Considering a career as a snowboard instructor? In this article,
we'll break down what you can expect as well as the pros and cons of becoming
How Much Will You Get Paid?
Not much, to be frank. Many full-time instructors have two or more jobs such as
being an instructor by day and some other service job by night e.g. driving the
snowplow, operating lifts or working in a restaurant or bar.
You could get a little
extra income from tips if you do a fabulous job but that would depend on the resort
where you teach and whether your students are accustomed to giving tips.
The resort you work at, however, will probably compensate for the relatively
low pay by providing you with some perks such as affordable
meals and accommodation as well as free passes.
If you are thinking of working as an instructor to save up some money, you could
probably manage to do so to a certain degree but not by much compared to other standard
nine to five jobs. Basically, if you have to ask about the salary, then being
an instructor may not be what you're after.
Advantages of Being an Instructor
So why would you want to be a snowboard instructor? For the lifestyle, of course!
Apart from getting invited to parties by your students and having your food
and lodging paid for by the resort, you'll get to snowboard more often than
you could otherwise.
This could include sneaking in an early morning session before an afternoon/evening
shift and also having access to most of the runs that are wide open
on weekdays when hardly anybody is around.
You'll also meet many advanced snowboard instructors who'll provide you with
free lessons which will result in your skills, technique and ability improving
at a dramatically fast rate.
In essence, you'll be living the fun and care-free life you've dreamed of
in a natural mountain environment while the rest of the world goes through
their daily grind.
Do You Have What It Takes?
At low levels, your ability to snowboard is probably not as important as
your ability to teach others. Of course, at least a moderate amount of
competency is required, but as an instructor, most of your time will be
spent teaching students the ropes instead of impressing them with
your high-speed carving or ability to catch big air.
To gauge your ability to teach, think back to a time when you were
helping out a friend or anybody who was having difficulty learning how
to snowboard. Did you enjoy and derive satisfaction from teaching them? Did they progress faster as a
result of your instructions? Were they appreciative of your help?
Making a Career Out of It
If you decide to stay permanently, are prepared to work hard and are serious about it,
the option to move up to a supervisory or management position may present itself.
For most, however, it will probably not be a career move. It's a way to do
some traveling, spend a few seasons having an adventure in a unique place, make new friends and,
of course, have fun doing plenty of riding.