If you say Switzerland, there are generally only 3 things you can think of: Chocolate, Swiss cheese, and the most iconic mountain of them all: The Matterhorn in Zermatt. If a single mountain village can define the image of an entire country, you know it’s special.
In the best possible way, Zermatt combines all aspects of a ski resort. With a lively, cozy village full of restaurants, nightlife, and off-slope activities, one of the highest ski slopes in the world, a beautiful authentic village, a breathtaking backdrop, and state of the art ski facilities, it is easy to see why this resort might very well be the most iconic and well-known ski village in the entire world.
All the more reason for us to be proud to present a unique winter season experience in Zermatt, where you combine work and play throughout the entire season on our level 1 and 2 ski instructor training program.
From the beginning of November and onwards, you will participate in our BASI level 1 and 2, fully English, ski instructor training program. The program is run by our top professional, highly certified instructors and designed to prepare you for work as an instructor in a ski school in Switzerland. Your experienced trainers will guide you and build your skills, no matter what your level is.
From November to December you’ll train towards your level 1 besides joining one week of ski school specific training which is one of the highlights of the season. There, you get to know the other ski school members, do activities together and learn about the ski school specific requirements. In January, we will continue the training towards level 2 until the high season kicks in from mid-February until the beginning of March, and again at Easter. Your training and shadowing will optimally prepare you for your work at a local ski school.
In short, we got your season covered with a full season lift pass, organised season accommodation with one month included, an internationally recognized level 1+2 exam, 170+ hours of training from top-professional instructors, and work opportunity at a local ski school in Zermatt, so you can shred until April!
For good reason, Switzerland is one of the most desired ski destinations for both new and experienced ski instructors. If you combine that with the most famous ski resort in Switzerland, you have a winning formula. Zermatt is internationally renowned, which means it in turn has a very international vibe to it. It receives guests from all over the world and you can feel that in daily life in the village.
As Switzerland is highly sought after and receives a significant amount of wealthy clients it’s one of the best places to learn from experienced instructors and kick start your ski instructor career. As a newly certified instructor you typically receive between 10-25 CHF an hour depending on your ski, personal and language skills.
Zermatt has a fair amount of different ski schools and instructors tend to hang out throughout the season. The instructors typically meet up at a few local spots in the resort and on days off there are often a few of them exploring the resort together.
We’ve created a holistic winter experience from November to April, where you will become a certified ski instructor with the ability to work in Zermatt.
With this course package, you can look forward to the following benefits:
What is not included?
As a Snowminds trademark, we take care of all the practicalities and coordinate with our professional partners in Switzerland to provide you with a life-long experience!
*Snowminds offers arranged accommodation for the entire season, allowing you to avoid the hassle of finding it on your own and giving you the opportunity to live together with other Snowminders. The first month is included in the course package, and in most cases, you will be asked to pay the rent for the rest of the season before departure. The price for accommodation typically ranges between 800-1200 CHF per month. If you are interested in booking your own accommodation for the entire winter season, please contact us for a discounted course price. Please see more info in the FAQ below.
**We are happy to assist with recommendations to booking airline tickets and airport transfers to your final destination. Please reach out to us ANYTIME if you are interested.
Our Zermatt level 1 and 2 instructor program is perfectly designed for those looking to take a gap year, a career break/change as well as those wanting professional training to improve their skiing and take it to the next level in Zermatt, some of the best and most varied terrains in the Alps.
Your season consists of training weeks, exam weeks and weeks of shadowing and working at a local ski school. The shadowing experience is also required by BASI before you can progress to the Level 2 exam and helps you with your future lessons to get some inspiration and teaching experience.
The weekly schedule can vary a lot. Usually during weekdays you’ll train for a few hours in the morning and in the afternoon. After skiing activities include theory lessons, language tuition, fitness sessions or game nights. Over the weekend, you are usually having days off for free-skiing or just relaxing.
The precise schedule is subject to change and depends on business levels, weather conditions and how exams fit around the main holidays.
At Snowminds we pride ourselves in selecting the right people for our team of ski- and snowboard instructors. We are renowned amongst the ski schools for educating competent, energetic and top motivated instructors. The most important thing for you is to be positive, outgoing, adventurous, and ready to work hard to get the memory of a lifetime as a part of the Snowminds team.
What we expect from you:
When you have sent your application, we will give you a call to discuss your course choice and hear more about why you want to become an instructor. You will then be invited to an interview where we will evaluate your candidacy. This also give you the opportunity to get more information about our courses and the experience as a ski instructor in Switzerland. After the interview, we will call you and let you know whether or not we can offer you a spot on our team with a job placement for the winter season.
We have a big interest in our courses and the spots fill up quickly. Therefore we have a “first come, first serve” principle with an application deadline each month. This means that the earlier you apply, the greater your chances are of joining the team and getting a spot at your dream destination.
Hit the “apply now” button to get started, where you will find our prices and dates.
- Charly & Marcus, Snowminds Instructors in Zermatt
Since you are employed directly at the ski school, not Snowminds, it is the ski school that independently defines the scope of your work, pay and other work-related conditions. Thus, your employment relationship is between you and the ski school and we cannot guarantee, for example, a minimum number of work hours. We will of course help and assist in the event of any questions or anything else.
You can often expect a more high-end clientele in Switzerland which leads to higher expectations from your ski school. The amount of work therefore highly depends on your motivation, appearance and attitude and how you interact with your guests.
From past years experiences, Snowminds instructors worked with a level 1 certification and some even without certification in the beginning if they fulfilled the criteria mentioned above.
So if you want to get the most out of a season in Switzerland, have the right mindset and attitude ready from the beginning and throughout your course!
As a newly-educated ski instructor in Zermatt, one is typically on the “bottom of the food chain” regarding work. In other words, the more experienced instructors get first preference, but the more you show your passion and desire to work hard, the better. We highly recommend making the most of the busier peak periods in the ski school by showing your supervisors you are motivated to teach as many lessons as you can. The busiest periods during the peak season are Christmas & New Years, February and in some resorts Easter. It is common that you are booked for hours according to your language skills, social skills and people skills. There are always opportunities to shadow lessons before teaching your first which can be a great way to show your enthusiasm and motivation to your ski school.
Our ski school partner prefers instructors that can speak some French and/ or German, and knowing some basic phrases can greatly improve your local experience. Language skills may be more valuable as the level of certification and some resorts even offer an hourly wage increase for every additional language you speak!
The more you practice the language spoken in your destination country before departure the better. This will help your integration and in general provide you with a better experience. We recommend using Duolingo to practice and ideally we recommend taking a language course.
Our team has jointly done more than 25 seasons across the world and we know better than anyone what it is like to start working with a new language for the first time. Whilst it may seem confusing at first, we know that it is more than possible to pick up with a bit of practice. Other than normal language courses, the Snowlingo courses specifically focus on what you actually need when working as a ski or snowboard instructor. On our website, you can read more about it.
In terms of financial expectations, let’s be clear: You do not get rich in a season as a newly certified instructor and we always recommend having a minimum of 2000 Swiss francs in pocket money so you can make the most of the season. In general, it is very different from what our instructors earn and spend during the season since habits/personal budgets vary so much.
Your wage depends on many factors, but typically as a newly certified instructor, you receive between 10-25 CHF an hour. In addition to this there are often bonus opportunities, for example, tips and extra private lessons. It is common for ski schools to have returning guests who come back frequently throughout the season and request you as an instructor directly if they were happy with their first ski course.
Sometimes, there are opportunities to pick up additional hours of work in the resort during the winter in other mountain departments, such as ski shops, activities and guest services.
In Zermatt, the first month of accommodation during the course is included. You can decide whether you want to have the accommodation arranged by Snowminds for the rest of the season.
Many ski schools in Switzerland do not include accommodation in the work contracts as they often work with a lot of local staff. Therefore, we work together with the ski schools to arrange good and fitting housing for you. You’ll be in shared accommodation with (mostly) other Snowminds Instructors in a fantastic community.
The rent won’t be deducted from your salary but paid separately. Since housing is secured for the full season a signed housing contract and full payment will be required before departure. Rent varies, but typically lies between 800-1200 Swiss francs a month.
A deposit should be paid to cover potential damages, missing items, cleaning, washing of bed linens, towels, and/or anything else that the landlord will have claims to after the lease. It will be transferred back to you electronically after the season less any deductions by Snowminds.
In recent years our interns have stayed in Chalet Turbina where you are going to sleep in 4-person bedrooms. Bed linen and towels can be rented on request and additional cost. The Snowminders have their own shared bedrooms while the kitchen, common area and bathroom are shared with other ski school members. The modern kitchen is fully equipped with an oven, 6 induction hobs, two large refrigerators and a heavy-duty dishwasher. The dining area offers space for all residents. Since all ski school members are staying in the same chalet, you’ll get to know the team very quickly and become a part of the strong community. Usually the Snowminds and Stoked instructors spend a lot of time together, cooking, watching a movie or arranging game nights. On the ground and second floor there is one bathroom each with a WC and shower. Another 3 showers and 2 WCs are located in the basement. The best place to retreat and comfortably relax is the attic with a sitting area, TV, reading corner and small library. A unique view of the Matterhorn can be enjoyed on the terrace – quiet and close to nature. Skis can be stored in the large ski room in the basement including a ski boot dryer. The next lift station is 550m away and if the snow conditions allow it, it’s ski-in, ski out.
From our experience, your seasonal accommodation soon becomes your home and those you share with become your family. It is often with a huge lump in your throat and maybe a tear in your eyes, that you leave it after the season.
Below, you’ll find pictures of Chalet Turbina.
To stay and work in Switzerland for the winter season you need to be an EU or EFTA citizen. (EFTA which consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is part of the EFTA and thus grants freedom of movement to those from EU/EFTA countries.
Nevertheless you have to get a work permit while in Switzerland, before you start working at a ski school. Your ski school and your team leader will help you and advise you on the most suitable permit, which varies depending on the amount of work per month.
Your ski school will help you with paying the relevant fees to the registration office.
Mandatory Swiss Health insurance / Tourist tax
Most work permits in Switzerland require you to also pay for mandatory Swiss health insurance which must be paid in addition to the registration fee to be eligible to work.
If you are not on a work permit, and not working, then Switzerland requires you to pay a daily tourist tax instead. This is typically around 2.50 CHF a day, depending on your accommodation set up.
If you are interested in reading more about work in Switzerland as a foreigner, we refer to the official Swiss government website.
Season in Zermatt with Level 1 and 2 ski instructor course
November 2023 - April 2024
Sign up deposit €100
Any Questions? Call us!