The thrill of watching the smile on someone's face after they've carved their first successful turn is one of the reasons why so many instructors teach skiing all over the country. When other memories fade, your student will always remember you - the person that made their vacation a success.

The process of becoming a professional ski instructor varies from resort to resort, depending on region. Most of the better-run ski resorts belong to one of the nine regions of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), and as such, have similar hiring and training practices.

The best time to begin thinking about becoming a professional ski instructor is the spring before you want to begin teaching. Locate either the head of the ski school or the person that conducts the training. Tell them you'd like to teach at their resort next year and they'll explain what their specific hiring practices are. They'll likely want to go out and ski with you to check your skiing competency.

Some resorts run instructor training courses starting in the fall. They operate over six weeks or so of weekends, and offer training in theory and practice of teaching people how to ski and snowboard. Classrooms gives way to on-snow classes as winter arrives. The courses generally wind up with participants practice-teaching their fellow trainees. Ski school personnel then gauge each instructor trainee's proficiency at skiing and teaching, and decide whether they are ready to teach, and at what level.