FAQs

We understand that you’ll have questions, which is why we’ve put these detailed frequently asked questions sections together. If you can’t find what you’re looking for drop us a message, email or give us a call.

In your first season you have to be realistic. You are investing money into your training, your technical ability, getting qualified and of course having an experience of a lifetime – you have to place some value on this.

A large portion of what you earn will also be spent on living during your season. From experience, we find that first year instructors wish to make the most of their season so do not want to miss out on social events just to save a little bit of money. Enjoy your time with us and your season afterwards, you won’t regret it, but you might regret not making the most of your season in years to come!

Over the years we have carefully monitored which qualification we should be offering and have adapted to the demands of ski school employers and not what may be easiest for our own logistics. As 99% of people who join a course will ultimately want to be able to enjoy using the qualification they gain, it seems obvious that a training company should focus on this point and be confident that it can supply an employment opportunity to a participant of its courses.

Ski Instructor Academy is fully aware that people will want to have a financial return after a course and openly explain what this means in a first season in a ski school.

Our long standing reputation with ski schools throughout Austria, Japan and Canada of supplying quality ski and snowboard instructors means we are able to guarantee positions to successful participants subject to our terms and conditions.

On successful completion of an SIA course and exam and subject to the terms and conditions of SIA Austria you will receive a seasonal employment contract from a ski school. The job is subject to the terms of the ski school’s contract and are fairly standard in Austria and Japan.

Due to the peaks and troughs of the ski season it is not uncommon for instructors to find themselves without work for periods of the season. You must accept that if the ski school does not have clients or the resort has no snow cover then they will not be expected to pay you as an instructor. They will however during quiet times allow you to stay in the ski school accommodation and allow you to use the lift pass so that you can enjoy some free ski time during these quiet periods of the season. Many instructors look forward to these periods, as when it is busy, you may find that you have very little time to ski or board for yourself.

Job positions are not flexible. Only one job offer per participant will be given. Should you decline a job offer we will be unable to assist you further. This is a very sensitive area and ski schools will not be happy if course participants are changing their minds or making unreasonable requests.

Please note that only persons with an EU passport or suitable Working Visa are eligible for the SIA Job Guarantee. Non-EU passport holders will not be eligible without a suitable Visa. See section on Non EU Passport Holders.

Current member states of the European Union are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (British citizens). There is a freedom of movement between them (except all overseas territories other than Regions of France).

Croatian citizens still need a work permit until June 30, 2020, Restrictions on the free movement of workers may apply to workers from EU member countries for a transitional period of up to seven years after they join the EU.

See our Essential Visa Guide for lots of useful tips…

If you are a US passport holder then great news for you, ski schools in the US are happy to accept and employ instructors with Austrian qualifications. You will be awarded higher pay as a level 2 Austrian qualified instructor so your options to train, qualify and work are better than ever.

Those from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have opportunities to train in Austria, South America or Canada and have job opportunities thereafter in Japan and Canada.

New Zealanders, Australians and Canadians are also in the fortunate position that the countries have mutual agreements in place with Austria to trade working holiday visas between the two nations meaning there is a good chance of gaining a working holiday visa in Austria.

Canadians have also been able to apply and receive a European Passport recently when they have a direct relative (up to Great Grandparent) that was born in some EU member states.

Each member state has its own regulation about this and you will need to research if you are eligible.

Although ski schools do wish to employ people with language skills such as Russian, the Austrian Government limits the amount of Visas to Russian Nationals. Once again we are not in a position to make promises and each individual case must be approved by the Austrian Government. This means we can never guarantee work to Non-EU Passport holders, although Visas are awarded. SIA Austria will be able to further advise you on application for a course.

See our Essential Visa Guide for lots of useful tips…

The good news for any Non-EU citizen’s wishing to teach in their native land, is they may train and qualify with SIA Austria and the Austrian Qualification they receive will be highly sought after by ski schools around the world. The qualification has been widely accepted in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan and ski schools have welcomed Austrian qualified instructors into their resorts.

See our Essential Visa Guide for lots of useful tips…

How long is a piece of string? There are many variables that will affect both your work and your subsequent wage, such as snow conditions during the season, the economic climate, how mature and diligent you are as a worker, what qualification you hold and which ski school you work for.

IN AUSTRIA ,the contract you have will give you a standard monthly wage for Anwärter of €1.000 – €1.200 and with tax, health care, pension contributions deducted you may have cash in your hand of €700 – €1.000 per month. You will be taxed in Austria but you may apply to have that tax refunded if you did not exceed the tax band in your own country. We have had course participants make as much as €1.250 per month and as little as nothing when in a given month they were unemployable due to injury or finding themselves so low on the priority work list due to bad time keeping or poor work ethic that the ski school avoided using them. The ski schools will always favour instructors who are motivated and professional and avoid using poor workers except for very busy periods when they are desperate for staff.

IN JAPAN, the ski schools pay really well, with our students reporting to earn between €1.800 and €2.500 per month (236,000 Yen – 328,000 Yen) also providing your lift pass and heavily subsidised accommodation and often meals too. The season in Japan is shorter, running mainly from December until March so you would normally be busy for the most part. Flights to Japan are not included in your course but can be picked up from as little as €400 return using our partner programme travel, easily made back up with the increased wages.

IN CANADA, ski schools will pay you by the hour with additional bonuses for re-booking guests and bringing in new guests. A level 1 instructor (CSIA L1) will earn approx. CAD$14 per hour, whereas a level 2 instructor (CSIA L2) will earn approx. CAD$17 per hour. As with all ski schools, the higher qualified you are, the more money you get paid.

Remember, what may be a gap year or season of fun for you is a professional business for your employer.

Once qualified with the association you will need to pay their annual membership fee which will be approx. €50 and will give you additional insurance throughout your working season. You will also be covered by your ski school when teaching and supervising a group or teaching private lessons. You will be eligible for the Austrian E-card that allows you free medical treatment at the Doctors and Hospital as long as you are employed.

You can never have enough insurance when living in the mountains and for those that choose to use our preferred partners ERV Insurance, STA Travel or World Nomads, you will have the added comfort of their elite service and surety that you are covered for any eventuality.

After your course you will leave your SIA Accommodation and head to your ski school accommodation (where applicable). Please be aware most of these ski school accommodations are basic. If you do not like sharing bedrooms, bathrooms etc then you may wish to re-think your season. Ski Instructor Academy has no control over the ski school or their accommodation. The problem the ski schools face with ski resorts is that accommodation is extremely difficult to find and even basic apartments cost a lot of money, which the ski school needs to pay. Don’t expect WIFI to be available as standard, although most do have this. Some ski schools offer accommodation for free as part of your employment package, however most will heavily subsidise the cost of accommodation and request a contribution from you of approx. €5-10 per day, which will be deducted from your wages.

Once again it is the ski school that will decide who you will teach. Don’t expect advanced skiers or boarders with your Anwärter. Ski schools will look at each individual on merit and will aim to award suitable clients to those who work hard and do a good job. Be prepared and willing to teach all types of lessons, ski school lessons are heavily made up of Childrens groups and adult private lessons.

SIA now offers the Anwärter SB Course with a Job Guarantee, which is a huge boost to the industry as we push the sport forward, so YES!

If you want to maximise the work you get throughout the full season then we would still advise that you qualify as a Dual Instructor as ski lessons are still the lion’s share of work within ski schools.

Our Dual Course has been specifically tailored for people who are snowboarders and wish to work in Europe. The Dual Course, when successfully completed qualifies you to teach both ski and snowboard and this is an invaluable skill for you to have in a ski school.

We understand that your passion is for snowboarding but once again we are advising you honestly, acting only as realists about the snow sports industry.