You'll probably have lots of burning questions about Basecamp, whether it's wondering what accommodation you'll be staying in to the salary of a ski instructor. We've tried to answer all possible questions you may have about this experience, so take a look below. If we haven't managed to satisfy your concerns, then don't hesitate to get in contact with us for more help.

Contracts are very standard and it is possible that for some smaller schools the contract may only be given on your arrival in to resort. Other ski schools will expect a signed contract up to 3 months before arrival and will be subject to you successfully completing the SIA course and instructor exams.

You will normally be allocated accommodation and a lift pass together with ski school uniform. The contract will explain the payment system and the working hours of a normal week. It will detail your start date and will ask if you are available to work till the end of the season or if you must leave on a certain date. It may be that you are required to pay a deposit for the uniform and/or the accommodation, which is returnable at the end of the season. You must be available for work during peak season times. This is Christmas and New Year, most of February and Easter (if the resort is still open). Do not request time off during these periods!

There are many national ski associations across the world and each have their own levels, standards, and qualifications. Here, we detail the systems and qualifications of some of the leading ski associations around the world.

Austria: Schneesportlehrer (ÖSSV / WSSV)

Level 1 – By completing this qualification, you’ll be able to teach in dry slopes, indoor snowslopes, or other controlled environments. You may also be able to teach on snow in some kindergarten areas if you’re supervised by a senior instructor.

Level 2 (Anwärter) – You’ll be able to teach on-piste with this qualification and work with beginner and/or lower intermediate children and adults.

Level 3 (Landeslehrer) – There are three separate parts to this advanced qualification if you’re skiing. Along with the Alpinkurs (mountain safety course), you’ll also complete landes 1 (pt1) and landes 2 (pt2) to qualify as a full landeslehrer. If you’re taking the snowboard version of this course, the landes parts are taught as one.

Level 4 – Diploma – Staatlich geprüfter Skilehrer


Canada: CSIA / CASI

Level 1 – Once you pass this first qualification, you’ll be able to teach adults and children basic skills.

Level 2 – You can move up a level and teach people with more experience once you pass your Level 2 exam.

Level 3 – The Level 3 qualification will help you work your way up to your full ISIA qualification. It’s classed as a low-level ISIA.

Level 4 – Congratulations! You’re now fully ISIA qualified once you pass your Level 4 exam.


UK: British Association Of Snowsport Instructors (BASI)

Level 1 – By completing this qualification, you’ll be able to teach in dry slopes, indoor snowslopes, or other controlled environments. You may also be able to teach on snow in some kindergarten areas if you’re supervised by a senior instructor.

Level 2 – You’ll be able to work in the snow and on the piste with your Level 2 qualification, giving you the chance to teach intermediate skiers or snowboarders.

Level 3 – Once you’ve passed your Level 3 qualification, you’ll be ISIA qualified!

Level 4 – This will allow you to complete your ISTD Level 4 and is the BASI diploma level.


Switzerland: Swiss Snowsport instructor (SSI)

Basic Education – With this, you’ll be able to teach children, but not adults.

Level 1 – Once you’ve passed your Level 1, you can teach lower-intermediate level adults as well as children.

Level 2 – As you move up in your levels, you’ll be able to teach skiers or snowboarders who are more experienced.

Level 3 – Congratulations! You’re now fully ISIA qualified once you pass your Level 3 exam.


Italy: Maestri Di Sci

In Italy, qualifications work a little differently. You’ll first take an entrance exam before moving onto the first part of your main exams. Once you’ve passed, you’ll have the opportunity to join a ski school on an internship. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll take the second part of your exams. You’ll then get a year-long internship at a ski school as an instructor assistant. Finally, you’ll take your last exams and qualify as a maestro di sci, an Italian ski instructor!


France: Moniteur De Ski

France is more closely aligned to Italy, with only one level. You’ll again need to complete an entrance exam before taking on the rest of your learning. While the standards are incredibly high, you’ll gain a renowned qualification as a ski instructor. Once you have that, you’ll be able to further qualify as a snowboard instructor.


America: PSIA

Level 1 – You’ll be able to teach basic skills to children and adults once you’ve passed your Level 1 qualification.

Level 2 – You’ll be able to teach people with more experience and skills upon passing your Level 2 qualification.

Level 3 – Congratulations! You’re now fully ISIA qualified once you pass your Level 3 exam.

The Austrian Anwärter is one of the most recognised Level 2 qualifications world wide. The highly respected, world leading alpine nation of Austria continues to maintain high expectations when it comes to it’s instructors and it is this reason why we choose to offer this qualification on all of our courses with the exception of our Canadian Instructor Programmes.

It is widely acknowledged that there are four current levels in ski instructing and generally three in snowboarding.

Many countries offer a Level 1 instructor qualification, which in Austria, does not exist as a stand alone qualification. In BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) a L1 is a qualification for instructors intending to work in controlled environments, which is a fair and accurate description, mainly reserved for snow domes and dry slopes.

The mountains are not a controlled environment. This means a person with a level 1 may work in indoor snow halls, artificial slopes or in some rare cases in a ski resort where the level 1 instructor is within the sight and calling of a more senior instructor. What is clear is you can not operate independently with a group on the piste.

The Anwärter is a recognised level 2 qualification reserved for instructors intending to work in the mountains with a Snowsports School. The Anwärter fits this description perfectly as it allows you to act as a professional instructor in an open environment without supervision.

The Austrian Level 3, simply named Landeslehrer, is a process of several modules and/or courses. The first thing to note is that although L1 & 2 can be quickly achieved in one ski season, a full level 3 is considered to be a longer term goal of 3 – 6 seasons on snow. One needs to not only improve their skill level in skiing and snowboarding but also their teaching understanding and experience.

The bonus is that most systems split the way to a full level 3 meaning you can start to tick some of the boxes towards this gold standard whilst working in the industry. Some of the modules may include; a second discipline, alpine safety course, teaching module etc.

The Austrian system is no different and the first step towards full level 3 is the Landes 1 which is recognised in most of Austria as a separate qualification leading to better pay and higher level guests.

Once again in Austria this next level is not referred to as a level 3 but simply by the name Landeslehrer. This was the ISIA Level equivalence until Austria, France and Italy left the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association). (ref. page 8)

Although the ISIA are currently looking at ways to re-integrate Austria, France and Italy back into the ISIA, at this time Austria is not a part of the ISIA and therefore the ISIA stamp is not relevant.

A concern that this would leave the Big 3 Ski Nations – Austria, Italy and France, out in the cold when it comes to working around the globe has not materialised as again, it is the quality and experience the ski and snowboard schools desire that ultimately matters.

For those that are really focussed on long term careers and want to further themselves the end goal is Level 4 Diploma, the Staatlich geprüfter Skilehrer.

One thing worth mentioning at this point is that with training, exams and together with the time you must invest, the Austrian system is one of the most economical paths to reaching level 4.

There are two main levels of qualification in Canada. You’ll receive an intro to ski teaching and the role it plays in the industry in your CSIA Level 1 course, as well as learning about the CSIA-recognised technique and methodology. You’ll get a rounded educational experience that will give you practical hands-on learning with the addition of teaching guest service skills and specialist children’s skiing instruction.

Once you’ve passed your Level 1 course, you’ll be able to complete your CSIA Level 2 instructor qualification. You’ll be an advanced skier by this point and you’ll improve your situational teaching skills, as well as improving your techniques and methodology. You’ll again get access to practical on-piste training and more academic education that will improve your customer service skills.

If you’re successful on your courses, you’ll be certified to teach skiers up to intermediate parallel skill level. With a comprehensive learning experience and coaching for long-term development, we’re setting you up for success on these courses.

  • They want Level 2 trained Instructors. That’s great news for you!
  • They want Ski Instructors or Dual Qualified (Ski and Board), and occasionally Snowboard only.
  • They want an Instructor who has basic knowledge in the native language, which is why we encourage students to join our Anwärter course which includes basic language learning.
  • They prefer Instructors who are recommended by a training company and have done more than just an exam.
  • And if working in Austria they prefer Austrian qualifications.

There are two main levels of qualification in Canada. You’ll receive an intro to snowboard teaching and the role it plays in the snowboard industry in the CASI Level 1. You’ll learn basic snowboarding techniques, beginner teaching methods, and improve your lesson planning and communication skills. Once you’ve completed the CASI Level 1, you’ll be certified to teach beginner snowboarders up to the novice turn level.

Once you’ve completed the CASI Level 1, which is required for the next stage, you can take your CASI Level 2 course. This is perfect if you want to move up and teach snowboarders who are more experience. It’s recommended that you teach in a snow school before taking this course, with a recommendation of 45 hours of existing teaching experience. While this is not required, it’s sure to set you up for success in this more advanced qualification. Once qualified, you can teach intermediate snowboarders in both skills and terrain.

The Austrian Anwärter (Level 2) with SIA starts from as little as €4.680 and yet a comparable Level 1 & 2 Course can cost as much as €9.000 with other providers, that is a huge saving that remains in your pocket. We are always happy for people to compare courses as we know that our training programmes lead to huge savings – Everyone’s a winner!

If you are looking to work your way up the qualification ladder then expect to pay some princely sums with other national systems when assuming training and course costs. Using SIA courses you could achieve Level 3 including ski Anwärter, Landes 1, Landes 2, AlpineKurs (mountain safety) and snowboard Anwärter for as little as €15,460 including accommodation, lift passes, training, exams and transfers.

It is really important for those that are wishing to be in this industry long term that they start their journey in the way that suits their future and their financing. A wise choice now will reap huge rewards short term and long term so choose wisely.

If you hold a Level 1 licence with another association outside of Austria, you will need to join the Level 2 Anwärter Course.

For those that currently hold an international level 2, you may be able join the Landes 1 course as long as you have proof of 50 hours teaching and meet certain criteria. For more information send us an email and we can discuss your options.

We have a lot of different courses and a lot of detailed information. Once you’ve read up on our courses, you might still be struggling to decide. We have this quick guide to help you choose the course and destination for your trip of a lifetime.

If you’re serious about working in the snowsports industry, we recommend one of our courses with a job guarantee. Our courses that offer the Austrian qualification in either Austria or Argentina are the perfect choice. Once you complete these courses, you can go straight into working for a ski school in Austria, giving you the chance to train and work in the same season.

If you’re looking for the gap year of a lifetime, you can choose from our incredible courses in Canada. These are also perfect if Canada is your destination of choice! Choose from seven or 11-week courses in the uniquely stunning North American ski central for a gap year you’ll never forget. You can also take our 11-week Morzine gap year course, set against a backdrop of the French Alps. With this, you’ll get your BASI Level 1 and Level 2 qualification.

If you’re after a more casual experience, we have training-only options available. These are spread across the ski season and are more like a ski holiday with the opportunity to hone your skills.