Fall is the time of year when ski resorts across the country are looking for ski and snowboard instructors. In addition to knowing how to ski well, what should you put on your resume to get a job?
Level 1 required
Whether for skiing or snowboarding, it is necessary to have a validated level 1 certificate from the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) or the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors (CASI), the only requirement in terms of a diploma to be employed as an instructor.
For the rest, no teaching experience is required. “Coaching is learned, as well as safety,” says Marianne Lacasse, assistant director of the Mont Orford Skiing School. The only difference is essentially the salary you can claim. At Mont Orford, “a level 1 will get $13 per hour while a level 4 will be at $20 per hour,” says Marianne Lacasse. Premiums can also be paid for certain additional training. And the higher your level, the more people you will be able to coach.
It should be noted that “the minimum age to be an instructor is 15, the age required to obtain the certificate,” explains Christopher Karn, director of the Stoneham Skiing School. Conversely, however, there is no limit. “Our oldest instructor last year was 87 years old,” says Mr. Karn. “For some people it’s a real retirement project – they can practise their passion and it’s a way to keep busy,” says Marianne Lacasse.
A passion first
“We seek passionate people, people who are committed to teaching and who want to pass on their knowledge,” says Marianne Lacasse. “We offer different teaching programs, so we need different profiles. Between a freestyle course and a precompetition course, we will not be seeking the same qualities.”
“We are seeking people with the profile of a summer camp monitor; extroverts able to pass on their passion,” explains Christopher Karn. “They must be responsible, because learning can involve risks. They must also be at ease with the customers, especially with children, who make up the majority of our clientele.”
This is not a requirement, but it could be an advantage if you apply to the so-called destination stations, where there are a lot of foreign tourists. “In small resorts in outlying areas it will not be necessary,” says Christopher Karn.
Why become an instructor?
For Christopher Karn, being a ski instructor is a great first job. “You will have the chance to work outdoors. You will learn the sense of responsibility and especially you will belong to a team,” he says. “It’s a dream job for a young teenager…”
“The playground is ideal,” adds Marianne Lacasse. “We spend our time outdoors. Instructors also enjoy a season pass, so they can ski even when they are not working. For the youngest it’s also a way to discover that you can have fun while working…”