Become a Certified Ski/Snowboard Instructor!
The Professional Ski Instructors of America – American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) is a nonprofit education association dedicated to promoting the sports of skiing and snowboarding through instruction. With more than 31,500 members, PSIA-AASI establishes certification standards for snowsports instructors and develops education materials to be used as the core components of instructor training.
Why Get Certified?
Certification not only gives you further credibility as a Snowsports professional but gives you the education and skills necessary to provide a truly positive learning experience. It takes time and money to get certified as a Snowsports instructor. By following the path of a certified instructor and growing within the industry, the result can be a lifelong career sharing your passion with others!
Levels/Varieties of Certification
There are many various pathways one can take when beginning a career as a Snowsports instructor. Certification levels typically range from Level 1 to Level 3. Although there is a national standard, different divisions may have different requirements for obtaining certifications past Level 3, some of which may consist of trainer, division clinic leader or examiner. You can get certified as an Alpine Instructor, Snowboard Instructor, TeleMark Instructor, Nordic Instructor and specialize in Children’s Instruction, Freestyle, Senior Instruction, Adaptive Sports, etc. The possibilities truly are endless!
Standards for each level can be located on the PSIA/AASI website.
How Do You Get Certified?
To get certified, you are required to be affiliated with a Snowsports school (aka, signed off by your member school as meeting the teaching requirement for the level you are trying to obtain). Most individuals achieve this by applying and being accepted to work for a Snowsports school within a resort. Some resorts have programs for people wanting to become instructors but don’t have experience to back them. Such programs may be called hiring clinics, instructor assistance or junior instructors (to name a few). These programs may require a small fee to participate however, the possibility of hire upon completion is likely.
Once you’re affiliated and signed off, then you may sign up for whichever certification you are working towards. Certifications require practice, studying and discipline. Just because you sign up and think you can ride doesn’t mean you’re going to pass. If you’re a quick learner, great with people and have the passion to do well…you’ll probably do just fine!
*A career as a Snowsports instructor is rewarding! Whether you work with children or adults, helping someone accomplish a goal and placing a smile on their face is worth everything! 🙂