights when budgeting.

Applying for a ski instructor job

Now – hiring begins in January. Keep checking resort sites, or email now!

Apply via a director for an advertised position, or just drop them an email. Follow up applications and emails with phone calls – don’t forget the time difference! – and be persistent.

CVs and References
Make your CV about your skiing experience – put in extra information about yourself but make it brief – employers want to know you’re passionate about skiing and being an instructor. When applying to a smaller resort, make it clear you’re open to new experiences and will do anything from lift operations to toilet cleaner!

Know the mountain you are applying to. Research the location well and make it clear in your cover letter or CV you really want to work at their resort.

Include a photo with your CV and don’t forget to let them know you have your visa!

TIP: Having a visa already will really help with your application.

To work in New Zealand you’ll need a visa.
There are two types of New Zealand visas for ski instructor jobs. The first is a working holiday visa – available to those between 18 and 30. The second is a visa given as the result of a job offer.
For further information on work visas, please visit the NZ immigration page.

Last words and big tips

TIP: Dual certification makes you more employable. Got your level 2 skiing instructor badge? Then try for level 1 snowboarding. You have the teaching skills, you just need to learn to ride.

TIP: New Zealand is a good preparation for returning to Canada.

TIP: Learn to sell yourself and your lessons. In New Zealand you want the client to come back to impress your employer. This gets you a better reference. In Canada, private lessons and returning clients make the big money – and don’t forget they tip too!

TIP: Back to back seasons can give you up to 250 days a year on snow. Career and ski development is easier, but don’t forget you need your summer! Take a break on your journey between the north and south by holidaying in Asia. Warmth and sun is essential for your health.

We’re Here to Help

We can help you find the your perfect position, wherever you want to work. Just give us a call.

Call us on +44(0) 1736 763 402 for knowledgeable, friendly advice on finding your perfect job.

Check out the latest NZ instructor vacancies

About New Zealand

New Zealand Resorts

New Zealand Resorts

Region: Queenstown
Ski areas: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone

Region: Wanaka
Ski areas: Treble Cone, Remarkables, Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Ohau

Region: Methven
Ski areas: Mt Hutt, Mt Olympus, Porters, Craigieburn, Mt Dobson, Fox Peak, Mt Cheeseman, Temple Basin

Region: Lake Tekapo
Ski areas: Round Hill, Mt Dobson, Fox peak, Ohau

Region: North Island
Ski areas: Whakapapa, Turoa (Both are Mt Ruapehu)

Why New Zealand?

We both agree it’s the most beautiful country in the world, and because its winter season runs between late June and early October you can do a season in Canada or Europe, and then move on to NZ to grab some more fun.

What's the terrain like?

For sure, New Zealand gets far less of the white stuff than Canada. There are no trees on the mountains to board through, the terrain can be super steep and challenging – there are lots of rocks, it can be windy too. And let’s not mention the lift systems!

Why ski in NZ?

Loads of rocks means loads of drops, and the mountains are totally skiable. Just get to the top and pick your line. Uncrowded slopes, small villages, less competition for the powder – heaven!

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