Attend school to learn how to teach skiing |

Attend school to learn how to teach skiing

Are you disheartened at the thought of spending another winter staring out the window, watching snowflakes fall and lifts go around, while tourists take advantage of the best conditions and you’re forced to wait for the weekend to get your kicks? Anyone curious about life as a ski instructor can learn more about the industry and earn a certificate from Deer Valley Resort by taking a new ski instructor class offered by Utah Valley University.

The class will be taught by John Guay, director of skier services at Deer Valley. Guay said that people want to teach skiing because they see it as a way to get paid to be outside, skiing, and doing what they love. A job as a ski instructor comes with several perks including competitive pay, a fun work environment, skiing privileges, and the possibility to qualify for employee housing, explained Guay.

Students who successfully complete the class will receive a certificate from the Deer Valley ski school. The class will consist of nine hours in the classroom then 12 hours on snow. Guay explained that this class is unique from Deer Valley’s ordinary hiring clinics because students will get to spend more time learning in-depth theory and the history of the profession in the classroom before the class is taken to the slopes.

Guay explained that, although successful completion doesn’t guarantee a job at Deer Valley, it will be a respectable indicator that those who participate have a basic understanding of how to teach skiing. According to Guay, each resort has its own recruitment procedures, but a certificate like this would certainly increase an applicant’s chances of getting a job at any ski school, not just Deer Valley. Guay said that there is an industry-wide shortage of qualified ski instructors.

Guay explained that this is the first class in what UVU hopes to develop into a comprehensive ski resort education program. If this class is successful, the hope is that the partnership between Deer Valley and UVU will expand to include classes in other avenues of ski resort operations.

Susan Palmer, UVU workforce development coordinator, explained that the class will cover the role of an instructor, differences in teaching kids and adults, and Professional Ski Instructors of America methodology. She said the on-snow part of the class will be "a day in the life of an instructor." Students will learn class-handling techniques and will even get the chance to improve their own skiing ability.

Classes will be held Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the UVU campus in Heber City, beginning Oct. 14. The on-snow portion will consist of two full Saturdays, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 6 and 13. These dates are subject to change depending on when the resort is able to open, according to Palmer.

The maximum number of students that UVU will enroll in the class is 25, and they won’t hold the class unless at least 15 students sign up. The total cost is $349 which includes a textbook and snow time at Deer Valley. For more information or to register for the class, visit or call (801) 863-8012.

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