How to Become a Snowboard Instructor

Snowboard Instructor Careers & Degrees
Education0-6 Months

Snowboard Instructors are fitness instructors who are specialized in teaching individuals how to snowboard.

These individuals are specially trained in skiing and snowboarding and may provide instruction to their clients on both techniques.

They will work with individuals who want to learn how to ski, snowboard or both.

Individuals who want to become a Snowboard Instructor will need a combination of personal characteristics, training and certification in order to succeed in this profession.

Some helpful skills include working well with people, including both adults and children and be able to provide direction so their clients can learn.

Education Requirements to Become a Snowboard Instructor

Individuals who want to become a Snowboard Instructor will need a minimum of a high school degree.

Training in skiing and snowboarding are a requirement as well as being able to work with a wide range of individuals.

Some employers also seek background checks on individuals and require applicants to pass a fitness exam showing their capability in sport and fitness.

Individuals are encouraged to become certified and gain experience in coaching, mentoring and teaching individuals.

Individuals are encouraged to become certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America – American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) in order to become a Snowboard Instructor.

Individuals can learn about this organization and certification by visiting their website at: PSIA-AASI.

Many employers seek individuals who can pass the Fit to Ride Assessment.

This assessment is comprised of a series of 7 assessments mimicking the physical demands performed in skiing and snowboarding.

Snowboard Instructor Job Description

Snowboard Instructors are responsible for safely teaching their clients the basics of snowboarding and skiing.

These individuals work outdoors providing instructions to groups or individuals.

Snowboard Instructors must be able to handle extreme weather sometimes with snow falling and low temperatures throughout the day.

Individuals must also be able to handle the physical demands of being outdoors and being active throughout the day and teaching multiple sessions per day.

Snowboard Instructors will work with a variety individuals at different levels of instruction and experience.

From school aged children to older adults switching from skiing to snowboarding, Snowboard Instructors will work with groups and assure everyone is learning this skill.

The following are some common tasks these professionals perform:

  • Work well in a team environment
  • Be able to provide clear instructions to participants
  • Ensure safety procedures are being followed
  • Stand, walk and be active for long periods of time
  • Great guests and provide customer service to enhance their experience

Snowboard Instructors will give feedback to their clients to help improve in snowboarding, speed and safety.

They will encourage students who are struggling in learning this skill and provide advice on how to improve.

Snowboard Instructor Salary and Career Path

Snowboard Instructors fall under the Fitness Trainers and Instructors profession.

During the year 2012, individuals who worked in this field earned a median salary of approximately $31,720 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including company size, exact hours worked and level of experience.

Because Snowboard Instructors provide their services seasonally, their yearly wages reflect how much they worked during the year; how much it snow has a heavy impact on hours worked.

Some Snowboard Instructors supplement their income by finding other work during the off season.

The job outlook for all Fitness Trainers and Instructors, including Snowboard Instructors, is projected to grow as fast as average when compared to other professions.

Job opportunities are expected to increase by 13 percent through the year 2022 for all jobs in this field.

This growth is attributed to the increase in education revolving the importance of being active and staying fit.

Because this job is seasonal, job opportunities are limited during the ski season.

Individuals are encouraged to seek work in this field during the off season as winter approaches.

Individuals pursuing a career as a Snowboard Instructor have the opportunity to have a fun and rewarding career in this profession.

Individuals will use a combination of physical skills and their personality to help individuals learn a new skill.

Individuals can expect to be constantly active in this profession as they guide a group of individuals performing at many levels of snowboarding and skiing.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$41,940
New Hampshire$25,390
New Jersey$26,380
New Mexico$21,640
New York$30,150
North Carolina$20,400
North Dakota$24,940
Rhode Island$27,860
South Carolina$22,030
South Dakota$22,650
West Virginia$23,010
Puerto Rico$19,360

The top earning state in the field is Hawaii, where the average salary is $44,870.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Hawaii - $44,870
District of Columbia - $41,940
California - $35,660
Alaska - $34,270
New York - $30,150
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers, OCC Code 33-9092, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a snowboard instructor do?

A snowboard instructor is a professional who helps those who are just getting started to learn the basic techniques of snowboarding and those who already know how to snowboard – increase their level of ability and improve the skills.

Snowboard instructors can teach individually or in groups.

The typical duties of a snowboard instructor usually include ensuring that the mountain is safe to snowboard on; attending meetings at the snowboard school; teaching individuals; helping raise confidence levels; ensuring that the equipment is well-maintained; administering first aid (if necessary); observing the weather conditions; filling out paperwork, and so on.

Some professionals choose to make snowboard instructing a seasonal job, while others work throughout the whole year.

QuestionHow much do snowboard instructors make?

On average, a snowboard instructor can make a little less than $23.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $18.000 and $32.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the client, the location, how many hours have been spent teaching, and so on.

The job usually includes some additional benefits – free insurance, transport to the resort, accommodation, and discounts on numerous services.

An entry-level snowboard instructor can earn around $8.00 per hour, while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can make $27.00 and more per hour.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a snowboard instructor?

You do not need to earn a degree to become a snowboard instructor.

All you would have to do – is get qualified; however, there are different levels of snowboard instructor qualification and reaching the final level can be challenging.

The cost of the courses can vary a lot depending on a wide range of factors (in most cases, anywhere between $2.000 and $8.500).

Some experts recommend considering a Level 1 ski instructor certification too.

Before starting the qualification courses, aspiring snowboard instructors should already be experienced snowboarders.

QuestionWhat is the demand for snowboard instructors?

The competition for this job is extremely high.

The candidates who have previous teaching experience will have better chances of getting a job in different resorts.

The number of snowboard instructor opportunities varies every year (it all depends on the demand during the season).

Nowadays, boarding has a growing clientele; however, bear in mind that the majority of people who decide to take snowboard lessons are beginners (there are only a few advanced snowboard classes).

QuestionHow long does it take to become a snowboard instructor?

You have to already be a good snowboarder, before attempting to gain an instructor qualification.

The only other requirement for aspiring snowboard instructors – you have to be at least 16 years old.

You can start with acquiring a Level 2 snowboard instructor qualification (it is an internationally-recognized level).

The courses usually take around 11 weeks.

Some experts also recommend gaining a basic ski certification (in case you want to become a Level 3 snowboard instructor, a ski instructor qualification is a must).

Many initial courses last for 2-3 months.

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