How to Become a Ski Instructor
Have you ever dreamt and thought about how to become a ski instructor? Maybe you'd simply like to learn how to ski better, build on your fitness, understand the biomechanics of skiing, or just tick something off your bucket list! If you've got a few months (or a whole season) free this winter, or if you're just wondering how to go about it, here's 10 inclusive courses where you can gain your BASI level 1 and 2 and qualify as a ski instructor.
We've put together a selection of our top 10 courses, and indicated the different benefits each package offers. However, every option offers the relevant lift pass, level 1 and 2 BASI qualifications (which you'll need to teach skiing in France) and accommodation. The majority include catering, flights and transfers.
1. For your gap year - Gap Ski
Qualifying as a ski instructor on your gap year is a great way to use the time productively. Joining a course like Gap Ski in Tignes, for £8,100, means you'll be living and learning with like-minded people. In a resort known just as well for its partying (like the epic New Years' set up), as it is the piste quality and backcountry skiing, you'll be looked after for the 11 weeks on the course with full-board Monday to Friday. As long as you can fend for yourself at the weekends, and for the rest of the season once you've qualified (you'll get a full season's pass) - then you'll love Gap Ski in Tignes.
2. For wannabe ski guides - Warren Smith Ski Academy
If you'd like to learn your trade in the wake of the Freeride World Tour, the Warren Smith Ski Academy will put you up in Verbier for 9 weeks, with half-board accommodation for £7,999. In addition to gaining your BASI 1 and 2 qualifications, you'll get you're fix of off piste skiing from some of the best off-piste ski instructors in Verbier, as the course covers avalanche and mountain awareness and emergency first-aid training. Other interesting modules include biomechanics of skiing and sport psychology.
3. For the best kit - Peak Leaders
Peak Leader's ski instructor courses run for 10 weeks in either Argentina, Austria, Canada, France or Switzerland, where you can gain BASI, CSIA OR ÖSSV qualifications. The course is sponsored by coveted ski brand Faction, so you'll be kitted out and have opportunities to try out the latest skis, tech and even ski with some of their sponsored riders. Prices vary but for £8,399 you'll get accommodation in Verbier, and their website says 'most meals'.
4. For a mix-up of locations - Snoworks Gap
Snoworks Gap offer an interesting package for a reasonable £7,495. You'll qualify for your BASI 1 and 2 in eight weeks, by spending six weeks skiing in Tignes, then two weeks (including a race-training module) in Courchevel. We think this is a genius way to be able to experience living and skiing in two of the world's best ski resorts! The accommodation in both Tignes and Courchevel is half-board.
5. If you're short on time - TM Ski and Travel
Unbelievably TM Ski and Travel will help you to gain your BASI 1 and 2 in under a month! This is an intense, jam-packed course suitable for skiers who are very competent. You'll have a full-board accommodation and lift pass for 14, 19 or 26 days depending on the length of course you choose from. Their price starts at £2,695 and there are IASI courses available too.
6. For scholarship potential - Basecamp
Basecamp will help you get your BASI 1 and 2 in Meribel or Val d'Isere, but also offer courses in Canada and New Zealand for equivalent qualifications. If you impress BASI as a ski instructor in France, you may be awarded a BASI level 3 scholarship to further your career and qualification as a ski instructor. Basecampers are also introduced to Interski ski school in Italy for employment opportunities. Your course in Meribel or Val d'Isere will cost you £8,359 for half-board accommodation and you'll get a full season lift pass for Tignes and Val d'Isere or the Three Valleys.
7. For plush accommodation - Altitude Futures
For £8,750 you'll get full-board accommodation in glamorous Verbier, whilst spending 10 weeks skiing some of the best terrain in Europe. The Altitude Futures course costs £8750 and a full season lift pass for Verbier and the Four Valleys is included, alongside your training and examination for BASI 1 and 2.
8. For job potential - Winter Sports Company
Spend 13 weeks with the Winter Sports Company in La Tzoumaz or Verbier to get your BASI 1 and 2. Enjoy a full season pass and full-board accommodation, then don't even worry about the job hunt with your new qualification and career direction - Winter Sports Company's website has a dedicated job board with postings for ski instructors all over the world. If you have an idea of where you'd like to teach skiing, make sure you get the relevent qualification. Winter Sports Company also run courses in New Zealand and Canada. The course in Switzerland's Four Valleys will cost you £8,450.
9. For a full season - Powder Bryne
Most courses in our list offer a full season's lift pass, but only a portion of the season teaching and examination time. You get the maximum course time on Powder Bryne's 'Piste 2 Profession' course, to get your BASI levels 1 and 2. Powder Bryne's course includes accommodation in Flims and is self-catered, which some people prefer. The course and examination costs £8,750, but you'll need to pay an extra £650 for level 2.
10. For Francophiles - New Generation
Living and skiing in Meribel or Courchevel for 10 weeks, you're lucky enough to be in parts of France where their English is very proficient. New Gen's ski instructor courses offer French lessons alongside BASI 1 and 2 qualifications. This is an excellent idea because an extra language will set you apart from other ski instructors on your job hunt: you'll always be the preferential choice. It also means you could venture to less mainstream resorts, with more French tourism than British. New Gen also offer race training and a child protection module in their comprehensive course. You get half-board accommodation in Meribel, Courchevel, Verbier or Villars for £8,095.
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