Frequently asked questions and answers
Watch the videos explaining some of the benefits of being an instructor as well as read through the list of common questions about the job below. The video content was shot a few seasons ago, however most of the information shared is accurate for the current season.
Employee Benefit Highlights
- Once you are an employee you receive benefits like:
- Unlimited employee seasons pass
- Discounted or FREE dependent passes for spouse/domestic partner and dependents 22 years of age and younger
- 70% off food at our quick serve food outlets (up to a daily retail maximum amount)
- 30% off at our retails locations
- Exchange letters to ski/ride at other resorts free of charge
- Free Employee transportation shuttle
- An employee locker ($500 value as compared to a season locker) which is big enough for equipment
- Employee assistance program
- Limited Team Member housing for full-time team members
- Housing assistance via the “Turns for Tenants” program for full-time team members – ask for details and eligibility
- A full list of employee perks is outlined in our employee handbook
Current Season Pass Holders
- If you have already purchased a season pass, once you complete the on-snow training course and become an official employee you would then be eligible for an employee pass
- You’ll be refunded the full purchase price of your season’s pass
- You can use your current season’s pass as long as you like before you are an official employee
- Once you’re hired and are reimbursed for the season’s pass, the current season pass would no longer be active
- Think of the refund kind of like a signing bonus!
What kind of lessons will I be teaching?
- On any given day we have more than 65% of lessons being for children’s ages 4 to 12.
- We do not have a separate “adult” school and “children’s” school
- Every instructor has the opportunity to teach in Children and Adults lessons areas
- Many of our children’s lessons are out of the Children’s Learning Center or our mid-week and weekend multi-week youth education programs like SnoBlasters and Trail Blazers.
- For lessons with Children 4 – 6 years of age, have a maximum of 3 students per instructor, so the instructor can provide a better experience for these children
- Children are considered those who are 12 years of age and under
- A majority of Adult Lesson guests purchase lessons in the First Time, Novice and Beginner zones, many times in group lessons of 3 or more students, with the ideal class size being around 7 students.
- Adult Lessons are for those 13 years of age and older
- Some instructors may be more gifted in one area than another and we try to match these skills where the instructor – student relationship is best matched
- We also strive to provide balanced lesson assignments so you can develop your skills in variety of lesson types
How to get started – FREE New instructor Training Course
- First Season instructors complete three FREE E-Learning Courses offered by PSIA-AASI – (https://lms.thesnowpros.org/getting-started) prior to the start of training.
- This should be completed on your own time prior to your first day of work – these are pre-requisites for being hired into an instructor position. Each course takes about 30-45 minutes.
- First Season instructors, will team teach 2 or more lessons as an instructor “helper” prior to your first teaching shift
- Once you complete your Team Teaching lessons, your required season commitment shifts begin, and you’re teaching lessons on your own
- First Season, Full Time – 5 shifts per week
- Full-time, Experienced – 4 shifts per week (minimum)
- First Season, Part Time with a 24- or 18-shift (minimum) shift commitment
Starting Pay vs. “Equivalent Value”
- When you calculate the cost of an “All Access” in-season purchased season pass, a season locker, discounts on food, and your instructor wages, the average equivalent per hour compensation is much more than your wage for a first year instructor when discounts and benefits of being an instructor and employee are factored into the actual hours worked.
- This “Equivalent Value” calculation does not consider the value of any dependent pass benefit as this is variable depending on the individual
- Increases in wages are awarded with Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI – https://thesnowpors.org) Certifications and Accreditations
- Once PSIA-AASI certified in one discipline, the ability to teach in more than one discipline (i.e. can teach skiing AND snowboarding) comes with a wage increase too
- All instructors are paid at 90% to 110% of National Ski Areas Association (NSAA – https://www.nsaa.org) published averages with our highest certified instructors making over $26/hour for their teaching wage
- Part Time, Non-experienced instructors start well above Oregon State minimum wage – the Meadows Instructor base wage for the 2023-24 season is $19/hour
- Request private lessons are paid $10 more per hour plus an additional $16/hour per additional person – that’s $26/hour above your base teaching wage for multiple person request private lessons
- Assigned (non-request) private lessons are paid at your base teaching wage
- Handing out business cards to group lesson guests and giving a great lesson increases the chance of being requested for a private lesson and receiving a tip by putting your cashless app handle on your business cards
- We provide free business cards for all instructors
- We try to accommodate all guest requests for specific instructors because they are signing up to take a lesson with you!
Part Time Schedule Commitments – How many days am I expected to work?
- A Part Time schedule commitment, once you’ve completed the on-snow training course, is 18 or 24 “shifts” for the season
- 18 Shift (45 teaching hours) Part Time instructors earn a season’s pass for themselves and may purchase a season’s pass for any eligible dependents for $100 each
- 24 Shift (60 teaching hours) Part Time instructors earn a season’s pass for themselves AND for any eligible dependents
- Dependents are defined as a spouse or domestic partner and any children 22 years of are or younger – please check with employee services for details
- We have day shifts and night shifts available
- When the resort has both day and night operations it is possible for instructors to work a “double” and complete 2 shifts in 1 day
- Day Shift is from roughly from 8:30am to 3:30pm
- Night Shift is from roughly 4:30pm to 9:00pm
- Most part time instructors work weekends and holidays
- Some part time instructors may work mid-week if their schedule allows and depending on lesson volumes
- You may come to the mountain and teach as many lessons as you wish on any non-scheduled day you’d like
- If you are coming to the mountain on a non-scheduled day and want to teach, please let us know you’ll be coming up and we’ll add you to the roster for the day
- You must complete your schedule commitment on your submitted and approved season schedule days
- The season has many great days and typically lessons start getting busy starting in mid-December, so there are plenty of opportunities to fulfill your season commitment
Paid Time vs. Non-paid Time
- You are paid while doing all paid activities during your scheduled shift(s)
- This could be teaching lessons, greeting guests, helping boot fit in the Rental Center, shoveling snow, filling out lesson progress cards, etc.
- You are not paid if you are not working, but you may “free ski/ride” when not on duty
- There is no time clock to punch – you keep track of your daily activities and submit a timesheet that is verified by a supervisor
- If there is no work, or you are released from duty for your shift(s), you may leave or go free-riding
- If you do not work on a scheduled day due to low business volumes, that still counts towards a scheduled shift
- You are paid for any “show up” time for lessons a minimum of 30-60 minutes per shift – sometimes longer if we ask you to standby for additional time
On-going Training & Certification Opportunities
- We provide the training for you to become a PSIA-AASI certified instructor
- This is voluntary training time – we do not pay for your certification training clinic attendance
- You pay for PSIA-AASI Membership Dues (annually) and the certification exam yourself
- PSIA-AASI Certified Members also have access to many benefits like “pro deals” on gear from industry partners and Ski/Snowboard suppliers
- An official accessories catalog with “pro pricing”
- Nationally recognized certification
- We provide the training for you to become a PSIA-AASI certified instructor
Full Time Instructor – Additional frequently asked questions and answers
- First Season, Full Time instructors work 5 shifts per week
- As described above – there are 2 shifts in a day (open to close) when we have night operations, so some Full Timers choose to work a double so they can consolidate their days at the mountain to less than 5
- FT instructors are trained in the Rental Center to be “tech certified”, are trained in Setup/Tear Down responsibilities and trained in other operational areas
- FT instructors have priority for teaching and non-teaching activities over part time instructors
- If a FT instructor is interested in becoming PSIA-AASI Level I certified we provide the additional training, pay for PSIA-AASI Membership Dues ($121 value) and the Level I Exam fees ($50)
- We do not however pay for the additional training time you need to attend to prepare for certification exams
We hope this information helps you get a sense of being an instructor at Mt Hood Meadows.