How to Become a Snow School Instructor or Coach


Interested in sharing your love of winter with others? Have you ever wondered what the process is to becoming certified as a ski/snowboard instructor or race coach is in Canada? Keep reading to find out more!

The Basics

To work as an instructor in Canada, you will need to get your PSIC (Professional Ski Instructors of Canada), CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) or CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors) Level 1 certification.

The Level 1 ski and snowboard courses will provide you with simple, collaborative approaches to teaching and introduce you to the basic standards of the snow school industry. Ski and snowboard courses require you to pass a teaching and skiing/riding assessment.

Race coaches are certified through the Alpine Canada Ski Coaches Federation (CSCF). The Entry Level (EL) course is a combination of 2 days on-snow and 2 online e-learning modules. The EL course focuses on providing candidates knowledge about drills, how to run a ski race practice, ski technique, and ski development (and much more!).

How do I Know if I'm Ready?

Skiers: Anyone over the age of 14 who is a competent parallel skier.

Snowboarders: 15 years old on day 1 of the course, able to demonstrate safe riding skills on intermediate terrain. Riders need to be able to link turns easily and smoothly on both heel and toe sides, and be in control of their board at all times.

Coaches: 16 years old on day 1 of the course. Aspiring coaches should be strong skiers a good technical foundation, experience training/skiing gates, and have good ‘technical free-skiing’ skills.

How can I Prepare for my Certification Course?

A great way to prepare of your Level 1 or your EL Coaching is to spend a season volunteering with a snow school or race team. This will allow you to learn by watching other instructors, coaches, assist with classes, help with races and events, and get you on the hill for lots of practice.

At Chicopee we encourage our volunteers to join our certified instructors in Session. These are essentially free weekly lessons taught by our snow school supervisors, and snow school director.  During this time, we like to work on teaching tips, ski/snowboard techniques, safety, and much more to help further develop skills within the snow school.

Chicopee Racing Volunteers have the opportunity to assist with younger race groups, help with events and races, and become more familiar with the coaching side of racing. If you’re a racer interested in becoming a coach, a great first step is to talk to one of your coaches!

Why Should I be an Instructor/Coach?

Instructing and coaching are some of the most rewarding jobs ever! You get to share your love of skiing/snowboarding with others and inspire them to stay active, and keep learning and improving. Coaching and instructing allow you to influence your racers’ and students’ lives by being a positive role-model for them. Think back – don’t you have a favourite teacher or coach from when you were younger? How great would it be for you to leave that impression on someone else?

Helpful Links:

PSIC (Skiers)

CSIA (Skiers)

CASI (Snowboarders)

Coaching (Race Coaches)

Chicopee Job Postings