If you’re considering a future career as a ski instructor, there are many different routes of entry and qualifications available to you, depending where in the world you are based, or where you wish to train and qualify to teach skiing. The ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) is the governing body for ski professionals and instructors worldwide, and currently has 39 member countries offering various qualifications for prospective ski instructors, from initial entry to the profession teaching basic skills to novices and children, right up to elite level skiing and instruction.
Popular ski instructor courses and qualifications
The four most popular qualification routes for ski instructors in terms of the number of registered instructors are governed by BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) in the UK, CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) in Canada, NZSIA (New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance) in New Zealand, and the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) in the USA respectively.
While many other countries including Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland also offer their own career progression paths via various region-specific qualifications, most popular ski locations will all accept instructors qualified via one of these four main routes, or train prospective instructors in their successful completion.
While the individual components of each different organisation’s qualifications vary slightly from country to country, generally speaking, a teaching certification at level one or two awarded by any of the above organisations can potentially open up opportunities for you to be able to work and train further in ski schools in many different parts of the world, taking your knowledge and qualifications with you.
What you can do with more advanced ski instructor qualifications
Once you have achieved a level three or four certification from a recognised organisation, you become eligible for professional membership of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) which allows you to work as a ski instructor in any of the thirty nine member countries of ISIA. However, the road to level three or four qualification is a long one, with even competent skiers usually taking in the region of three to six years to achieve level three and the associated benefits of ISIA membership.
If you need more help in deciding which qualification to go for in your quest to become a ski instructor, then read our specially written ‘Which ski instructor qualification route is best for you?‘ article.
Learn more about the BASI, CSIA, NZSIA, and PSIA ski instructor qualifications.