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Is being a weekend ski instructor worth it?

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Not sure this is the correct forum but...

I got offered a job teaching skiing at a resort that claims to offer half price gear and free professional training to its instructors. The job its self pays minimum wage. I have a decent 9-5 already and I'm looking for a way to get free training and cheap gear. Is being a weekend ski instructor a decent way to do it or just a waste of a weekend? Has anyone done this job who can give me some insight.

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I am coming up on my 5th season as a part time ski instructor at Meadows on Hood. I too have a serious business job and instruct for the fun and social aspects. My skiing has improved even though I would say I was already an expert skier - I started skiing when I was 6 and spent a few seasons ski bumming in the Rockies and the Sierra back in the day.


If you get PSIA certified you will get great deals on all kinds of ski gear and clothing. Patagonia pro deals, osprey pro deals, BCA pro deals etc...


Having said this, I would not recommend the job if you are not interested in teaching. Getting a free pass, deals on gear and the opportunity for improving my skiing were all motivations for me, but my primary motivation is having fun while teaching others. Having fun and learning how to teach should be part of the equation, otherwise don't do it.



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Don't do it to get a free pass -- it's not worth it for that.


The coaching you get from Level 3 clinicians and the egging on you get from other instructors can really improve your skiing skills, that can be fun.


You've got to like people and particularly kids.


First year instructors typically "pay their dues" by teaching "never evers" (first time on skis folks) in the beginner pen.


Then depending on how well you ski and coach during clinics and exams, you can get teaching assignments with higher level students.


Most areas have "minimum required days" that you need to teach during a season -- if you don't fulfill those days -- getting hired the next season or more importantly getting out of the beginner pen will be harder.


Try to sign up for multi-week programs slots -- its more fun to keep working with the same group of kids week by week and see their progress.


Also learn know the old ski instructor's trick for getting in some actual skiing during weekends when you are teaching both Sat and Sun AM and PM -- a couple of sandwiches in your jacket pocket and a bota bag under your jacket so you can catch a few runs and eat and drink on the chair while the students are queuing in the lodge for lunch.





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