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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I love snowboarding and I would do it all day, every day if I could. It's all I can think about and all I want to do with my time. I'm looking into getting my level 1 instructor certification here in the US and just want to gather some opinions and experiences from instructors. The average price of a certification is pretty intimidating for a job I can only work less than half the year: $10,000, making what seems to most likely be roughly $15 an hour for a level 1 starting position. But, of course, I'd be aiming to increase my certification level, and therefore increase my pay and hireability...

It seems a lot of people go to the southern hemisphere during the summer so that they can stay on the snow, which is a route I'll probably go down as well. That is, so long as I don't have to get certified in that country as well... Otherwise I'll probably just save up for travel and take off to some tropical island and go surf or teach yoga during the summer (I am yoga certified). lol.

Still, the instability of it all - having to search for a new job every season - makes things a bit dicey. I'm wondering if, in your opinion, it's worth it? How much did the cert cost you? How much do you make an hour? Has it gotten you into some tricky situations? Or has it mostly been pleasant and easy to find work?
 

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On a scale of 1-10
Getting a job as an instructor: 1
Making money as an instructor:1,000

You dont work as an instructor to make money, you do it as a way to get your pass for free and make money doing other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On a scale of 1-10
Getting a job as an instructor: 1
Making money as an instructor:1,000

You dont work as an instructor to make money, you do it as a way to get your pass for free and make money doing other stuff.
Seems counter-productive to spend 10-20x the amount of money you'd need to spend to buy a season pass just to get a pass for free lol. If I'm working, I need to be earning money so I can survive - even if I am doing something that I love. Of course, it isn't all about the money, but the money is a necessity so I can keep doing this.
 

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Seems counter-productive to spend 10-20x the amount of money you'd need to spend to buy a season pass just to get a pass for free lol. If I'm working, I need to be earning money so I can survive - even if I am doing something that I love. Of course, it isn't all about the money, but the money is a necessity so I can keep doing this.
What are you looking at thats 10K????????????? It's not 10k to get a level 1 cert
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What are you looking at thats 10K????????????? It's not 10k to get a level 1 cert
Well www.thesnowpros.com doesn't have a price listed for their level 1 PSIA-AASI certification, so I am getting that figure from this website: How to Become a Snowboard Instructor USA - Snow Trainers - Snowboard - Courses - Snow Trainers

A youtuber who did his cert in New Zealand also said it cost him $15k in NZD (roughly $10k in USD). Idk if that's actually the average cost for a certification, so that's something I'm also trying to figure out.
 

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Well www.thesnowpros.com doesn't have a price listed for their level 1 PSIA-AASI certification, so I am getting that figure from this website: How to Become a Snowboard Instructor USA - Snow Trainers - Snowboard - Courses - Snow Trainers

A youtuber who did his cert in New Zealand also said it cost him $15k in NZD (roughly $10k in USD). Idk if that's actually the average cost for a certification, so that's something I'm also trying to figure out.
............ That's not cert, that's training camp.... How are you even finding this stuff? You apparently are aware of the cert company PSIA did you go and look at their site? You literally go get a job at a resort, most resorts will then pay for you to get your cert but even so its like $150 or something. I forget exactly what I paid, but no, you do not take an 8 week on site course just to get a level 1 cert and be a basic instructor.

Also you wil almost certainly need a different job. Unless you're the elite level highly trained instructor it never will serve as your main job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
............ That's not cert, that's training camp.... How are you even finding this stuff? You apparently are aware of the cert company PSIA did you go and look at their site? You literally go get a job at a resort, most resorts will then pay for you to get your cert but even so its like $150 or something. I forget exactly what I paid, but no, you do not take an 8 week on site course just to get a level 1 cert and be a basic instructor.

Also you wil almost certainly need a different job. Unless you're the elite level highly trained instructor it never will serve as your main job.
Actually I just noticed that the level 1 cert course on that site is actually $6,900, not $9,900. The level 1 and 2 prep course is $9,900... Anyway, these sites I listed are the first two google results when you search "snowboard instructor certification" lol. As far as I can tell, the PSIA site is www.thesnowpros.com but like I said that doesn't even list a price for the certification, just the price for a membership of some sort. Not sure what I could do in terms of having a "main" job though, other than hopping around the world from resort to resort lol. I don't know of any jobs that are just gonna let me take off for 4-5 months to go play in the snow.
 

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Actually I just noticed that the level 1 cert course on that site is actually $6,900, not $9,900. The level 1 and 2 prep course is $9,900... Anyway, these sites I listed are the first two google results when you search "snowboard instructor certification" lol. As far as I can tell, the PSIA site is www.thesnowpros.com but like I said that doesn't even list a price for the certification, just the price for a membership of some sort. Not sure what I could do in terms of having a "main" job though, other than hopping around the world from resort to resort lol. I don't know of any jobs that are just gonna let me take off for 4-5 months to go play in the snow.
Let me save you from yourself

Alpine Level 1 - PSIA-AASI Intermountain

$160 boom done. I went to school full time, worked at a shoe store, and taught lessons 3 nights a week. I don't know what you're really expecting as far as a ski instructor position. It's often not a full time job. You have multiple part time jobs. Or you find a job you work for 7-8 months, save all your money and then go ski bum it. It's that simple.
 

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Please don't pay $10,000 to become an instructor, as already pointed out the actual cost of the certifications is relatively low, it's the prep courses that are expensive. If you already have the skills or the time and ability to self-direct your learning, then you don't need the courses.

It's definitely a lifestyle choice, not a financial one. The reason I stuck with working rentals/repairs is because it's guaranteed hours, instructing is not, at least not until you work your way up a long way to the point where you take other instructors on the mountain for 'session' to help them brush up on their skills and work towards their next certs, or actually run the cert/prep courses yourself. A level 3 instructor here who's been teaching 10 years still has a part time serving gig so she doesn't have to live like a snow carnie. If you want to share a room with 4 people and eat instant ramen 85% of the time, then you'll get by just fine with instructing being your only source of income.
 
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I signed up to teach, got lots of free clinics during the season from the ski school, took the level I exams at the end of the season, and became a level I PSIA instructor at the end of the first season. Level I is easy, almost automatic. Just find a ski school to sign up with and go for it. It WILL make a big difference in your riding. Sign up for every clinic you can. Level II is more of a challenge, and the clinics make a difference.
 

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. (Realized this was a dead thread in the New section)
 
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