Ski and Snowboard Instructor

Ski and snowboard Instructors have the enviable job of spending their days on the slopes. These patient individuals teach everyone from tiny tots to active seniors, on a one-to-one basis, how to improve their skiing and snowboarding skills.

They are employed at ski resorts, which are mostly situated in European and north American countries, but in South Africa, Tiffendell in the Drakensberg might offer employment, depending on the demand. Ski instructors are also resort ambassadors on the mountain slopes, ensuring that guests have a successful day and enjoyable day and will want to return. Their work is dependent on customer demand, so that they may have several breaks in their working day.

To many people this is not a job but an opportunity to watch others fall in love with the sport and to meet people from around the world.

Passion for the sport is an essential trait for success as a ski instructor. Instructors need to have a sense of responsibility, get along well with people and have good communication skills. On their first visit to a ski resort, most people know absolutely nothing about skiing.

The job also has its challenges, such as having to maintain the same enthusiasm and energy each day, no matter what the weather brings, and staying calm and patient when people do not grasp what you are trying to teach them. Instructors work outdoors for more than 14 hours a day, sometimes in extreme weather conditions. They need to be able to socialise with the guests at night and still be able to get up and work very early in the morning.

Instructors need to be able to ski and snowboard well and to predict adverse weather conditions so that guests are not caught in snowstorms or even avalanches.

Their responsibilities normally include skiing instruction duties relative to certification and experience, to adults and/or children in groups as well as private lessons, participation in training clinics, being familiar with pricing and lesson techniques to continue to promote skill development and actively assist guests to remain in the sport.

Possible future career path:

  • Level II instructor
  • Level III instructor
  • Level IV instructor
  • Snow School Lead Hand
  • Snow School Supervisor
  • Snow School Director
  • Resort Operations Manager
  • Director Resort Operations
  • General Manager

Personal Requirements

  • have an outgoing and friendly personality
  • patient and persistent
  • self-disciplined, self-motivated and responsible
  • good health and stamina
  • like outdoor life
  • like teaching and helping people

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

What to Study

Training is provided at ski schools or in-service training at a ski resort.


  • any overseas ski resort
  • local ski resorts in the Drakensberg

Further Information

Tiffendell Ski Resort
P O Box 170
Barkley East, 9786
Tel: (045) 974-9004/5 / (011) 465-4370/1

Getting Started

  • learn to ski or snowboard at a ski school
  • take up skating to improve your balance and agility of movement
  • do research on ski resorts worldwide to find out availability of employment

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