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The majority of ski instructors in France work for ski schools, whether that’s independent schools such as Oxygen and Evolution 2 or the ESF. If you’re a ski instructor at one of these schools, you may well have considered working independently, however whilst making the jump is now easier than ever, it can still be quite daunting. Roughly 10% of the fully qualified instructors in France are already working independently, I’m going to provide 5, of many reasons why you should join them.

Increase your earnings

Whilst being a ski instructor is often a lifestyle choice, it still pays very well. That being said, most instructors are only able to work for 4 to 5 months per year, therefore maximising our income during this period is essential. It’s not uncommon to go weeks without a single day off!

As an independent instructor you will immediately benefit from a higher hourly rate of pay, leading to higher earnings from your winter. On average Ski Schools take 37.5% of the total lesson cost, so as an independent instructor you could do over 30% less work and still earn the same as you would at a ski school! As an example, that means 320 ‘independent’ hours are equal to about 500 ‘ski school’ hours!

You might think, wait a minute I still need to sell 320 hours worth of lessons each winter to earn the same as I do at a ski school, but thanks to the “peak weeks” it’s not as big a challenge as you think. During these peak weeks you can run group lessons, earning well over €100 per hour or you can increase your standard pricing for private lessons during these periods. Many independent instructors and small ski schools are charging up to €700 a day for private lessons during February half term for example.

Depending on how well you optimise the peak weeks throughout the season, you could well work under 300 hours and still earn the same as you would at a ski school, alternatively you could work as many hours as possible leading to a huge increase in earnings!

More time to do your own thing – ski!

As you are getting paid more to teach, then you can work far less to make the equivalent seasonal earnings. What will you do with all this extra time? Well why not take a break in January to go powder skiing in Japan, North America or wherever it happens to be dumping with snow!

Having more time to go skiing for yourself in your home resort, allows for time to really enjoy your skiing. You could make the most of this time by learning new discipline’s, improving your technique or just enjoying the corduroy with family and friends.

Choose your clients

When working for a ski school you are often told who your clients are for a given week on the Saturday or Sunday night the day before you start, with no idea what the lessons will entail, giving you zero time for lesson preparation.

Working for yourself allows you to choose who you teach and when. You may prefer to teach children or only really enjoy teaching and guiding accomplished adult skiers. Many instructors are happy to have a mixture of clients, as an independent instructor you decide who you teach.  

Be your own boss

Being your own boss is very rewarding, you are in charge of your own destiny and therefore have a far greater feeling of success when you do well. You make the important decisions every day to ensure you personally succeed, be that setting your hourly rate, choosing when to run group lessons or just deciding which ski gear you want to wear!  

You’re a part timer

If you only work between 1 to 5 weeks each winter then this is you.

During New year, February half term and over Easter there is often not enough ski instructors to satisfy demand! This leads to ski schools and independent instructors increasing their pricing and running full groups, to maximise their earnings. If you are teaching during these weeks, ski schools will be making a huge margin on your time, generally in excess of 50% of what they have charged for the lessons.

As these periods are so busy, it’s very easy for you to find your own clients using Maison Sport.


If you are one of the many instructors considering going independent, but have further questions surrounding the benefits to you, or if you would like some more detailed information on how Maison Sport can help, please feel free to drop me an email on [email protected] or check out our website at