Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains the most frequently asked questions about our courses, trainings and language course. In case you have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Give us a call, send us a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger message or feel free to mail!

First we suggest you watch our video on becoming a ski instructor!

Hot topics

Will BREXIT affect my course or employment?

Nobody can tell for sure what will happen, however there are a few possible scenarios.

After leaving the EU, European countries might no longer accept an UK ski instructor certificate. Austrian certificates will always be recognised globally. Besides the licensing there is the possible requirement of a VISA to work in the EU. So far no terms have been agreed. If you would like to have a certainty, make sure that you have the qualification of the country that you want to work in.

Insurances... What do I need?

Insurances sometimes seem unnecessarily complicated. You should at least have a look at the following matters:

  • Make sure you are covered in Austria or the EU.
  • Make sure you are covered for winter sports.
  • Check with your insurance company whether they cover you if you:
    • Work during your winter sports.
    • Are away for longer periods of time.
  • Specialist coverage is usually in the ski school policy. Check with them if this is true.
  • Also, check with your ski school whether their specialist coverage is both on and off work time.
  • Optional would be to ensure your materials.

Contact your insurance company to be certain of proper insurance.

Ski instructor and Snowboard instructor course

What is an 'Anwärter' course?

'Anwärter' means 'aspirant' or more freely translated 'beginner.' This is the first level in the Austrian qualification system for ski instructors and snowboard instructors. When you have your Anwärter ski or snowboard instructor license your are qualified to instruct children, beginners and intermediates on the slopes. After obtaining your Anwärter license you can follow two more follow up courses: 'Landes' and 'Staatlich.' These qualifications require you to have much more experience and skills. The tempo is a lot higher, i.e. you have to ski the giant slalom, and you are taught how to ski off piste safely with your group. Would you like to learn more about these courses, check our Landes course

For whom is the Anwärter course?

Are you a motivated skier or snowboarder? Do you want to share your passion for the sport with other people to give them an unforgettable experience? Do you want to be in the snow for an entire season (or a few weeks)? Can you answer all these questions with 'YES'?? In that case you can become a ski instructor or snowboard instructor! First things first though, you have to pass your Anwärter course.

How do I enroll in the course?

You can enroll in a ski instructor or snowboard instructor with the enroll form on our website. Go through all the steps, fill the required fields and make the down payment. Participation in the course is now confirmed for you!

How long does the Anwärter course take?

In only ten days you obtain your Anwärter license. Early mornings and late nights for ten days are spent on skiing and snowboarding. Skills, knowledge about materials, knowledge about techniques and instructing. TIP, summarise everything discussed during the day, this way you do not have to study everything at once. This means long and intense days, so make sure to be rested and fit at the start of the course!

What is the course schedule like?

Every day starts with practical training on the slopes. You practice 'Schulefahren', demonstrating the basic skiing techniques; 'Eigen können', working on your own skiing skills; and the 'Lehrauftritt', the how to instruct skiing, think about methods, didactics (the art of educating focused on skiing and snowboarding). Essentially you learn about safely organising fun ski and snowboard classes. After skiing and boarding you often have some time to freshen up and afterwards you have your theory classes. By the time the theory class is over you will have diner followed by studying the discussed practical and theoretical subjects. You can study together in study spaces or alone in your room. A Snowsports coach will be present during the entire course to answer any of your questions in English and help you study. We try to help you as much as possible by giving you advice and a mock exam.

Keep in mind that the schedule can be different, depending on the time of the year, the location and of course the weather.

What should my skiing or snowboarding level be?

A good pointer for your ski or snowboard skill level to start the course is your weeks of experience. Our experience tells us for most participants 6 to 8 weeks of experience on the pistes in the mountains is adequate to partake the Anwärter course. This is not a guarantee for succes of course. It differs per person. Participants with a sports history and experience in (sports)training, can positively complete the course with less weeks of experience. Participants with a lot of skiing experience can have a hard time because they taught themselves a wrong style that has to be unlearned.

As a ski instructor you have to demonstrate controlled, rhythmic, long and short parallel turns on a red piste for the practical exam. Besides that you have to demonstrate two basic turns on the exam.

As a snowboard instructor you have to demonstrate controlled, rhythmic, long and short turns on a red piste. Besides that you have to demonstrate basic freestyle skills, like an ollie and a 180. You should also be experienced in the carving technique. Last but not least you have to show two basic turns for the practical exam.

Are you confident on your skis or board, then you are ready!

Feel free to contact us for advice!

Do I have to speak and understand German?

All of the ski instructor and snowboard instructor courses are in German. Basic knowledge about the German language is an absolute must. The most important part is being able to understand the language, you can practice this by looking at the German news or watching simple movies in German. Besides listening, you should be able to speak a few words of German to introduce yourself and some 'small talk.' As an exam exercise you have to give a short instruction in German. You will also have to do the theory exam. You prepare for this with a theory book. You have to be able to read and answer questions in German for the exam. Grammar is not taken into account, it is about you understanding the topics.


Snowsports organises an online language course English-German that zooms in on the important terminology and essentials of understanding, speaking, reading and writing German. We strongly advice on doing our language course!

What are the practical exams?

The ski instructor practical exam consists of three parts:
1) 'Schulefahren', demonstrating basic ski techniques.
2) 'Eigen können', demonstrating advanced ski techniques.
3) 'Lehrauftritt', an instructing exercise. You have to instruct your own group for 20-30 minutes.

The snowboard instructor practical exam consist of three parts:

1) 'Schulefahren', demonstrating basic snowboard techniques.
2) 'Eigen können', demonstrating advanced snowboard techniques.
3) 'Freestyle', demonstrating a few basic freestyle techniques, like an ollie, a 180 and a noseroll.

- All of the practical exams need to be passed.
- Attendance is mandatory for practical training.

What theory can I expect?

The theory consists of multiple subjects:
1) Bewegungslehre, what movements do you make for specific techniques?
2) Unterrichtslehre, how to organise a fun and safe ski class?
3) Materialkunde, all you need to know about materials.
4) Kinderunterricht, how to instruct children?
5) Erste Hilfe, First Aid in wintersports.
6) Berufskunde, what are your rights and obligations as an instructor?
7) Nature and Environment, what is the impact of winter sports on nature and the environment?
8) Alpinkunde, this is all about safety, avalanches, snow and the weather.
9) English, you have to know the essential terms in English.
10) Tourism, what is the impact of tourists on the surroundings?

- Not every subject is examined.
- Every examined subject needs to be a pass.
- Attendance is mandatory for the theory classes.

How old should I be for the Anwärter course?

The minimum age to start the Anwärter course is 16 years old on the day of the practical exams! There is no maximum age. 

What equipment and clothing is required?

Ski and snowboard equipment
We strongly advice on using your own ski's, ski boots and skisticks or your own snowboard and snowboard boots during the course. Since you know your own equipment well, you will ski and snowboard the most comfortable.

For the course we advice on using an allround or allmountain ski or snowboard. No freestyle or freeride models. This is due to the fact that you have to do exercises for beginners a lot. Make sure your material is not too long, not too stiff and not too heavy. Around 5 to 10 centimeter (2" to 6") under your bodyheight gives a rough estimation of the proper length.

Ski and snowboard clothing
Whether you follow the winter or summercourse, you always bring a full wintersports clothing set, consisiting of three layers. A basic layer containing thermo-underwear and skisocks to keep you dry and warm. The second layer is your isolation. This layer keeps warmth in and lets transpiration out. The third layer is a waterproof layer, to protect you from rain, snow and wind.

Also make sure to bring decent gloves, we advice on bringing two pairs of gloves during the course or a season. You can think about bringing thinner gloves during a summer course. Good materials are a 'must' for a ski instructor or snowboard instructor, this is your own responsibility.

A helmet is mandatory for every course!

What happens if I do not pass the course?

The possibility exist that you do not pass the course first try. In that case you have to redo one or more parts. You do not have to redo the entire course, but only the parts that you did not pass for. When you need to redo a part you apply for only this/those exam(s) by mailing Snowsports Instructor. You are informed about the date, time, location and fees of the redo. Good to know that most cases still allow you to work at a skischool. You will work in kindergarten and help out with other jobs in the skischool. This is because without an Anwärter you are not allowed to independently go on the pistes with your group.

Practical resits

Most participants that do not pass only fail for one of the practical exams. The 'Schulefahren' (basic turns) and/or the 'Eigen Können' (own advanced technique) is not sufficiently demonstrated. You are required to take extra training before you are allowed to start the exam again. We advice you to take the two-day training before your Anwärter course to increase your chances of passing at once!

Theory resits

Every examined theory subject has to be passed. If you fail one or more subjects you have to redo that subject only. Theory resits are in Austria later during the week.

Lehrauftritt resit

In case you fail your instruction class, you often get another chance to redo it later during the course. If you fail again the second try, you will have to come back to Austria another day to redo it.

If you need to do a resit, let Snowsports Instructor know by mail. You are informed about the date, time, location and fees of the resit.

Working for a skischool

Does the ski school give me a ski instructor ski suit?

After you obtained your Anwärter license you are officially a ski instructor or snowboard instructor. With this license your skischool can sign you up at one of the Austrian ski instructor associations. After this is done, you will get a ski instructor suit from the ski school. You have to pay a deposit for the suit that will be returned to you after handing your suit in again. This might sound very official and like a lot of trouble, but this is determined by law in Austria. You are only allowed to wear a ski instructor suit with name of your ski school while you instruct. A ski instructor suit is worn with pride and dignity!

Does the ski school give me a lift pass?

After you succesfully obtained your Anwärter license you officially are a ski or snowboard instructor. With this license, your ski school can sign you up at one of the Austrian instructor associations. After this is done, you get your lift pass from the ski school! Whether this pass is valid for your whole stay or only partial is determined later on. After you pass your course, know where you are going to work and when you are going to work, we can tell you the details.

How much do I earn at the ski school?

That is an important question of course! The wage of a starting ski or snowboard instructor is, besides your course qualifications, depends on a few factors differing per skischool and ski area. As a first year Anwärter ski or snowboard instructor, based on an hourly wage of €10,- and working 24 hours per week, you earn €960,- net per month. If you have a Landes license you will earn approximately €12,50 per hour.

Secondly, your hours per month influences your wage. During the peak season you work 6 days a week, 4-6 hours per day. 4 hours per day are groupclasses and you can often instruct 1-2 hours per day with private lessons. During the off-season you work less, either fewer days or fewers hours per day. Besides these two factors, housing has an influence on what you get every month. The last factor is the ski area. Some ski resorts have instructor prices at restaurants and instructor-beer-prices in the après-ski bars.

And what you must not forget.. You get an unforgettable (priceless) experience!!!

How do I apply for a job at a ski school?

Snowsports Instructor helps you out with finding a job at a ski school! For ski instructors we even guarantee you a job! For snowboard instructors we offer job profiling, because there is simply not as much work for snowboarders. We have a couple of conditions that need to be met for the job guarantee or job profiling!

1) Diploma
You need to enroll for an Anwärter course and pass it.
2) Availability
You need to be available at least during peak season (Christmas/Spring-half-term) or the entire season (mid December till mid March).
3) C.V. + motivational letter in German
You have to send us, at least one month before the start of the peak season, a resume with passport photo and a motivational letter in German.
4) Language
Your German skills need to be adequate. The ski school owner often calls you beforehand and will decide.

What does a job guarantee for ski instructors mean?

Over the years we set up a large network of ski schools in Austria. That is why we can guarantee a job as a ski instructor. We set a few conditions that need to be met for this:

1) Diploma
You need to enroll for an Anwärter course and pass it.
2) Availability
You need to be available at least during peak season (Christmas/Spring-half-term) or the entire season (mid December till mid March).
3) C.V. + motivational letter in German
You have to send us, at least one month before the start of the peak season, a resume with passport photo and a motivational letter in German.
4) Language
Your German skills need to be adequate. The ski school owner often calls you beforehand and will decide.

What does job profiling for snowboard instructors mean?

Over the years we set up a large network of ski schools in Austria. However the demand for snowboard instructors is much lower than for ski instructors. That is why we offer job profiling for snowboard instructors. There are always some vacancies for snowboard instructors, but the offer is limited. We advice you to get in touch with snowboard or ski schools yourself! This will increase your chances. We set a few conditions that need to be met for job profiling:

1) Diploma
You need to enroll for an Anwärter course and pass it.
2) Availability
You need to be available at least during peak season (Christmas/Spring-half-term) or the entire season (mid December till mid March).
3) C.V. + motivational letter in German
You have to send us, at least one month before the start of the peak season, a resume with passport photo and a motivational letter in German.
4) Language
Your German skills need to be adequate. The ski school owner often calls you beforehand and will decide.

What is a working week like, at a ski school?

A working week at a ski school starts on Sunday and lasts till Friday. For groupclasses you work 2 x 2 hours per day, for example from 10 am - 12 am and 1 pm - 3 pm. You need to be there earlier to help build up the children area (Kinderland), instructor training, shove the snow when there is fresh snow or other chores. Besides this you can also give private lessons before or after the grouplessons as an Anwärter instructor to earn some extra money. It is very important to have your worked hours checked and signed after each day!

Every ski school has its own workschedules depending on the season and has its own rules for absence and activities. This will all be explained to you when you arrive at the ski school!

What is a season like, at a ski school?

The weather and location play an important part for the length of the winterseason for a ski school. A ski resort with an altitude up to 2000 meter has a much shorter season than a glacier resort that reaches over 3000 meter.

By far the most the ski schools are located in areas at an altitude of 2000 - 2500 meter. The seasons last from mid December untill mid March here, about three months. A season in a glacier resort can already commence during Autumn break in October until Spring break in May, lasting  about six months.

A season at a ski school is divided into four seasons:
Preseason or off-season: All the weeks before Christmas.
Peak season: Christmas holiday, Spring mid-term (often February as a whole) and Pentecost.
Interseason or off-season: all the weeks between Christmas and Spring mid-term.
Post season or off-season: all the weeks after Spring mid-term (with the exception of Pentecost).

During peak season there is a job guarantee for ski instructors. During the others seasons you have to consider there may not be as many jobs.

What can I expect of the housing?

The ski schools arrange housing against a small fee. The house or ski instructor house is often shared with a few or more colleagues. If you work at a large ski school, you might find yourself in an apartment complex with 50 ski instructors. When you work at a smaller ski school you are often assigned to a living area with a few colleagues in a "Gasthaus." In both scenarios you share common rooms like the living room, kitchen and bathroom. You can compare this with student housing, but then in an awesome wintersports village in the mountains!

In some cases it is possible to get a private room. You need to let the ski school know during your sollicitation.

What should I expect when instructing?

Instructing others as ski instructor is awesome of course! You get to pass your passion to others and work in a beautiful environment all season. At start it might be exciting and you need to get comfortable since it is all new even though you have skied a lot already. After teaching a couple of people how to ski you are set. The recognition and admiration you get in return is priceless!!

You can instruct different groups. You have to let the ski school know what your preference is. The ski school divides groups in different ways. First they take into consideration the age of the guests, you can instruct in 'Kinderland', older children or adults.

The level of skiing also differs per group. As an Anwärter instructor you will instruct beginners or a little more advanced skiers. Beginners have never skied before and slight advanced skiers have had skies on a few times before. They do not need to be taught the very basics anymore. To instruct advanced skiers you will need to acquire your Landes license.

Besides this there are two more types of classes in a skischool. At first you will be assigned to groups. If you prove to be good you can get assigned to private classes. To instruct privately you will need some experience in ski instructing.

A few basic principles apply for ski instructing. You have to be very patient and you should give your guests time to get used to the gear and ski techniques. Skiing is not learned in one day and requires a lot of excercise. You should always instruct in a fun, variational and informative way to keep everyone in the group happy. You will be taught about this during your 10 day Anwärter course! Are you eager to go yet!?

Landes course

What is a 'Landes' course?

The 'Landes' course is the second level in the Austrian instructing qualifications. With a Landes license you are permitted to instruct advanced skiers on and off-piste (as long as you stay within reach of lifts and the ski resort). During this course your technique is fine tuned and the tempo goes up a lot. This course demands much more from you as a ski or snowboard instructor!

The Landes ski instructor course consists of three courses: Landes 1, Landes 2 and an Alpine course. During these courses you learn a lot more about 'Schulefahren', the 'Giant-Slalom', mogul skiing and off-piste skiing.

The Landes snowboard instructor course consists of two courses: Landes and an Alpine course. During these course you learn more about 'Schulefahren', 'Freestyle', the 'Giant-slalom' and off-piste boarding.

For whom is the Landes course?

The Landes course is for Anwärter ski and snowboard instructors that want to grow even better, go even faster and want to learn even more about skiing or snowboarding!

After you obtained your Anwärter license, you must instruct at least three weeks at a skischool before you can start this course. If you decide to learn more and instruct higher level groups ánd earn more, then the Landes course is something for you.

How many days is the Landes course?

A Landes ski course consists of three parts:

  • Landes 1 is a 10 day course.
  • Landes 2 is a 10 day course.
  • Alpine course is a 7 day course.

For snowboard instructors this trajectory is shorter, it consists of:

  • Landes is a 10 day course.
  • Alpine course is a 7 day course.

The Landes course is organised, spread over a winter season. Contact us to find out the exact dates!

What extra skills should I have?

During the Landes course the level and tempo go up. An important part is the 'Schulefahren', demonstrating beginner and advanced techniques. Besides that you need experience in the Giant Slalom, Mogul skiing and Alpine skiing (off-piste).

The same goes for snowboarders, higher level, higher tempo. An important part for snowboarding is the 'Schulefahren' as well, demonstrating basic and advanced techniques. Besides that you need Giant Slalom experience and experience in off-piste boarding ('fahren in Gelände'). Last but not least you need to master more freestyle techniques. Think of jumps like kickers, ollies, nollies, box presses (tailpress/nosepress), tail and nose manuals, switch turns, multiple 180's, noserolls and tailrolls.

What gear and equipment do I need to have?

Since the Landes course takes you off-piste, an avalanche beacon, a shovel and a probe are absolutely mandatory to bring with you at all times. You may want to bring your off-piste skis/snowboard, race skis/snowboard or a freestyle snowboard. You should consider bringing longer, heavier and stiffer material for high speed controle.

Helmets are mandatory for all courses!

Courses and trainings

To which Anwärter instructor courses can I enroll?

There are multiple different Anwärter ski and snowboard instructor courses during winter, but you can also do a course in summer! Substansively all the courses are the same and executed by Austrian 'Ausbilders' (instructors) with 'Staatlich' instructor licenses. The only differences are the time of the year and the location. Most courses are completed before the peak seasons start to make sure you can get to work right away! Snowboard instructor courses are organised less often in a year, keep that in mind.

Summer courses

An Anwärter course during summer, July and August, usually has less participants. It is very early to apply for a job as an instructor which means you are guaranteed to get the job at the ski school where you have always wanted to work. These courses take place on the Hintertux Glacier. The weather down in the valley is great, giving you the chance to walk around in your shorts during free time. The snow and weather conditions on top of the glacier change per hour.

Winter courses

During November and December we organise Anwärter courses. The course in December is our largest course, after passing your Anwärter you can head straight to the ski school with your new colleagues / friends to the season and a new adventure! Do you only want to work during mid-Spring break? You can enroll for the course in January that is followed up by the second peak season of the winter, meaning you can stay in Austria and go to the ski school right away!

Check our calendar for all the courses.

Ski Instructor course | Kitzbühel Alps | December

 

 The ski instructor course in December takes place in the Kitzbühel Alps. This ski resort is located in the east of Tirol. You will stay at the Fischer hotel in the picturesque village Sankt Johann in Tirol. The course commences early December, so the pistes are still quiet and short to no lines at the lifts. Most people enroll for this course because it connects to the Christmas holidays. After receiving your Anwärter license you can head straight to your ski school to start an amazing new adventure!

Check our calendar to see the exact dates.

Snowboard Instructor course | Fieberbrunn | December

The snowboard instructor course takes place in December in Fierberbrunn. Since 2016 this ski resort is connected to the popular ski areas Saalbach - Hinterglemm - Leogang and is well know for her freeride possibilities. You stay in the luxurious Alpine Resort hotel located directly next to the piste. The course starts early December, with quiet pistes and no queues for the lifts. This course always has a high amount of participants, because the peak season starts shortly afterwards. After obtaining your Anwärter license you will head straight to your new snowboard school to start a new adventure!

Check our calendar to see the exact dates.

 

Ski + Snowboard instructor course | Hintertux Glacier | Summer

The ski and snowboard instructor course in the sumer take place on the Hintertux Glacier at an altitude of 3250 meter. Worldwide, this is the only glacier that is accessible for fanatic snow sports athletes. During this time of the year you can find mainly professional skiers and a few lost tourists in jeans on the pistes of Hintertux. Short queues at lifts and you have to pistes for yourself to train for the practical exams. On the glacier weather conditions may change rapidly. You can find yourself bathing in sunlight when arriving on top in the morning, feel snowflakes in your face an hour later and eventually safely rushing down because a thunderstorm crawled over the top of a mountainridge. So even though it is summer, you should always bring your full ski/snowboard outfit and more sunscreen. Due to the height to UV-radiation still goes through clouds. Skiing or snowboarding during the summer is a unique experience and will stay on your mind for the rest of your life.

Check our calendar to see the exact dates of the courses.

Ski training | Oostenrijk

Snowsports Nederland organiseert voorafgaand aan een skileraar opleiding een twee daagse skitraining. Je reist twee dagen eerder naar Oostenrijk toe en krijgt de mogelijkheid om alvast even te wennen aan de sneeuw en je materiaal. Onze ervaring heeft geleerd dat het voor Nederlandse deelnemers erg goed is om even lekker in te kunnen skiën. Bovendien krijg je training van een Nederlandstalige skitrainer die de skipositie en skitechnieken met je behandeld. Je krijgt twee dagen een vier uur durende skitraining, we leggen de focus op het verbeteren van jouw skipositie en bochtritme. Dit doen we aan de hand van een aantal ski oefeningen en video-analyse waarin we elke bochtfase zullen analyseren en gaan verbeteren met tips en tricks. We trainen op de eigen vaardigheden en de basisbochten die gedemonstreerd moeten worden op de examens in Oostenrijk. Zo ga je goed voorbereid naar de opleiding toe en vergroot jij jouw slagingskansen voor jouw Anwärter diploma!

Bekijk onze agenda wanneer alle trainingen plaatsvinden.

Snowboard training | Oostenrijk

Snowsports Nederland organiseert voorafgaand aan een snowboardleraar opleiding een twee daagse snowboardtraining. Je reist twee dagen eerder naar Oostenrijk toe en krijgt de mogelijkheid om alvast even te wennen aan de sneeuw en je materiaal. Onze ervaring heeft geleerd dat het voor Nederlandse deelnemers erg goed is om even lekker in te kunnen boarden. Bovendien krijg je training van een Nederlandstalige snowboardtrainer die de snowboardpositie en snowboardtechnieken alvast met je doorneemt. Je krijgt twee dagen een vier uur durende snowboardtraining, we leggen de focus op het verbeteren van jouw snowboardpositie en bochtritme. Dit doen we aan de hand van een aantal snowboard oefeningen en video-analyse waarin we elke bochtfase zullen analyseren en gaan verbeteren met tips en tricks. We trainen op de eigen vaardigheden (freestyle en carve-techniek) en de twee basisbochten die gedemonstreerd moeten worden op de examens in Oostenrijk. Zo ga je goed voorbereid naar de opleiding toe en vergroot jij jouw slagingskansen voor jouw Anwärter diploma!

Bekijk onze agenda wanneer alle trainingen plaatsvinden.

Snowsports Instructor is the training institute for ski instructor and snowboard instructor courses.

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