Qualify and teach adults as a ski instructor at Whistler Blackcomb
Work as a ski instructor teaching adults at Whistler Blackcomb for a season. This unique opportunity allows you to gain your Level 1 instructor qualification in November and work for a season.
The Whistler Blackcomb University program allows the opportunity to receive top coaching from the highest certified ski pros before joining the team at Whistler Blackcomb Snow School.
Oyster and Whistler Blackcomb have enjoyed a partnership since 2004 creating this program for participants to join the snow school. Applicants typically require a minimum Level 2 CSIA qualification before they can work as instructors. Our programme is a great way to step straight into an instructor role during your first season with just your Level 1!
Looking to spend a season enjoying deep powder and legendary terrain? Look no further than Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s #1 ski resort. Train as a ski instructor and work the season in one of the world’s most renowned resorts.
Join our programme and take part in a 4 week training course which includes the examination and all fees for the CSIA Level 1 ski instructor qualification. On completion of the course you will start your pre-arranged job working for the snow school.
An internationally recognised qualification, CSIA Level 1 allows you to instruct in other countries and looks great on your CV. You’ll be coached by the best instructors in town, all Level 4 instructors, not just to pass the exam but also gain a real knowledge of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, setting you up perfectly for your season as a ski instructor in the adult snow school.
Since 2004, Oyster and Whistler Blackcomb have enjoyed a partnership creating this unique opportunity for participants to join the snow school. Applicants typically require a minimum Level 2 CSIA qualification before they can work as instructors. This is a great way to step straight into an instructor role during your first season!
Before you head to Canada, we will interview you and brief you thoroughly. This allows us to pre-screen you for Whistler Blackcomb and we have an excellent record of finding people jobs in the resort. If you pass our selection criteria and don’t get a job before you go to Canada, we will give you a full refund, that’s how confident we are in our selection process.
We ask for a £180 payment when booking this programme. If, in the event you are unsuccessful in the interview, or we cannot find a job for you before you leave home, the money that you pay Oyster is fully refundable.
As a qualified instructor, you’ll be spending your days working with beginner level skiers in the adult snow school. Your work in the adult ski school will include teaching the basics of skiing in the beginner area as well as teaching on green runs, depending on the level of your group. Adult group ski lessons have a maximum of 4 people per ski instructor. This is a great way to meet people from around the world who come to Whistler for their winter holiday and skiing lessons.
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 Oyster when we receive your application and also by a senior Whistler Blackcomb Manager at our briefing course in the autumn before the season begins.
This is a full time position with hours averaging 25 hours per week across the season. Expect to earn C$13 per hour (approx £7) as a qualified instructor and be paid fortnightly. People have been known to receive tips as well!
The season generally finishes in mid-April. The exact date depends on how good the snow is! Our programme runs until the end of April to give you some time to enjoy the spring skiing and relax after a busy season, before heading home or continuing your travels.
If you have childcare experience and would prefer to work with children as a ski instructor, check out our Whistler Kids instructor programme.
What experience do I need?
To work as an adult ski instructor in Whistler you will need to be a confident skier before you arrive. You need to be able to ski parallel, pole plant and be confident on all intermediate slopes (blues in North America and reds in Europe).
You will need experience of working with people face to face in a customer service role.
Accommodation and Food
The first night is spent in a hostel in Vancouver before we move you to your room in staff housing at Whistler Blackcomb. The accommodation is located on Blackcomb Mountain very close to the slopes and lifts. You’ll live here for the whole season, even during your training when you are not officially employed. Housing is not easy to come by in Whistler, and our participants always comment how pleased they are that it is confirmed before arrival.
You will live in a small apartment within a housing block. Each apartment has two bedrooms, a lounge, bathroom and small kitchen. Each caters for four people so you will be sharing a bunk-bed room. The accommodation is self-catered. There is a meal deal for staff in a building close to where you will be living (currently $7 for a three-course meal!), however for the rest of the time you will be cooking for yourself and fellow housemates, it would be a good idea to ensure you can cook a few easy dishes before you depart!
During the four week Level 1 course the fee for the accommodation is included. On completion of the course, the money for the accommodation will be deducted from your pay cheque at the rate of approx $12.60 (roughly an hour’s pay) per night. WiFi is included in the rent.
- Become a qualified ski instructor at the start of the season and work for the rest of the season.
- Work for the world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb.
- Receive comprehensive support and advice throughout, particularly pre-departure and during our orientation in Whistler which includes a ZipTrek tour.
- Feel fully supported throughout the programme; take part in monthly meet-ups with Tory and the rest of your group.
- Live as a local in one of the world’s best and most popular ski resorts, regularly voted #1 in North America.
Whyshould I do this?
It’s simple, combine your love of skiing with earning money and skiing every day of the season. This has proven to be a snow lover’s dream gap year or career break since 2004.
Working in Canada for a season, particularly in this responsible role within the adult ski school, will look great on your CV. Not only this but you will boost your own independence and confidence, living and working in a resort that most people only get a week or so to enjoy. Make Whistler your second home!
You can be out on the mountain pretty much every day of the season. You will have a ski lift pass included with your job, which means when you are not teaching adult ski lessons, you can be out on the slopes making the most of this awesome resort.
We organise for our group to all arrive in Vancouver on the same day. Most people fly on the Oyster arranged flight from London Heathrow and we will see you off at the airport with the rest of the group. On arrival at Vancouver Airport, you will be met by Tory, our representative. If you want us to book this for you, we add £800 to the cost of the programme. This will give you ATOL protection as well.
If you want to book your own flights, or arrive into Vancouver earlier, that is absolutely fine. If you arrive at the same time as the rest of the group, the airport transfer will be included, otherwise you will just need to make your own way to the hostel for the first night.
Early on day 2, Tory will show 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. Once in Whistler, 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 Mont 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 is very well connected in the village, she knows what she’s talking about!
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 either a meal, drinks or activity 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.
Read more about Tory in our ‘meet the reps‘ blog.
What is provided
- One-to-one interview and informal briefing
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the programme and manage your booking
- UK briefing day covering work advice and meet a senior manager from Whistler Blackcomb
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Canada
- A job with Whistler Blackcomb Snow School 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 $12.60 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 flights £5445 (if you want a more flexible ticket this can be organised)
- Your money is protected with Oyster. We have ATOL Protection (as long as we book your flights) and a bond with IPP (if we don’t 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 Canada 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. C$400 per week, before tips)
- In-resort discount on buying skis and boots when you first arrive in Whistler
- Oyster ski season hoody
- Oyster luggage tag
- ZipTrek session during the orientation
- Bus ticket back to Vancouver Airport on the Oyster programme end date
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 (sign up for our free application guide)
- Valid passport
- Have face-to-face customer service experience and be a confident intermediate skier
- Insurance covering winter sports and any planned independent travel, we can introduce you to a policy
- Independent travel costs during or at the end of your season
- All home-country travel costs
- Accommodation and food costs, approximately C$20 (£12) 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