Whistler Blackcomb Ski Instructor Jobs
Qualify as a ski instructor on our 4 week instructor programme before going on to teach skiing on your ski season. Taking part in our programme means that on successful completion of your Level 1, not only will you be qualified, you’ll also be eligible for employment by Whistler Blackcomb as a Whistler Kids ski instructor.
Normally, Whistler Kids will only accept applications from people who are already qualified. Our programme is the only way to qualify and teach in the same season!
You will head out to Whistler in mid-November to begin the Whistler Blackcomb Ski School University Instructor Course. This has been designed by Whistler Blackcomb to give you all the necessary training for you to pass the CSIA Level 1 examination in early December and then secure your job for the rest of the season. During the course you will be taught by Level 4 instructors – the best in town. We are proud to say that we had a 100% first-time pass rate during the 2014/15 season.
The 4 week Whistler University programme provides 3 weeks intensive training (two weeks on snow training) to improve your technique and confidence to prepare you for your Level 1, followed by a fourth week of examinations. The programme runs Monday-Thursday and includes the exam fees for your CSIA Level 1. An internationally recognized qualification, CSIA Level 1 allows you to instruct in other countries and looks great on your CV. The Level 4 instructors who train you will pass on their expertise and allow you to gain a real knowledge of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, setting you up perfectly for your season instructing children.
Whistler Blackcomb normally requires instructors to have at least a Level 2 qualification before being considered for employment so this is a great way to step straight into an instructor role in your first season!
On successful completion of the course, you will be considered eligible for employment at Whistler Blackcomb subject to vacancies and their selection process. Since 2004 we are pleased to say that we have an excellent record of finding people jobs with Whistler Blackcomb. This is due to our own selection procedures which include an interview and pre departure briefing.
You’ll be spending your days working with children between the ages of 3-11. You will spend some time on the nursery slopes and beginner slopes of the mountains depending on the ski experience within your group.
In order to be eligible for a place on our programme, you will need childcare experience and a good rapport with children. We are looking for more experience than just babysitting. Some of these kids will be new to the sport and you will be nurturing them through the first steps of putting skis on and getting them to stop on the nursery slope. Other kids will have been skiing almost since before they could walk and will already be confident in their ability. You’ve obviously got to be a better skier than them!
Given how much of an exciting responsibility this job is, ensuring that you are well suited and prepared is a big part of our job before you head to Canada. You will be interviewed by us when we receive your application and also by the Whistler Kids General Manager at our briefing course in the September before the season.
The season generally finishes for Whistler Kids at the end of April. The exact date depends on how good the snow is!
These roles are full time and you can expect an average of 4-5 days work per week across the season. Working in a tourist resort means that there are fluctuations in the number of guests and therefore the number of hours of work you will get. During peak times such as Christmas you may even be working 6 or even 7 days per week. In the quieter times you may only get 2-3 days work per week. Each pay cheque will be different so there will be times you need to live on a budget. The great thing about fewer shifts though is that you’ll be able to ski on your days off! For the past few years, Whistler Kids instructors have averaged around 32 hours per week across the season.
Expect to be paid a minimum of C$10 per hour (approx £6) and be paid fortnightly. If you have any childcare qualifications or can speak other languages, take details with you to Canada and these could increase your hourly wage – every little helps!
“I’ve just returned from Whistler & I can definitely say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my life (so far..!) For my first time leaving home and travelling, I’d say Oyster were the best company to go with, as we later found out that other programs didn’t offer the support that we were guaranteed OR a job confirmed” Jasmine, Whistler Kids instructor 2013/14
What experience do I need?
As mentioned above, you need to be someone that has a good rapport with children and, ideally, experience with children in a variety of situations. We are looking for people that have experience with children aged 3-11 or who are willing to gain the relevant work experience before the start of the programme. Having babysat for siblings/cousins/friends is not enough.
Some examples of the childcare experience that our participants come to us with include:
- Volunteering at your local Beavers or Brownies group
- Coaching sport to younger years at school
- Volunteering in a nursery or primary school as part of work experience
In addition to having good childcare experience, you also need to be a confident intermediate skier who is able to ski parallel, pole plant and be confident on all intermediate slopes.
Accommodation and Food
You will live in Whistler Blackcomb staff housing which is located on Blackcomb Mountain very close to the lifts. You’ll live here for the whole season, even during your training when you are not officially employed.
The accommodation is made up of self contained flats, each having two bedrooms, a lounge, bathroom and small kitchen. Each caters for four people so you should expect to share a room. The Oyster group is usually put in the same building. You will usually get a meal on the days that you are working and there is a meal deal for staff close to the accommodation (currently $7 for a three-course meal!), however for the rest of the time you will be self catering and you should ensure you can cook a few easy dishes before you depart!
During the Whistler University Level 1 course the fee for the accommodation is included. Once you finish the course and start work, the money for the accommodation will be deducted from your pay cheque at the rate of approx $11 (1 hour pay) per night.
- Qualify as a CSIA Level 1 ski instructor at the beginning of the season, leaving the majority of the season to work and earn
- Work for the world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb
- Live as a local in one of the world’s most popular ski resorts
- Enjoy the biggest ski area with the longest runs and greatest vertical in North America
- Whistler is constantly voted as one of world’s best ski resorts in the world- think lots of powder!
Whyshould I do this?
This is our most popular long-term programme. We think the reason for this is that it combines getting a qualification with working full time in a highly responsible job. We are proud that so many of our participants have come through recommendations from siblings, family members and friends. With two families we have even reached the third generation of brother/sister!
If you are a confident skier and have a great rapport with kids through your childcare experience, this is a perfect opportunity to boost both areas.
Working in Canada for a season is a great use of your gap year. Not only will it enhance your CV but it will also enhance your independence and confidence. You will be living and working abroad for 6 months and developing your skills in a country which is renowned for high levels of customer service – great for putting on your CV or resume.
We are an ATOL bonded company and can book flights for you from the UK or elsewhere. If you are flying from London, we will see you off at Heathrow on departure day. On arrival, our rep Tory will pick you up at Vancouver Airport and transport you into the city on a coach.
We will pay for you to stay in a hostel in Vancouver for your first night (assuming you arrive with the rest of the group) so that you can get over your flight. The next day, Tory shows you where you can register for your Social Insurance Number before you hop on the coach again and head up the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) to Whistler. The journey takes about two and a half hours. On arrival, we’ll get you checked in and give you time to settle into your accommodation before beginning our thorough orientation.
Dual-national Tory (she is British and Canadian) took her gap year in Tremblant, went back to the UK to complete her degree and returned to Whistler to become a ski instructor. She is married to Mike, one of Whistler’s most respected ski instructors, and they have two young children. Tory’s full time job is as the Senior Manager at Whistler.com. She has been our representative since 2004 and knows what she’s talking about, having done it herself!
On arrival, Tory will arrange a short orientation course and be in close contact with you over the first couple of days. As time goes on, Tory will take more of a back seat and be there as a helpful friend should you need any help or advice. Once a month Tory hosts a meet up with the Oyster group where we provide a few drinks and snacks which gives you the opportunity to chat through any issues you might have. Tory is a local expert on where to go and what to see in the area.
Our representatives are there to be a helpful friend to you and steer you through difficulties of any kind. Tory will keep us updated on your health and welfare throughout.
What is provided
- One-to-one interview and informal briefing
- UK briefing day covering childcare issues and work advice
- Meeting a senior manager from Whistler Kids at our UK briefing course
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Canada
- A job with Whistler Kids on successful completion of the Whistler University course and pre departure interview.
- Organisation of staff accommodation before arrival (free during the Whistler University course and then approx $11 per night taken directly from pay cheque, which is roughly £50 per week)
- Whistler University fees including tuition from Level 4 instructors, exam fees for the CSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor exam and accommodation fees during those 4 weeks. (In the unlikely event you fail you will need to pay for a re-test)
- 4 week ski pass, including 20% discount off food, for the duration of the Whistler University course
- Full season ski pass, with staff discounts, once you begin your job
- Optional flight with fixed return date. Total cost including flight £4950 for Whistler Kids Instructor (if you want a more flexible ticket this can be organised).
- ATOL Protection (as long as we book your flights)
- Arrangement of transportation to your accommodation from the airport and local information
- One night in a central Vancouver hostel when the group arrives in Canada.
- Assistance organising your Social Insurance Number and bank account (with TD Bank in Whistler)
- Assistance and support from our representative whilst on the programme with us in Whistler, including regular social ‘meet ups’
- Wages once you begin your job (approx. £150 per week, before tips)
- In-resort discount on buying skis and boots when you first arrive in Whistler
- Oyster Whistler Kids ski season hoody
- ZipTrek session during the orientation
- Bus ticket back to Vancouver at the end of the season
- Free access to InterHealth’s Travel Advice Service
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
What do I need
- Be eligible for the Canadian IEC Working Holiday program
- Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return
- Have experience working with children and be a confident skier
- Insurance covering winter sports and any planned independent travel, we can recommend a policy to you
- Independent travel costs during or at the end of your season
- All UK travel costs (to the interview, briefing day and airport)
- Accommodation and food costs, approximately C$18 (£11) per day. Accommodation cost is taken directly from your pay cheque
- Cost of retaking your Level 1 examination in the unlikely event you fail first time
- Police Check for Immigration purposes (approx. £45)
- Cost of IEC Working Holiday Work Permit – C$250