Certified or not?

I was talking to come fellow Mt. Rose coworkers this weekend about some changes it seems the mountain might be doing with their hiring for the season. In ski school, they always hired anyone who was able to ski or snowboard, and made it through the tryouts they put on every year. This year, it appears that they are going to be requiring the instructors to get certified and be able to ski AND snowboard. It’s quite a big difference and not many past instructors are happy about it.

I know that there is a big incentive to being a PSIA certified instructor, MONEY! A mountain will pay a high wage to those that are certified versus those who are not. The higher the certification, the more money one can make. I always knew that there was a good reason to be certified but what about those that don’t want to pay the money and go through the testing? They might be a great instructor for small kids and those who want to learn the basics, but should it be required of all staff to have the certification for teaching?

It makes sense for a mountain to want to have a full staff of all certified instructors. The credibility of the ski school program will dramatically increase and the quality of the lessons might increase as well. I think that if a mountain wants to require their instructors to get their certification, they should either host a day of testing, or help the employees pay for the exam. Many times, an employee will have to miss days of work to attend the examination and on top of that, they have to pay for it. There are a lot of employees that work at ski resorts that don’t have they extra money on hand to do this. If the mountain were to host a day of testing, and give some compensation to the employees, it might make the appeal greater.

Regardless of what a resort’s policies may be, ski instructors are very important to keeping the sport of skiing alive today. 🙂


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