Things You Should Know as a Ski Instructor in Japan

5 min read

Who is a ski instructor?

A ski instructor is an individual who professionally instructs others on how to ski. Ski instructors often work for ski resorts, where they teach their clients some valuable skiing techniques as well as the safety requirements of the sport.

Most ski instructors are individuals who are confident in their skiing and are passionate about the sport, as well as eager to share their knowledge about the sport with other people.

The exact duties assigned to a ski instructor usually vary from ski resort to ski resort. That is because different ski resorts tend to have different skiing environments that require different skiing specialties. The types of clients a ski resort usually gets or attracts also determine the exact duties the resort’s ski instructor will be charged with.

Becoming a ski instructor in Japan

Are you interested in hunting for a winter gap year abroad, looking for a career change into skiing, or fulfilling a nagging push to become a ski instructor in Japan? That is a great decision because Japan provides solid foundations for individuals who become amazing ski instructors.

There are four key steps that leading ski resorts in Japan will take you through toward becoming an experienced ski instructor they can rely upon to guide their clients through the skiing journey. These are:

  • Pursuing an internationally recognized ski instructor certification
  • Getting experience working as a ski instructor
  • Getting a Japanese working holiday visa (if you’re not a Japanese national).
  • Choosing where to apply for your ski instruction job in Japan

Getting an internationally recognized ski instructor certification

For you to work as a ski instructor in Japan, you’ll need at least a level 1 ski-instructor qualification from an International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA)-certified ski association.

 Things You Should Know as a Ski Instructor in Japan

If you lack instructor internship experience, ski resorts in Japan will most likely require you to have a level 2 ski-instructor qualifications to enable them to consider you for employment.

Get experience working as a ski instructor

When I stayed at a Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort accommodation facility that is home to a good number of Nozawa Onsen ski-in, ski-out facilities conveniently located right next to the ski slopes such that skiers are able to ski directly in and out of the accommodation, I overheard a ski instructor telling a trainee that being employed as a ski instructor in the resort requires one to gain some experience working as a ski instructor.

He noted that becoming a ski instructor is a dream career for many snow enthusiasts, but breaking into the industry and becoming an instructor is not a walk in the park. For example, he pointed out that being hired as a ski instructor at the resort required one to master the Nozawa Onsen ski map as well as the Nozawa Onsen ski packages, which are very detailed and cover the entire resort skiing area.

The instructor finished by telling his client that though many ski lovers desire to eventually become ski instructors, most of these hopeful individuals often get stuck at the first hurdle of having skiing instructor experience because how do they get experience without a ski instructor job?

If you want to become a ski instructor, the best way to surmount the "instructor experience" hurdle is by joining the instructor training internship. Internships are widely recognized qualifications. Hopeful ski instructors need to know this.

Getting a Japanese working holiday visa

Once you’ve had adequate experience with ski instruction through instructor internships, you need to join the working holiday club and look for a Japanese working holiday visa. Again, this will not be an easy task, which means that hopeful ski instructors need to keep their dedication to the goal regardless of the drawbacks they may experience.

When it comes to applying for a Japanese working holiday visa, ski instructor hopefuls need to know that they have to visit the Japanese embassy in their country to do this. That is because it cannot be applied for online.

Choosing where to work as a ski instructor in Japan

After you’ve struggled through the steps toward becoming a ski instructor, you want to carefully choose where you want to do your skiing job. At the heart of your ski instructor job-hunting, you are definitely keen on the salary you’ll get paid when you start your ski instruction job.

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About Nozawa Onsen Often referred to as the quintessential Japanese ski town, Nozawa Onsen is located in northern Nagano Prefecture about an hour drive or train...
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