I twice considered becoming a ski instructor, once pre university with Ski Le Gap and once when doing a season in Whistler, Canada. The thing with getting a Canadian CSIA qualification which a company such as Basecamp is that it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to get but it won’t allow you to work for a ski school back in Europe.
The option is to go for a British BASI qualification. The French reds may not like it, but there’s finally free movement in ski labour in Europe and British Association of Snowsport Instructors are recognised across Europe.
A level 1 BASI enables you to teach on dry slopes and in snow domes. Whilst you may possible be able to make a living year round, it’s not exactly going to be a fun one. To teach on real snow in Europe you need the BASI level 2. The level 1 instructor course takes 5 days and the level 2 takes 10 days plus on top of that you need 35 hours of ‘ski school’ experience.
Plus to then be able to work in France (if only the Three Valleys was in Austria!) the French authorities make you take a slalom race ‘test technique’ which I’m pretty sure won’t look like the Mt Baker legendary banked slalom course!
I decided against being a ski instructor, first up due to cost (and the fact that I was the last year to get free University so deferring would have cost £3k) and then because I thought that making a living out of a passion may not be the best thing to do. Sure I’d be on the slopes all the time but it would literally, and obviously, be a job and I didn’t want to take the risk of killing the stoke.
So I ended up working in retail at Whistler Clearance Center which I didn’t exactly love but hey I still love to ski 🙂