What qualifications do I need to be a ski instructor

What Qualifications do I need to be a ski instructor

Like any job, whether it is part time, full time, a life long career or for just a few months, you need to know what qualifications you need to be a ski instructor. Becoming a ski instructor is such a rewarding achievement if you really enjoy skiing and also seeing others having as much fun skiing as you do.

Here’s a list of what you need to be a ski instructor:

  • Ski Instructor Qualification
  • Intermediate to Advanced Skier
  • A passion for the sport and teaching others
  • A happy & enthusiastic disposition.
  • Clear Communicator
  • Foreign Language. This is a nice to have and generally expected for English speakers working in Europe. It is NOT necessary to work in Canada.
    • It is important that you earn a recognised qualification so that you can begin instructing safely. You will not be able to instruct without one. Please read our article about different qualifications for more detail but essentially most skiing nations have a governing body that are responsible for assessing people wishing to be qualified. The Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) is the Canadian body and amongst the most respected. This is what Alltracks courses in Whistler offer. Others include BASI (British) and the ESF (French).
    • Although you may be surprised to hear that you do not need to be an absolute expert to teach skiing, it is important that you are of a strong intermediate to advanced standard. One major advantage of taking an ALLTRACKS ski instructor course is that as well as providing the qualification exams to be an instructor, they focus equally on improving your own ski ability which we feel is critical. To teach other people of an advanced standard, you do need to be an expert skier yourself and earn the highest level qualifications. To instruct beginners and early intermediates, you don’t necessarily need to be a fantastic skier and the other prerequisites are more important.
    • It is imperative that you are passionate about skiing and enabling others to enjoy the sport that you do. This will make you a great instructor and your students will feed off your enthusiasm. The early days of learning to ski can be tough for both adults and children, so they need an instructor to give 100%.
    • Whilst it’s easy to smile on a blue bird powder morning when you are well rested, not all days in a ski resort are like that. You need to be “on” every morning giving your all. Whilst you’ll be there for an entire winter and may feel you can afford a bad day, your students are likely to only have 1 week a year – so it’s important they all see you at your very best.
    • In addition to being enthusiastic, you must be able to communicate clearly with people of all ages and from all walks of life. That means being able to listen to and understand what your clients wish to learn and what they are finding challenging, as well as being able to impart information clearly through explanation and demonstration. An ALLTRACKS ski instructor course devotes time to this too.
    • If you an English speaker only, you may wish to consider working in Canada where there are often lots of jobs without the need to speak another language (although if you do, then that is valued). While working in Europe it may not be an absolute must, but clearly being able to speak the language of your host country is going to be high sought after.

If you do want to earn the qualifications to be a ski instructor and are considering this as a career, please contact us. We would love to help you reach your goals.


We love to talk snow, so please email or call us +44 (0)1794 301 777