How do I become a ski instructor? The step by step guide

Am I suited to become a ski instructor?

You don’t have to win a World Cup, you don’t have to do any special tricks on jumps or race down moguls like there’s no tomorrow. Basically, it’s enough if you can master both long and short turns and can master black slopes safely and in control.

Nevertheless, one thing is often underestimated: working as a ski instructor does not only mean making perfectly carved turns in the snow and mastering the short turn like Speedy Gonzalez. Interpersonal skills, a confident manner and a sense of responsibility are important qualities that are indispensable as a ski instructor.

Minimum age: 16 years

Skiing skills:

– You master short and long radii

– Red slopes are no problem for you

– Your technique is basically clean

Other skills:

– Open and confident appearance in front of people

– Organisational talent

– You are not afraid to take on responsibility

What equipment do I need and do I have to pay for it myself?

We will provide you with your ski instructor uniform for the whole season.

A blue uniform consisting of ski pants, ski jacket and ski underjacket will keep you warm on the mountain. We also provide you with a helmet and a ski backpack in which you can put your first aid kit – which must always be carried. Strengthening snacks for the children, your avalanche transceiver equipment and other items also fit easily into the backpacks.

You have to pay for the following equipment yourself:

– Skis

– Sticks

– Ski boot

– Ski goggles

– Gloves

– Ski underwear

– Ski socks

If you are not yet fully equipped, that’s no problem. In our e3 sports shops in Kitzbühel you will find everything a skier’s heart desires and receive a ski instructor discount on it.

The equipment provided by the ski school must be returned at the end of the season.

Which ski/ski boot is the right one for me?

For “ski teaching” you should use the skis you feel most comfortable and safe with. Nevertheless, you should be aware that your “boards” must be able to cope with your varied everyday life. They should be suitable for the piste, but also be able to cope with the odd off-piste excursion.

The ski boot, on the other hand, is extremely essential. In contrast to leisurely days spent cruising around the ski area in private, as a ski instructor you will have to work for hours on the mountain in all weather conditions. A warm, but above all comfortable ski boot is the be-all and end-all for good days on the mountain.

No gaps allowed

To help you get started in the business, here’s some well-intentioned advice: the smaller the gap between your goggles and your helmet, the more seriously you’ll be taken. We recommend a maximum gap of 0 mm.

How do I train to become a ski instructor?

If you meet the requirements and are willing to pay for the equipment, then sign up for an “aspirant” course. As already explained, the “Anwärter” is the first level of ski instructor training – followed by the Landesskilehrer and the Staatlicher Skilehrer. Candidate courses are offered by all ski instructor associations in Austria. Especially before the winter season, it is usually not difficult to find a suitable course. The candidate course lasts about 9 to 10 days. Weekend courses are also offered.

Accommodation is usually suggested, but you can still look for a hotel or guesthouse yourself or stay with friends.

What does the examination look like for the aspirant?

The examination consists of a practical and a theory part, as well as a teaching performance.

In the practical exam, you have to prove your technical skills on the piste. For this, the school runs “plough turning” and “plough steering” are usually tested.

For the theoretical examination, questions will be asked from the various seminar units, which must be answered in writing. You will receive the documents with the theoretical course content on site or you can buy them. The language of instruction and examination is German, but some ski instructor associations also offer courses and examinations in English.

At the teaching gig, you basically have to give ski lessons. Your colleagues from the aspirant course take on the role of your guests and you are the ski instructor. Your examiner will give you a topic that will be explained to you in detail beforehand during the course. What counts is not necessarily your skiing ability, but your ability to express yourself confidently and skilfully, to organise the group well and to stick to the methods and exercises you have learned in advance.

How do I contact element3?

Click here to fill out our online form and apply for a job with us. We are looking forward to it!

Do I have to take care of the accommodation myself?

No. We will provide you with accommodation if required. You usually share a flat or house with other fellow ski instructors.

How long does a season last and do I have to work all winter?

The ski school usually starts at the beginning of December and continues until April. High season is the Christmas holidays, February and Easter, which is why “ski instructing” is the ideal part-time job for students and local pupils during the holidays.

Do I have to pay for the ski pass myself?

No, you get your season ticket from us.

Which guests will I teach as an aspirant?

We specialise in private guests and small groups of children – as the only ski school with a maximum of 6 kids per course. Normally you start with beginners and guests who are not yet too confident on skis.

If you have a taste for this wonderful profession and still have questions, we will be happy to help you. Take the first step and secure the coolest job in the world, above the clouds, in the middle of a winter wonderland, surrounded by people from all over the world who share one thing: A passion for winter and skiing.

Mona Marko
Mona Marko