Thinking to work as a part time instructor on weekends

Wasatchman

over the hill
Skier
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Posts
1,671
Location
Wasatch and NZ
I can see that with the change in the ski resorts' business model away from lift tickets and towards lessons being their cash cow. That, and they've been paying peanuts and perks these days. BITD we got nearly double minimum wage and better perks.
Yep. And interestingly a lot of people do not consider instructing to be a desirable job. There are a number of people that have the skiing/riding skills to become instructors but prefer being a liftie, etc. Maybe some instructors on here could shed some light on why that is.
 

martyg

Making fresh tracks
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Posts
1,812
3--Labor law requires that an employee be paid at least the state minimum wage for anything done for the benefit of the employer. Required check ins & meetings, and required training certainly qualify.
5--Pay not required if the training and exams are not required.

Not at Mt Baker!
 

Wasatchman

over the hill
Skier
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Posts
1,671
Location
Wasatch and NZ
Perhaps the question can be better targeted towards skillful non-instructors.
True. Except it seems most who work at a resort on this forum tend to be instructors for whatever reason. But yeah, would be great to hear perspective from people why they prefer mountain ops to ski school employment. Which brings up another point. Demographically this site seems to skew a bit older. Similarly, there is definitely average age differences between ski school and mountain ops as well with younger folks preferring ops over ski school for whatever reason.
 

slow-line-fast

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Posts
515
Location
snow
You have to want to teach, not everyone does.

Other ski jobs like snowmaker, tuner, restaurant staff let you work more in the evening, leaving days more free to just go skiing.
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
1,008
Not at Mt Baker!
Not in my experience either. Management doesn’t seem to think labor law applies. I once heard a ski school supervisor tell an injured instructor that they would “take care of him” if he told patrol it wasn’t work related. That was probably a crime. Luckily patrol wasn’t having it.

IME anyone who complained about pay or working conditions was out pretty quickly.

dm
 

martyg

Making fresh tracks
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Posts
1,812
Yep. And interestingly a lot of people do not consider instructing to be a desirable job. There are a number of people that have the skiing/riding skills to become instructors but prefer being a liftie, etc. Maybe some instructors on here could shed some light on why that is.

Not to digress into an Aspen Extreme dialogue, but instructing is far more than skiing / riding skills.

I don’t think that a lot of the public, even ski instructors, have the leadership skills, classroom management skills or vocabulary to be superb instructors.
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
1,008
Yep. And interestingly a lot of people do not consider instructing to be a desirable job. There are a number of people that have the skiing/riding skills to become instructors but prefer being a liftie, etc. Maybe some instructors on here could shed some light on why that is.
The best job in a ski resort town is real estate agent. The second best is bartender.
Ski instructor was a good job when it was hard to learn skiing, and lots of young women took lessons. Now it’s mostly children. You gotta like children to be an instructor.

dm
 

Wasatchman

over the hill
Skier
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Posts
1,671
Location
Wasatch and NZ
Not to digress into an Aspen Extreme dialogue, but instructing is far more than skiing / riding skills.

I don’t think that a lot of the public, even ski instructors, have the leadership skills, classroom management skills or vocabulary to be superb instructors.
Very good point and something a lot of people probably do not appreciate nearly enough. And I imagine that for beginner and intermediate classes those other skills trump the instructors skiing ability to a large degree. And these are skills that take time and experience for people to develop, which could explain differences in average ages between instructing and mountain ops. And what @Dave Marshak is saying makes a lot of sense as well.
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
1,008
Perhaps a class action lawsuit waiting?
Not around here. Most instructors don’t care about the money and the pay is so low that there wouldn’t be enough to pay the lawyers even if they won.

dm
 
Last edited:

[email protected]

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Posts
396
Location
Como, Colorado.
Here is a link concerning this issue. I dont know the outcome, any insight from current employees? I dont understand how you could get away with not paying people to show for the line up. If its required, then its a condition for employment, I would think. I am not a lawyer, so I am sure there is a loophole that I dont know about.

Beaver Creek workers sue Vail Resorts in wage dispute
 

LiquidFeet

lurking
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
5,873
Location
Instructor, New England
Yep. And interestingly a lot of people do not consider instructing to be a desirable job. There are a number of people that have the skiing/riding skills to become instructors but prefer being a liftie, etc. Maybe some instructors on here could shed some light on why that is.
Mountain ops is usually a steady job with steady hours. So pay is predictable.
Not so with ski instruction. There's more $$ in a mountain ops job for the season. At least here in New England.
 

martyg

Making fresh tracks
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Posts
1,812
Not around here. Most instructors don’t care about the money and the pay is so low that there wouldn’t be enough to pay the lawyers even if they won.

dm

A class action lawsuit is typically paid out of damages.

A far more potent and ominous (to ski areas) action that instructors (and all ski hill employees) can exercise is a complaint to OSHA. OSHA is quite pricky about "getting hit by objects from above". And it doesn't mater if it is a hammer of of a scaffolding, or an out or control guest.

One major western US ski area triggered a federal whistleblower case when an instrictor who was hit, and had to be airlifted out, filed an OSHA complaint. He was not invited back the next year, which triggered the federal government lawyering up to go after the ski area. A gag order was part of the settlement.
 

LiquidFeet

lurking
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
5,873
Location
Instructor, New England
...One major western US ski area triggered a federal whistleblower case when an instrictor who was hit, and had to be airlifted out, filed an OSHA complaint. He was not invited back the next year, which triggered the federal government lawyering up to go after the ski area. A gag order was part of the settlement.
Why hasn't this case been talked about more? This is the first I've heard about it.

If more instructors who get hit from above were to complain to OSHA as this instructor did, maybe that would be an excellent way to get change to happen. Was OSHA more concerned about the collision or the "not invited back" part?
 
Last edited:

martyg

Making fresh tracks
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Posts
1,812
Why hasn't this case been talked about more? This is the first I've heard about it.

If more instructors who get hit from above were to complain to OSHA as this instructor did, maybe that would be an excellent way to get change to happen. Was OSHA more concerned about the collision or the "not invited back" part?

See my note re gag order.

OSHA was concerned that the employee was not invited back. Or at least that was the infraction with the most profound consequence. It triggered a federal whistleblower case.
 

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
8,886
Location
Maine
Why hasn't this case been talked about more?
A gag order was part of the settlement.
This is pretty much every conversation I have with my boss.

"Why don't we do x?"
"We don't talk about x."

Edit: For that matter, it was pretty much every conversation I had with my elementary school teachers.
 
Top