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What is it like to be a British ski instructor in Austria?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I’m thinking of doing a season, ski instructing in Austria. With a BASI 2 qualification and intermediate German skills, how much on average can you expect to make? And if so, how much in tips too?

Have lived in Austria before as a student but in the city. The accommodation and utilities were cheaper but food etc more expensive so averaged about the same as in UK. Is this true for Austrian ski resorts as well? And any recommendations on good resorts for work?

thanks Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@lski, as it's already February I assume you mean next season, for which you will need a work permit to work in the EU (if you are a British, i.e. non-EU citizen that is). I also think that you would need an Austrian ski instructor qualification rather than British, perhaps someone more knowledgeable can verify that. I do know that the pay is pretty low.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You can work in Austria as a BASI 2, you need to apply to the authorities in whichever state you want to work in for a Bescheid (recognition of qualification). Means you can then work as an Anwaerter.

You won't necessarily need a permit for next winter, it starts before the end of the transition period, so moving to Austria to work is still possible, you'd then need to apply for a residence visa once there (exact details are as yet unknown).

Tips vary, so hard to say as it depends on both the instructor and the client. Wage for an Anwaerter is about 12 Euro an hour, what's included for the ski school varies, e.g. some provide free accommodation, others subsidise it.
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As a BASI instructor I am not sure you would walk into a job as Austrian ski schools think poorly of the BASI qualification- you may well be asked to take an Anwärter course at your cost to get a position. Having done this myself back in the EARLY 90's - before Austria was in the EU, (so a similar scenario to us not being), you needed to go to the local arbeitsampt (employment office) and get an arbeitsbewilligung (work permit)- then go see all the local ski schools and see if they need someone. It isnt your sketchy German that matters to them, they have plenty of Deutsche speakers in Austria - they will most likely need you for English school groups in February and the rest of the time you will be the goto for British punters who are beginners. All intermediate groups and above will likely go to the local instructors. My advice is pick your resort and go ahead of your planned season in summer - speak to Head of Ski School to nail down a gig- ask if they will provide you a letter advising they need naturalised English speakers. That helps getting the work visa.

My experience was tips were good and accomodation is chaotic but fun as you will house share with a load of other instructors and potentially room share as well. As for the punters most will buy your beers at apres. Most bars have a Stammtisch table for instructors and if you bring in groups you will get preferential prices on beers even when you are off shift. Dont get bladdered in your Reds - its not the done thing wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
No offence, but the early 90's were almost 30 years ago, times have changed... I know of a number of people who have got jobs with Austrian ski school as BASI instructors, and no need to do the Anwaerter. As for what visas may or may not be required for next season, nobody yet knows, but freedom of movement can continue until the end of this year.
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@lski, I quizzed a few British ski instructors in the Tyrol a couple of years back. They may have had the red uniform but not a qualification between them. I think the local ski school just turned a blind eye to all that silly regulatory stuff in favour of making money, especially in high season. Simple trick, punters respect a uniform and a badge and don't ask further. I'm not going to say the village because I hear it is pretty general. If you can snowplough and hockey stop you can teach would be the mantra.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Pruman, really? In the country of cash only bars, no receipts, smoke where you like, what you like....
I find that very hard to believe!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Bodeswell wrote:
@Pruman, really? In the country of cash only bars, no receipts, smoke where you like, what you like....
I find that very hard to believe!


What are you talking about?
Here in Austria I pay often in bars with a credit card and always get offered the receipt when I do. Nobody is allowed to smoke in the bars as the owners know it‘s an €800 fine.
It‘s fairly common for there is be a shortage of ski instructors during the peak holidays times (e.g. in Feb). Quite a few Austrians have the anwarter qualification but don‘t normally teach as they have an office job in the city. Many just do one or two weeks a year teaching half days and getting ski pass & money to pay their holiday. Working only a few months of the year as a ski instructor doesn‘t bring in much money, most do something else or have some other form of income.
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Pruman wrote:
@lski, I quizzed a few British ski instructors in the Tyrol a couple of years back. They may have had the red uniform but not a qualification between them. I think the local ski school just turned a blind eye to all that silly regulatory stuff in favour of making money, especially in high season. Simple trick, punters respect a uniform and a badge and don't ask further. I'm not going to say the village because I hear it is pretty general. If you can snowplough and hockey stop you can teach would be the mantra.


You can teach kids in the kindergarten area without any formal qualification, it's what got me in to instructing. As a snowboarder, I could snowplough but definitely couldn't hockey stop at the time, and I swear by the end of the week the kids could ski better than me. We all had a fun week tho and didn't put anybody off skiing!
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@lski, Most ski schools in Austria will employ you as a Freelancer with BASI II qualifications. However this means you only earn when teaching and most Austrian Instructors also speak English. Therefore, you will be at the bottom of the queue except for peak holiday times and only when they run out of English speakers. If you intend to self-fund then you may have to think about a second job such as Bar Work to make ends meet. Alternatively, take a job with a tour company and ski when you can. You might be better off in Japan where everyone (except the locals) wants classes in English!
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