It’s the mecca of Freeride. The absolute pinnacle when it comes to big mountain skiing. There is a good reason Verbier has hosted the final of the Freeride World Tour for more than the past decade! It combines some of the best skiing in the world, with a lively village and great nightlife. It’s an international vibe and it is not uncommon to run into a pro skier or two throughout the day. The fact that so many pro skiers choose Verbier as their home base, speaks for itself!
On our season-long program, you can combine training, shadowing and work opportunities throughout the entire season on our English spoken level 1 and 2 ski instructor internship in Verbier. You will have direct access to the heart of the world-renowned 4 Vallées ski resort, one of Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts offering some of the best and most varied terrains in the world.
From the beginning of December and onwards, you will participate in our level 1 and 2, fully English, instructor training program, which is designed to prepare you for work as an instructor in a ski school in Switzerland.
As a part of the course, you will receive a full season lift pass, organised season accommodation with one month included, internationally recognized level 1+2 exams, 170+ hours of training from top-professional instructors, and work/ shadow opportunities at a local ski school. All this in one of the most acclaimed and famous resorts in Switzerland, if not the World.
You will train towards passing your level 1 before Christmas, so you can shadow and/ or work in the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Hereafter, in January, we will pick up training towards the level 2 exam in February, before the high season period kicks in from mid-February until the beginning of March, and again at Easter. With that large amount of training, you will gain valuable experience for shadowing and work during the high season. At the beginning of March you will have another training block where you get introduced to GS race training, freestyle, touring and avalanche training including prevention, conditions and rescue scenarios.
In short, we’ve got your season covered, with a lot of training, a season lift ticket, work and shadow opportunities, and organised seasonal accommodation with first month included, so you can shred until the end of April!
For good reason, Switzerland is one of the most desired ski destinations for both new and experienced ski instructors. The Swiss Alps offer some of the best skiing in the world, both on the slope, and off-piste. This is specifically evident in the 4 Vallées ski resort, which is known for its amazing off-piste terrain. It is not a coincidence that it has hosted the Freeride World Tour finals for years!
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.
During the season, you will be accommodated with a group of fellow Snowminders in a shared house with kitchen facilities in either Verbier or Le Châble which is only one gondola ride away. These resorts are some of the busiest villages in Switzerland with a great international ski instructor community. 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 end of November to April, where you will become a certified ski instructor with the opportunity to work in a local ski school in Verbier.
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 that we are known for!
*We organise seasonal accommodation, so you avoid the hassle and can stay with the other Snowminders. The first month is included in the package and in most cases, you will be asked to pay the rest before departure. Please see more info in the FAQ below.
** There is a 200 CHF surcharge on the lift ticket for people that are 24 years or older (in 23/24 this was for people born in 1999 and older) and/ or a 200 CHF surcharge for people signed up later than November 20th 2023.
***Employment depends on successfully passing your exams, performance during training, language skills and is based on business levels and demands from ski school.
**** 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 Verbier level 1 and 2 instructor internship 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 4 Vallées, some of the best and most varied terrains in the Alps.
The program is approximate and can be subject to changes. Please note that the Level 1 and 2 training programs consist of on-slope days, off-slope days, and off days. The exact planning is made in accordance with the weather conditions during those weeks.
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 your 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 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.
Further information about course dates and prices can be found below, where you can also hit the button to apply now.
- Thijs Kennis, Snowminds Course Manager
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.
As a newly certified instructor you will be mainly working with large groups of children, managing sometimes up to 10. This is a quite challenging task and requires certain skills you will obtain during training. Working in this environment will set you up with certain skills unobtainable elsewhere, skills such as class management, time management and problem solving.
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.
In Verbier on average skiers will be obtaining about 80 hours of work throughout the season, work is usually spread throughout the season however during quiet times you might have a quiet stint of 4 weeks without work, ofcourse that would be the time to train.
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.
For a level 1 instructor in Verbier you should expect something between 13 CHF and 20 CHF per hour worked. If you obtain a higher certification this might change. This Salary may vary between ski schools, as some schools take various things into account such as languages and teaching experience.
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.
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 Verbier, 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 600-900 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.
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 in Verbier with level 1+2 ski instructor course
from €6,995 (€6,495 excluding accommodation)
Sign up deposit €100
Any Questions? Call us!