AIARE Instructors are a skilled combination of experienced avalanche professional, outdoor educator, and mentor. The AIARE Instructor Training Program teaches experienced backcountry travelers how to teach the AIARE recreational avalanche curriculum and manage backcountry risk in an educational context.

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Becoming an AIARE Instructor

Aspiring AIARE Instructors are seasoned backcountry travelers with at least 5 years of experience who have taken AIARE 1, AIARE 2, and Avalanche Rescue courses, as well as holding a PRO 1 certificate from an American Avalanche Association (A3) course provider. Find your next step to becoming an AIARE Instructor in the progression below.

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For experienced backcountry travelers, the first step in becoming an avalanche professional is to take a PRO 1 course. This entry-to-practice course covers theories and concepts central to the avalanche practitioner. For those already working in the industry, it serves as an upgrade of your existing skills to the current national standard.

All AIARE Instructors have at least a PRO 1 certificate or equivalent.



All prospective AIARE instructors participate in the Instructor Training Course. This five-day course trains aspiring instructors to work with a team to meet the learning outcomes of the AIARE’s Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Curriculum.

Backcountry travelers with at least five years of backcountry travel experience, experience with the entire AIARE recreational curriculum program, a PRO 1 certificate, and a passion for avalanche education can apply for the course.



Designed for current and emerging leaders in the avalanche industry. The PRO 2 focuses on advanced operational risk management concepts across multiple contexts.

This certificate is a prerequisite for all AIARE Course Leaders.



Experienced AIARE Instructors can take the next step in the program and learn how to manage a team to manage risk and meet educational outcomes on AIARE courses by taking a Course Leader Training.

Instructors with a PRO 2 certificate, at least 7 years of experience in the backcountry, and at least 2 years of experience instructing courses can apply for the Course Leader Training.

Continuing Education

Once they become an AIARE Instructor or Course Leader, avalanche educators have the opportunity to continue developing their avalanche knowledge and their teaching, mentoring, and risk management skills through AIARE’s continuing education program. 

AIARE Instructors deepen their skills as educators and avalanche professionals on an annual basis by taking courses provided by AIARE and other professional organizations related to the avalanche industry. Instructors keep abreast of the latest research and best practices by maintaining affiliate or professional membership with the American Avalanche Association (A3), the avalanche industry’s professional membership organization.