If your heart is set on taking a course at the crème de la crème of snowsports schools and one of the world’s best resorts, then you might like to consider All Tracks Academy, who run their entire ski and snowboard instructor courses at Whistler in Canada.
As a private family-run business, All Tracks Academy implies a more personal approach than some of the bigger organisations, promising small-scale groups that match students together according to ability. 4 – 11 week Instructor courses and 3 week Ski/Snowboard improvement camps are in a hassle-free complete package, including central Whistler accommodation, food, and extra modules in backcountry and avalanche safety training. Yet the prices are competitive, from £2995 to £7995, as the costs reflect Whistler’s notoriously high cost of living. The real perk is that if you learn in Whistler, you can indeed earn in Whistler, as successful students from the Academy are put in touch with an extensive list of contacts and qualified students with an enthusiastic attitude can use help from ski/snowboard directors to find instructor work in Canada or jobs at ski resorts elsewhere.
There are many smaller privately owned businesses that are being set up from certified powder nuts that have indeed been there, done that. RTM Snowboarding is a pertinent example of one of these organisations that concentrate on teaching snowboarding techniques in the simplest way possible. Based solely in Courchevel and Meribel in France, a group of highly skilled enthusiasts run far cheaper and also conveniently shorter courses from 95 to 210 Euros over 2 hours to 5 days. Learning with this company may not enable you to immediately become a qualified instructor – yet it is a perfect springboard for getting more into the sport and the background of instructing and taste the snow before making a commitment to take the examinations. RTM’s unique ‘LIFE’ program aims to identify ‘Learners’ from the ‘Explorers’ to ensure students feel at ease when learning the ropes.
Some independent companies appear to offer a more tailored program for candidates looking for a serious career in snow sports. Mountain Lodge is another such company that offers a BASI syllabus package for level 1 and 2 certification; you’d be trained by experienced BASI examiners that ensure that all study topics are relevant to the final exams. Furthermore, accommodation is organised through their ‘in house’ sister company, Skivolution, a Courchevel chalet specialist who ensures a high quality of food and comfortable service. Working potential after getting qualified varies. A Level 1 qualification allows you to work within the UK on dry slopes, snow domes or in a controlled environment like a kindergarten in the Alps. The second level opens up the possibilities of working abroad all over the world. Mountain Lodge also has an agreement with Interski in the Aosta Valley, Italy, where many successful candidates have been transferred straight away to work for the first time as instructors. Candidates from Mountain Lodge have been known to be sent to work far and wide, from Switzerland, Andorra, Canada, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Pay very much depends on the country and the ski school who employs you, but we are told that you are sure to greatly increase your level 1 salary if you achieve the BASI certificate level 2.