With 124km of skiing including a glacier and 14 peaks over 4,000 meters, Saas-Fee is undoubtedly one of the Alps’ best and most guaranteed snow resorts, where you can ski almost year-round. But once you’ve set foot in Saas-Fee, it’s not just the skiing that draws you back. The town, which until 1957 could only be reached on foot, is car-free and oozes Swiss Alpine charm with its winding streets and pretty wooden houses, and now you have the chance to call it home away from home.
In cooperation with the Ski Zenit ski school, we have created an experience where everything goes together. You get a season lift pass, organised season accommodation with one month included in one of the town’s chalets, 150+ hours of top professional ski training, and the internationally recognized British Level 1 and 2 ski instructor training. You will have the opportunity to work and earn money as a ski instructor and set yourself up for a fantastic and unforgettable winter in Switzerland.
It’s not without reason that the world’s best World Cup skiers gather in Saas-Fee. 10 months a year skiing and steep terrain provide the perfect conditions for ski development, which is also one of the many reasons we at Snowminds have thrown our love at this ski resort. You can try the FIS World Cup piste, where many ski idols have made their turns. For free skiers, Saas-Fee also offers plenty of exciting opportunities in the fun park with plenty of kickers and rails or a day with a local mountain guide in an endless backcountry.
As Switzerland is highly popular and welcomes a large number of wealthy clients, it is one of the best places to learn from experienced instructors and start your ski instructing career. As a newly certified instructor, you typically receive between 25-30 CHF per hour in Saas-Fee.
Before you get that far, you’ll need to complete the first part of your instructor course, where you will get trained up to your British BASI level 1 in December, so you can get the opportunity to shadow experienced ski instructors, or start work, over the Christmas and New Year weeks. In early January we will start training towards level 2 before the high season kicks off from mid-February until early March, after which you will take the British level 2 exam with the opportunity to work over Easter. By the end of April, you will look back on a fantastic season as a ski instructor in Switzerland.
We have created the ultimate seasonal experience in Saas-Fee from beginning of December to late April where you will become a certified level 1 and 2 ski instructor with the opportunity to work in Saas-Fee.
With this course package, you can look forward to the following benefits:
What is not included?
*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.
**First aid course is a requirement to become level 1 trained and is not included. We are happy to help arrange a first aid course if needed!
*** Employment depends on successfully passing your exams, performance during training, language skills and based on business levels and demands from ski school.
**** We are happy to assist with recommendations for booking airline tickets and airport transfers to your final destination. Please reach out to us ANYTIME if you are interested.
*****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. This varies depending on the canton, but is typically around 250 CHF a month for a full work permit. Sometimes there are options to pay a daily rate for days worked instead. 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.
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 highly 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 gives 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.
We receive a lot of applications for our courses and the spots fill up quickly, therefore we have a “first come, first served” 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.
Further information about course dates and prices can be found below, where you can also hit the button to apply now.
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 instructor, 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 than 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 25-30 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 Saas Fee, 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. The remaining amount will be transferred back to you electronically after the season by Snowminds.
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 2.50-4.50 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 with level 1 and 2 ski instructor course in Saas Fee
Saas Fee, Switzerland
Approx. 1st December - 30th April
Sign-up deposit: €200
Any Questions? Call us!