One of the questions we are asked most is "How do I go about becoming a ski instructor". This article is designed to answer those questions, but if you have any specific questions, please feel free to call and speak direct to one of our BASI trainers on 0870 760 7360 (option 3) who will happily make time for a chat.
For most people starting out on a career as a ski instructor or even just wanting to get to a minimum level to be able to teach part-time, the first base to get to is the BASI Level 2. On the way you will need to do the BASI Level 1 which is a qualification in its own right and will allow you to teach on dry slopes and in snowdomes in the UK, but if you have aspirations to teach in the mountains abroad, you will need to be a Level 2.
Getting to BASI Level 2 requires you to complete the following modules. There are two ways to complete these modules, either independently or as part a residential course. More on that can be found below.
Once you have achieved your BASI Level 2, your work prospects are very good. Level 2's leave the courses with ICE and go on to work in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Andorra, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. For working in France, please read this article.
At ICE we offer extensive employment advice and careers advice for people on the courses and if you wish to work after your course we can certainly help you achieve these goals. ICE is a well known international training centre and many of the ski schools that you are likely to be applying to will know us and will have employed former students and rely on the high standards that we keep. A reference from ICE is a major boost to any job application.
There are two routes to complete the modules required to get you to this level.
ICE offers a wide range of fastrack courses in the winter in Val d'Isere and on the glacier in Tignes in the summer. The fastrack courses provide all the modules listed above, including the required amount of hours experience so that when you leave the course, you have everything you need to go and start working the following day and many people do just that. The courses also include accommodation, evening meals and liftpass, so everything is taken care of and the hassle is removed. Below is a summary of the residential courses and clicking them will lead you to more information on each course.
If you do not have time to benefit from a residential course, you can do these modules listed above for Level 1 and 2 separately in your own time. Typically it will take at least a ski season to do them all, or maybe longer depending on the amount of time you can commit to courses and required training. ICE offer the BASI Level 1, BASI Level 2 and First Aid courses on an independent basis. You will need to arrange the other modules yourself and also arrange your own accommodation, food, liftpass and travel, since courses are run on a course-only basis.
Deciding whether to go down the residential or independent route depends mostly on the time you have to devote to a course. By the time you take into consideration the costs of travelling, accommodation and liftpasses etc, there is not much to choose between the two routes in terms of price, so your decision will largely be determined by time rather than budget.
If you have the time to spare and feel you would benefit from the concentrated period of training that is on offer, the 10 week course will bring your level on the most.
If time is a little more restricted and you are on more of a budget, the 6 week course will be worth looking at. This is quite simply the fastest and cheapest way of getting qualified to this level that can be done anywhere in the World. You will be qualified mid-way through the season which means you will be free to work through the second half if you wish. However, 6 weeks is less time in which to train so it is advisable to be at a good level before attending this course as there is less time make changes. 16 weeks on snow is a good guideline for entry onto this course, although it is only a guide and not a requirement. If you feel you would benefit from the extra training, you may be better off on the 10 week course.
If you can only manage a week or two each season then you will be best to go down the independent route. Start by booking a BASI Level 1 course and your trainer on the course will be able to give you advice on your future training once they have seen you ski. If you need extra training to get to the required level, you can always join one of our Performance and Preparation courses which will help you get to where you need to be.