Ski Instructor Salaries: The Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on March 25, 2021 by James

In the developed world, the topic of ‘how much money you earn’ is usually something that is only discussed with your partner or employer. The topic of ski instructor salaries is no different.

With the aim of giving you the most honest and reliable figures possible, we have teamed up with Snow Recruiter. This allows us to give you the information you’ve been looking for direct from the source.

This is a complete country-by-country guide, aimed at answering all of your pre-work ski instructor questions. Including; average salaries, visa information, qualification requirements, country overview and more.

Ski Instructor Salaries From Selected Countries Across The World

  • The chart above shows the average hourly ski instructor salary, covering 18 countries across 4 continents.
  • The figures throughout this article are presented in $USD.
  • These figures are the averages, based on figures provided to us directly from ski recruitment specialist Snow Recruiter (2020).
  • These salary estimates are based on all experience levels. If you hold either higher or lower qualifications than the average certification level for the country, your pay could fall above or below this amount.
  • Ski schools in different countries often provide different benefits. After reviewing the above graph, please see the full country-by-country description below for a detailed overview.
Ski Lesson, Ski Instructor
If You Wanna Be An Instructor, You Better Enjoy Teaching With Kids!

Australia

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $15 to $27 Per Hour

Australia Overview

When people think of Australia, they are usually thinking about high temperatures. However, Australia offers a number of skiing opportunities during the Australian winter months of June-October.

This makes Australia a popular choice for instructors who have the desire to work on the snow year-round!

Although it is not thought of as a large skiing nation, Australia has a whole host of ski resorts. With more than 10 ski areas stretching across three states, there are plenty of work opportunities for ski instructors.

Australian Resorts Like This One Offer Ski Instructor Jobs With Good Salaries
Australia Makes Back-To-Back Seasons Possible! (Picture: Enoch Lau/Thredbo)

Ski instructor jobs in Australia are available to anyone who has at least a Level 2 qualification. However, the competition for jobs can be fierce.

With a huge amount of ski instructors looking for work during their ‘summer’, Australia is one of a limited number of options for skiing during this time of year.

Level 2 instructors regularly find jobs on the Australian slopes. However, your chances will be greatly increased if you hold a Level 3 or above qualification.

Australia Work Visas

If you are from outside Australia, you will need to obtain a work visa. Australia has a working holiday visa program, which is available to nationals from nineteen different countries. These countries include many of the traditional skiing nations.

Working holiday visas are only available for people aged between 18-30 (although Canada, Ireland and France have an age range of 18-35).

When applying for a ski instructor job, they will usually only offer you an interview if you have already obtained your working holiday visa. This means it’s important to plan ahead!

Australian Skiing, Off-Piste
If You Want To Ski This Australian Backcountry, You Better Plan Ahead!

If you are not eligible for a working holiday visa, some ski schools are able to offer sponsored work visas. However, there are usually only a small amount of these available.

With many instructors vying for work visa sponsorship, these visas will commonly go to instructors with higher levels of certification and experience.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Australia

Once you have received a job offer, you can expect to be earning from $15 to $27 per hour. This is a decent average salary, which can increase dramatically when tips and bonuses are included.

When working in Australia, you will often need to organise your own accommodation, transport, visa etc. Australia also has a relatively high cost of living, so be sure to factor this in when making your seasonal plans.

Austria

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $16 to $34 Per Hour

Austria Overview

Austria is a country that has a lot to offer when it comes to skiing. It has picturesque villages, a long skiing tradition and a lower cost of living than neighbouring Switzerland.

Austria remains a popular destination for instructors with lesser experience. They often have multiple ski instructor opportunities available for instructors who hold a Level 2 qualification.

The Austrian resorts also offer a large amount of jobs for higher qualified instructors, who can command a higher salary.

Ski Instructors Get This Great View To Enjoy In Austria
Picturesque Austria Has Loads To Offer

Working And Visas For Austria

Austria can prove to be an easy path into the instructor world, with relaxed regulations allowing you to work easily upon arrival – if you’re from within the EU.

However, if you are from outside the EU, working in Austria will be more challenging – with the need to acquire a work visa.

Austria has a working holiday agreement with 10 countries. If you are from one of these countries, obtaining a working holiday visa will certainly be your best path to finding yourself a skiing job in Austria.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Austria

Ski instructor salaries in Austria average from $14 to $30 per hour. This is less than its major alpine neighbours (France, Italy, Switzerland). However, remember that it’s important to factor in the cost of living when making your final calculations.

Austrian Ski Resort
Austria Can Be A Great Option For Instructors

Monthly Paying Jobs In Austria

Austria also offers some ski instructor opportunities that are paid monthly. Monthly ski instructor salaries average between $1482 and $1909.

Ski instructor jobs that are paid monthly offer fantastic security – as you will always know exactly how much you will earn, regardless of the amount of lessons.

Monthly paying ski jobs also regularly come with a host of benefits, including; accommodation, lift pass, travel and food. This is certainly something to research when speaking to potential employers.

Often, monthly paying jobs in Austria have you working in ‘camp’ style scenarios. These jobs usually require additional tasks, such as kids/guest entertainment, social events and more. When taking one of these jobs, expect to have some additional responsibilities away from the slope.

Austrian Ski Slopes Where You Can Earn A Great Ski Instructor Salary
Could This Officially Be The Worlds Best Office?

Canada

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $16 to $22 Per Hour

Canada Overview

Canada is a country that is well known in the winter sports industry. With almost 300 ski resorts, it has plenty of snow and space to house a thriving ski community.

With the ski season usually lasting around 5 months, you can be sure to work on the snow for almost half a year. Every month really counts when deciding your ski season destination!

Canada has work opportunities available to anyone who holds a Level 2 qualification or above. However, you will certainly put yourself towards the front of the queue if you hold your Level 3 ISIA Certification (or more!).

Canadian Ski Slope
Canada Has Some Awesome Snow!

Canadian Work Visas

If you are from outside of Canada, you will need to obtain a work visa. The most common type of visa for ski instructors heading off to work in Canada is know as an ‘IEC’ (International Experience Canada) visa.

The IEC visa is a working holiday visa that is available to citizens of 30 different nations. It is available to people between the ages of 18-30/35 (depending on the country you are from). Once obtained, the IEC visa will allow you to work in Canada for up to two years.

Most employers will only consider you once your IEC visa is approved. This means you will need to be prepared well in advance of the ski season!

Skiing In Canada
The Huge Pistes Of Canada!

If you’re not eligible for an IEC visa, it is also possible to obtain a sponsored work visa.

With only a limited number of sponsored work visas offered by ski schools, they are usually reserved for instructors who are higher qualified or have greater experience.

Once you have secured a job offer, your new ski school will then apply for approval to employ you as a foreign worker. Once approved, you will be granted with a short-term work visa.

Your work visa will be specific to the resort you are working in and will be valid until the end of the season.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Canada

Once you start work in Canada, the average ski instructor salary is between $16 and $22 per hour. This salary can also increase once you have factored in the tips you hope to receive.

Ski instructor salaries fluctuate a lot in Canada, so you definitely have the potential to achieve a salary much greater than the average if you possess the right mix of experience, qualifications and hard work.

Ski Instructor In Canadian Powder Snow
Who Wouldn’t Want To Work In Canada?

Chile

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $15 to $25 Per Hour

Chile Overview

When it comes to skiing in South America, Chile has become one of the go-to destinations for both tourists and ski instructors.

Chile is not always a country people associate with skiing. However, Chile has around twenty operational ski resorts that run from June until October.

With Chile being in the Southern Hemisphere, it provides an excellent option for anyone looking to do back-to-back ski seasons.

Chile Ski Resort Offering Ski Instructor Jobs
Chile Can Be A Great Option For Ski Instructors

With two of Chile’s main ski resorts (Valle Nevado and Ski Portillo) located within two hours drive of the capital (Santiago), skiing in Chile is a lot more accessible than people usually imagine.

When you add predictable snow conditions and improving ski infrastructure, Chile becomes a great option for your ‘off-season’ skiing.

Work And Visas In Chile

Finding a ski instructor job in Chile can be a tough task, with only Level 3 (or higher) instructors being considered. Also, almost all ski schools will require you to speak a high level of Spanish. The majority of your clients will be either from Chile or the surrounding Spanish speaking countries.

Chile Ski Slope
It’s Not Easy For Everyone To Find A Job And Enjoy This View!

Chile currently offers a working holiday program to nationals of four countries (Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand). However, if you are from outside of these countries, your ski school will need to obtain a sponsored work visa.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Chile

Ski instructor salaries in Chile average $15 to $25 per hour, which is a generous salary. This also puts Chile’s average salary above its North American counterparts; Canada and the USA.

This is a figure that can rise even higher, with some top earners in the biggest resorts (such as Ski Portillo) earning around $5000 plus tips!

When calculating your projected earnings for the season, be sure to factor in the cost of living. Chile is one of the more developed countries in South America, meaning it also has one of the highest costs of living.

With a great average salary, I believe Chile will be rising to the top of a lot of instructors ‘bucket lists’.

China

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $19 to $27 Per Hour

China Overview

When we talk about up-and-coming skiing nations, China is right at the top of the list.

With an ever-growing ‘middle class’ due to the huge economic success they have experienced over the recent decades – skiing in China is certainly on the rise.

With new infrastructure seemingly being built every day – the amount of ski instructor job opportunities available are also increasing.

China Has More Ski Slopes And More Ski Instructor Jobs
China Are Building Huge Skiing Infrastructure. Including Mountain Resorts And Artificial Slopes!

With the Chinese ski industry still in its development stages, it’s common to see unqualified instructors working on the slope. However, this is not an option for anyone coming from outside of China.

With many of the big ski organisations (e.g BASI, NZSIA etc.) starting to establish foundations in China, ski instructing is becoming more regulated.

Work And Visas In China

If you want to work in China, you will need to be a certified ski instructor. It is possible to obtain a job with your Level 1 qualification, but this is unlikely.

Chinese ski schools are usually looking for instructors who have at least Level 2 certification – and ideally with some experience (partly due to visa reasons).

Once you have obtained a job offer, the ski school will then apply for your working visa for you. This process can take multiple months and requires a lot of paperwork!

When applying for a Chinese work visa, you will need to prove your qualifications, experience, and have a medical test.

China Mountains, Skiing In China
China Is Now Starting To Expand Skiing In Its Vast Mountainous Regions

Ski Instructor Salaries In China

Once finally in China, the average ski instructor can expect to earn $19 to $27 per hour.

It’s also common for ski instructor jobs in China to include accommodation within their package. This is because it’s difficult to find accommodation yourself if you’re coming from outside of China.

Monthly Paying Jobs In China

China also offers many monthly paying job opportunities, with ski instructor salaries averaging from $1415 to $1625 per month. However, this figure can fluctuate up or down even further, depending on qualifications and experience.

Monthly paying jobs almost always include a host of benefits, such as; accommodation, meals, transport and more.

If you are working as a ski instructor in China, you may find that you are only a one of small handful of foreigners working in the resort. This can add an element of responsibility to your role.

It’s possible that you may be viewed as the face of the ski school. This could mean you have additional tasks that will need to be completed outside of the ski slope. These could include social events, photographs etc.

With this in mind, be prepared to work some additional hours – especially if you’re working in a monthly paying role.

Great Wall Of China Covered In Snow
China Offers Ski And Travel!

Croatia

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $11 to $19 Per Hour

Croatia Overview

Croatia is a country that may not be world-renowned for its ski resorts, but is still a viable work option for Croatian ski instructors.

With only handful of ski resorts, Croatia does not have the size and infrastructure of the majority of the skiing nations on this list.

Due to Croatia being within the EU, it’s possible for any EU citizen to work here without obtaining any prior consent. However, if you are from outside the EU, it’s unlikely that you will be eligible to work here.

Small Croatian Ski Resort Offering Small Ski Instructor Salaries
Croatia Has A Handful Of Quality Ski Resorts (Picture: Platak Ski Resort by Antonio199cro)

Local instructors predominantly take up the ski instructor jobs in Croatia. This is mainly due to the language barrier, with local language skills being a must to work here.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Croatia

Croatia has an average ski instructor salary between $11 and $19 per hour, making it one of the lower paying ski destinations.

Although ski instructor salaries in Croatia are comparatively low, this is matched by the very affordable cost of living. With a beer costing around $3 and meals out available for around $10 – Croatia is a country that offers great value for money.

France

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $34 to $85 Per Hour

France Overview

France holds the title of both the most lucrative and the most difficult country to work in as a ski instructor.

Working as a ski instructor in France requires you to hold the highest qualification possible. France requires you to have your Level 4 ISTD qualification – the uppermost level that can be achieved within the snowsports system.

It’s also a requirement for you to have passed the (somewhat infamous) ‘Eurotest’ and EMS (European Mountain Security) certifications.

The process of obtaining these qualifications can be a long, difficult and expensive road. This is especially true for instructors from low-lying countries. The Eurotest can prove a ‘sticking point’ for many instructors from non-mountainous regions, who often have little to no ski racing experience.

French Ski Resort
Qualifying To Work In France Is Not So Easy!

These challenges discourage many from progressing to the required qualification level. However, those that do can be richly rewarded.

Ski Instructor Salaries in France

With an average ski instructor salary of between $34 and $85 per hour, France has the highest average hourly rate of pay in the world. When you add commissions, bonuses and tips; you will boost your salary even further.

If you are looking to make a career out of teaching skiing; France currently remains the pinnacle for aspiring instructors.

France Ski Slope, France Has the Highest Ski Instructor Salaries
France Still Sits At The Top Of The Ski Instructor Salary Pyramid

Italy

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $28 to $41 Per Hour

Italy Overview

Ski instructor salaries in Italy can vary greatly depending on the qualification you have and the job you are able to attain.

If you would like to work in Italy as a full time (full season) ski instructor, it is a requirement to hold your Level 4 ISTD qualification. Level 4 ISTD is one of the highest qualifications that can be achieved within the snowsports system.

Once you are a qualified Level 4 ISTD ski instructor, you are free to apply for jobs in Italian ski schools. Upon finding a job, you will need to apply for authorization from the ‘Collegio Regionale’ to work in the area.

Italian Ski Resort
Italy Has Some Great Scenery

Ski Instructor Salaries In Italy

Although this process can seem challenging, it can also be financially rewarding. With average hourly ski instructor salaries of between $28 and $41, Italy is a country that will help you to earn a great living on the slopes. Adding additional bonuses and tips can make Italy an even more enticing prospect!

Within Italy, there is also an additional option for ski instructors who have not reached the heights of Level 4 qualification.

Italy Ski Lesson
Get Paid To Ski In The Italian Sun!

Short Term Ski Instructor Jobs In Italy

If you hold a Level 2 qualification, you are entitled to work in Italy for a limited amount of days during the season. The amount of days varies between regions – with some areas allowing you to work for up to 28 days.

This has allowed companies to employ Level 2 instructors for just a few weeks of the season. These companies are usually focussed around weeklong school trips. Jobs of this nature are usually taken on by newly qualified instructors; meaning rates of pay are often low.

If you take on one of these short-term opportunities , you can expect to earn around $200 per week. However, in this type of role it is common that you will receive free accommodation, lift pass, food and travel.

These benefits make short-term opportunities in Italy a great way for new instructors to get some valuable teaching experience. With the help of the ski school, they also require almost no organisation.

This Big Ski Resort In Italy Offers Many Ski Instructors An Income
Italy Has Options For Different Levels Of Ski Instructor!

Japan

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $17 to $42 Per Hour

Japan Overview

Japan has become a popular place for instructors from all over the world, offering both amazing snow conditions and a fascinating culture.

Many ski instructor jobs are available in Japan. This means finding work is not a problem, if you are eligible for a visa!

Work Visas For Japan

Japan has a ‘working holiday’ visa arrangement with 26 different countries. This entitles people from these countries to obtain a one-year visa to live and work in Japan. This is only available to people between the ages of 18-30 and each person can only get one Japanese working holiday visa in their lifetime.

Japanese Ski Resort Offering Good Ski Instructor Salaries And Amazing Views
Amazing Views In Japan!

The second option is to apply for a sponsored work visa. This is a little bit more challenging and has two main requirements.

If you want to apply for a Japanese ‘sports coach’ sponsored work visa, you must either; hold Level 3 ISIA certification or have 36 months ski teaching experience.

Remember: 36 months ski teaching experience is equivalent to nine ski seasons! (Based on a 4-month ski season).

Due to these requirements, Japan is one of the few countries where the demand for instructors is often higher than the supply!

With a high turnover of staff (due to working holiday visa’s only being allowed once), ski schools are always motivated to keep hold of anyone eligible for a professional visa.

Japan Ski Lesson
Japan Is A Great Place To Teach Skiing

Ski Instructor Salaries In Japan

With the average base ski instructor salary coming in between $17 and $42 per hour, Japan is an enticing prospect for many instructors.

Although $17 to $42 is the average salary, if you have the required qualifications/experience for a sponsored visa, it’s possible to earn even more!

Monthly Paying Jobs In Japan

Outside of these ski school jobs, there are also multiple Japanese hotels that employ their own ski instructors. Hotel based jobs are usually paid on a monthly basis.

The average monthly ski instructor salary is between $1625 and $2325. These also usually include accommodation, meals, lift pass, travel and more.

However, if you are paid on a monthly basis, you may expect to work more hours than the average ski instructor job!

If you are employed by a hotel, you are often expected to represent the hotel both on and off the slope – so be prepared to sacrifice some of your evenings.

Skiing In Japan
Japanese Ski Views Are Usually Pretty Great!

New Zealand

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $14 to $22 Per Hour

New Zealand Overview

New Zealand has become a hotspot for skiers from all over the world. It has so much to offer, with a beautiful landscape, high quality of life, fresh air and mountainous terrain.

With New Zealand being in the Southern Hemisphere, their ski season runs from June-October. This means that it’s the perfect place to ski during the traditional European/American ‘off-season’

When it comes to Southern Hemisphere skiing, New Zealand is one of the most popular choices. This is true for both tourists and instructors.

New Zealand Mountain
New Zealand Is A Popular Skiing Option

Working In New Zealand

It is possible to work in New Zealand once you have your Level 2 qualification (or above!). However, with only a limited amount of jobs available – competition is high!

This means that if you are higher qualified and/or more experienced, you can expect to greatly improve your chances of landing a ski instructor role!

Visas For New Zealand

If you are from outside of New Zealand you will usually require a visa. The most common type of visa obtained by ski instructors heading to New Zealand is the ‘working holiday visa’

New Zealand makes working holiday visas available to people from 45 different countries. They are usually available to people aged 18-30. The number of working holiday visas New Zealand makes available each year depends on the country from which you are applying.

New Zealand Powder Skiing, Showing Why It's Popular With Ski Instructors
This Picture Shows Why New Zealand Is So Popular!

Ski schools in New Zealand will usually only look at your application if you already have your working holiday visa approved, so bear this in mind when you start applying for jobs!

New Zealand ski schools sometimes offer sponsored work visas as well. However, these are usually reserved for highly qualified instructors. In this case, the ski school will make the visa application on your behalf.

Ski Instructor Salaries In New Zealand

Ski instructor salaries average between $14 and $22 per hour in New Zealand. This salary can increase when bonuses and tips are added.

The combination of an attractive salary and work during the ‘summer’ months (for most) makes New Zealand a priority workplace for many instructors.

Norway

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $24 to $40 Per Hour

Norway Overview

Norway is not always at the top of everybody’s skiing list, but it probably should be.

Their are many ski resorts in Norway, although many of them are small and low altitude. However, they also boast some of the best snow conditions around. The average season in Norway runs from early November until May.

Norway is a scenic country, with Norwegian ski resorts having excellent infrastructure, quiet pistes and friendly locals.

Skiing In Norway
Norway Has Amazing Views And Fantastic Snow!

Working In Norway

Finding a ski instructor job in Norway can be challenging if you do not speak the language. However, it is occasionally possible to find employment opportunities within Norwegian ski schools.

Although you are able to work in Norway with your Level 2 qualification, they will usually be looking to hire instructors who are Level 3 or higher.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Norway

Norway boasts one of the best rates of pay on our list, with the average ski instructor salary between $24 and $40.

This is an excellent salary to work in a beautiful environment. However, beware of the high Norwegian cost of living. With a beer in resort often costing upwards of $10, you will need to make sure you take this into account if you are planning to stay for the whole season!

Poland

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $10 to $15 Per Hour

Poland Overview

Poland can often be overlooked while discussing European skiing. However, they do have a handful of ski resorts offering ski instructor jobs.

Poland offers small and traditional ski villages, quiet slopes, family friendly resorts and excellent value for money.

The Polish ski resorts are certainly smaller than those in the well known alpine skiing nations, with the biggest holding 37km of pistes. This means that Poland tends to draw tourists who are at the beginning of their skiing journey, rather than the more advanced riders.

Poland Ski Resort With Jobs Available For Ski Instructors
Poland Has Small Resorts, But Still Has Jobs Available.

Working And Visas For Poland

With an influx of beginner lessons, Polish ski schools are interested in hiring Level 1 instructors. However, they are still predominantly looking for Level 2 qualified ski instructors.

Polish ski resorts also draw a high amount of tourists from within Poland, so language skills can prove a ‘sticking point’ for many instructors hoping to work here.

It’s easy to arrive and start working in Poland if you are from an EU country. However, anyone from countries outside of the EU are unlikely to be able to work here. Sponsored work visas are not commonly available for ski instructors.

Family Ski Lesson In Poland
Poland Offers Family Friendly Skiing

Ski Instructor Salaries In Poland

The average ski instructor salary in Poland is from $10 to $15 per hour. This is one of the lowest average salaries on this list.

However, you must bear in mind that Poland also has one of the lowest costs of living you will find. If you decide to grab a beer after work, it’s likely to set you back around $2, making Poland one of the best places to bank most of your salary.

Short Term Jobs In Poland

Poland also frequently has jobs available on a short-term basis; offering contracts of just one, two or three weeks. These jobs usually involve working with groups, acting as the ski instructor for a weeklong holiday (or kids ‘camp’).

Short-term jobs in Poland offer an average ski instructor salary of $158 per week. These jobs usually offer free accommodation, food, transport and lift pass.

Polish Ski Resorts Where Ski Instructor Salaries Are Low
Poland Offers This Snow At An Affordable Price

Romania

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $10 to $20 Per Hour

Romania Overview

Romania is not the most recognisable skiing nation in Europe. However, it does offer a handful of serviceable ski resorts.

Romania might not have the most advanced ski infrastructure, but it makes up for this in other aspects. Romanian ski resorts offer charm, tradition and value for money that not many other places can match.

Working And Visas For Romania

Ski instructor jobs are available to instructors who hold a minimum of Level 1 qualification. However, ski schools will usually be looking for instructors who possess a Level 2 qualification.

Romanian Ski Village
Romania Has Charm And tradition

With Romania being within the EU (and having relaxed skiing regulations), it’s an easy task for anyone from an EU country to work once they have found a potential employer.

Romanian ski schools will not usually be looking for instructors from outside of the EU. This is due to the lack of visa options, limited demand for instructors and difficult language barrier.

The majority of Romanian ski resort tourists are either Romanian, or from the surrounding countries. This means that the language barrier can make it difficult for foreign instructors to find work here.

However, there are still some ski schools who are happy to employ a few English-speaking instructors.

Romania Ski Slope
You Can Find A Few English Speaking Jobs In Romania

Ski Instructor Salaries In Romania

Average ski instructor salaries in Romania range from $10 to $20 per hour. This is slightly higher than some of the surrounding nations who appear on this list.

It’s also possible to find monthly paying jobs in Romania, with salaries averaging around $1750. This is a great monthly wage when you factor in the low cost of living Romania offers.

It is possible to rent an apartment with proximity to some of the bigger resorts for $250 per month. This means you should be able to grow your bank account during the season.

South Korea

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $14 to $24 Per Hour

South Korea Overview

South Korea is not a nation that used to spring to mind when thinking about skiing. However, that changed when they hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics.

South Korea has more than 20 ski resorts and a population of people who love to ski. With many mountainous areas, but not enough snow to cover them all, South Korean ski slopes often rely on man-made snow to get them through the full ski season.

South Korea Ski Resort, Which Is A Popular Destination For Ski Instructors
Some Awesome Night Skiing In South Korea! (Photo: Korean Culture And Information Service)

Working And Visas For South Korea

It’s possible to find ski instructor jobs in South Korea, with a large internal ski industry to service. Work opportunities are available to anyone who has at least a Level 2 qualification,

However, as with most ski instructor jobs, higher salaries are more readily available to anybody holding their Level 3 ISIA qualification or above.

Once you have landed yourself a job, working visas for South Korea are relatively easy to obtain. Your new ski school will send you all of the relevant paperwork required to obtain a ‘C-4 Short Term Employment Visa’.

The C-4 visa will allow you to work as a ski instructor within South Korea for a maximum of three months. This means that ski jobs in South Korea are usually offered on a three-month contract. Ski Instructors in South Korea will usually work during December, January and February.

South Korean Mountain Exploration
South Korea Can Also Be A Great Place To Explore!

Ski Instructor Salaries In South Korea

Ski instructor salaries in South Korea average from $14 to $24 per hour. Along with this salary, it’s common to find accommodation is included. With your main expense already covered, this salary should allow you to have a good winter and leave you with some savings as well!

Alternatively, there are also opportunities for monthly paying ski instructor jobs. The average monthly ski instructor salary is from $1667 to $1750.

When working in a monthly role, you have the added security of knowing exactly how much you expect to earn each month. On top of this, it’s common to have all your expenses covered. Benefits often include accommodation, lift pass, food and travel.

Slovenia

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $9 to $18 Per Hour

Slovenia Overview

Slovenia is a country where skiing is a popular sport. They offer handful of ski resorts, usually with quiet and gentle terrain. This makes Slovenia a popular destination for beginners and families.

Almost all of the Slovenian ski tourists come from within Slovenia and the surrounding Balkan nations. This means that the majority of ski instructor jobs are only available to Slovenian instructors.

Slovenian Resort Where You Can Find Work As A Ski Instructor
Amazing Views From The Slovenian Resorts!

Due to the language barrier and limited amount of jobs available, it’s rare to find opportunities for instructors from outside of Slovenia.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Slovenia

Slovenian ski instructor salaries average between $9 and $18 per hour. This figure is fairly average compared to its neighbouring countries, but is comparatively low compared to the higher paying nations on this list.

However, Slovenia offers a much cheaper cost of living than many of the other countries listed here. With a beer often costing little over $3.5 and a typical meal out setting you back around $10 – you should manage to save some Euros during the season no matter how much you’re earning!

Slovenia Ski Slope
Slovenia Has Great Scenery For A Reasonable Price!

Switzerland

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $22 to $63 Per Hour

Switzerland Overview

Switzerland has arguably become the most popular place to work for many travelling European ski instructors. The Swiss boast generous rates of pay, good job availability and the ability to work with a Level 2 qualification.

Although you are able to work in Switzerland with a Level 2 certification, most Swiss ski schools prefer to employ Level 3 and 4 instructors.

Work Visas For Switzerland

Once you have landed a job with a Swiss ski school, you will then need to apply for a work permit – even if you are an EU citizen. This is due to Switzerland remaining outside of the EU (although it is a Schengen country).

Switzerland Skiing
Switzerland Is A Popular Choice For Ski Instructors

Work permits are relatively easy to obtain for European ski instructors. Usually, your ski school will apply for a short-term ‘skilled worker’ permit on your behalf.

Ski Instructor Salaries In Switzerland

Ski instructor salaries in Switzerland average $22 to $63 per hour, ranking second in our list of ski instructor salaries. This means that when you include all additional earnings (bonuses, tips etc.), it is possible to earn a fantastic living as a ski instructor in Switzerland.

However, one thing to note is the high cost of living. Switzerland is well known for being one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

When in resort, you can expect to pay high amounts for even the basic necessities like groceries. These outgoing costs must be considered when assessing your earning potential in Switzerland.

Skiing In Switzerland
Switzerland Is Expensive, But Also Beautiful!

Monthly Paying Jobs In Switzerland

Outside of the regular ski schools, there are also opportunities to work as a ski instructor for ‘camp’ style holiday providers. These are usually based around kids holiday camps or school ski trips.

When working for a holiday camp, we found the average salary to be from $1140 to $1930 per month. This figure is also supplemented by the fact that your employer will usually provide you with many extra benefits.

Accommodation, food, travel and lift pass are often part of the package. This means it’s still possible to save a decent amount of money over the course of a season.

However, camp style jobs usually come with additional duties. These can include; kids/guest socialising, ski tech etc. This means that you can expect to work long hours.

Swiss Ski Lift
Even The Ski Lifts In Switzerland Look Great!

United Kingdom

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $10 to $16 Per Hour

UK Overview

When dreaming of a career in skiing, the UK is not always at the top of everyone’s list. With only a limited amount of real snow available in Scotland, working on the mountain is limited to a small amount of instructors.

However, the UK boasts a large amount of artificial skiing alternatives – including dry ski slopes, snow domes and ski simulators.

The UK houses the largest amount of dry ski slopes in the world. Click To Tweet
A Dry Ski Slope Where UK Ski Instructors Commonly Work
The UK Has The Most Dry Ski Slopes In The World

Working In The UK

With a very small ski industry, instructors usually come from within the UK. This is due to limited opportunities, low pay rates (when compared with cost of living). Also, professional visas are not usually available for overseas ski staff.

It’s possible to work in the UK with a Level 1 qualification. You will find that many artificial ski slope instructors in the UK will hold their BASI Level 1 qualification. It’s common to find Level 2 (or higher) instructors opting to work abroad.

Skiers Using A Ski Lift In Scotland
Scotland Has A Handful Of Ski Resorts (Photo: Richard Cooke – cc-by-sa/2.0)

This means that working on the UK slopes may often be viewed as a part time role, rather than a career.

Ski Instructor Salaries In The UK

Average ski instructor salaries are $13 per hour in the UK, although this can fluctuate dependant on qualification level.

Comparative to ‘regular’ UK jobs, this salary leans towards the lower end of the pay scale.

USA

Average Ski Instructor Salary: $14 to $21 Per Hour

USA Overview

Skiing in the USA is something that many ski instructors will often dream about.  The USA has an amazing range of resorts, huge mountain areas, quiet pistes and beautiful towns.

The USA has hundreds of operating ski resorts and a busy ski scene. It also has a huge skiing population and a lot of mountain space to accommodate. This means there are plenty of ski instructor vacancies to fill!

USA Ski Resort, Skiers Waiting For Ski Instructors
The USA Has A Large Ski Industry!

This job availability is brilliant for all snow loving instructors from the USA. However, if you are from outside of the USA, you will need to obtain a work visa.

USA Work Visas

Work visas can be challenging to obtain, with no ‘working holiday’ scheme available to ski instructors. If you would like to work in the USA, you will need to obtain a work permit.

If you hold a Level 2 or higher, you can start to apply to ski schools in the USA. Once you have secured your job offer, your employer will then apply for a ‘H2’ temporary work visa on your behalf.

Ski Slope USA
If You Can Get A Visa, You Should Find Plenty Of Work!

There are strict regulations around foreign workers. This means that the amount of visas available can be limited, making it challenging to find a job for anyone coming from outside the USA.

Ski Instructor Salaries In The USA

Average ski instructor salaries in the USA are between $14 and $21 per hour. Although, it is possible to earn considerably more than this in some resorts.

This average salary is comparatively low – especially with the cost of living being high in many resorts. However, the USA has a huge ‘tipping’ culture, so be prepared to make a sizeable increase in salary when factoring in your additional bonuses.

Summary

Ski instructor salaries can vary greatly both within and outside of each country. However, we have strived to bring you the most accurate and complete information possible.

With so many different ski instructor opportunities, spanning so many countries, there are an endless list of experiences and challenges to be had.

We welcome your comments, feedback and any experiences you would like to share below. Our aim is to expand the knowledge of everybody and anybody who is interested in this wonderful sport.

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