Updated March 2018
The JSA’s job bank for hiring at its member junior sailing programs is located here. To make the most effective use of the JSA job bank, please use these tips. There is a section for club employers and a section for sailing job candidates.
– The JSA job bank is for instructor positions located only at JSA member clubs. JSA clubs that wish to advertise outside of the Long Island Sound area, and non-JSA clubs, may wish to consider posting jobs on national web sites,such as www.sail1design.com [select Sailing Job Bank, then search by job type and location], or http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com or http://www.windcheckmagazine.com/classifieds. While you are at these sites make note of instructors looking for jobs and coaches whom you might email to notify their team members of your openings. Likewise, browse the list of local college coaches http://collegesailing.org > Conferences (NEISA for CT and MAISA for NY) > Racing > Teams. Or contact high school coaches for their referrals http://nessa.hssailing.org/schools for CT and http://massa.hssailing.org/schools for NY high schools.
– Post all your open positions at JSA member clubs on the JSA Job Bank, because when candidates ask the JSA office about clubs that are hiring, the only answer we can give is “Please look at the current job listings.”
– Clubs may hire junior sailing staff at any time. A number of clubs focus on hiring during the Thanksgiving holiday period, because candidates who are away at college or boarding school are home then. However, during the Thanksgiving holiday period, candidates being employed for their first season as full-time instructors may not be required to accept an offer of employment prior to 6 pm on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. A first-year instructor may, if they wish, accept an offer earlier than 6 pm Saturday; it is only the club that may not require a response prior to that time. This moratorium is designed to allow those first-season candidates to educate themselves about the employment options available at various clubs before making a commitment. Hiring is also done throughout the late summer, fall, winter and spring, to match what the clubs are seeing as their staff needs based on final enrollment.
– US Sailing has a revised Small Boat Instructor certification path > Small Boat. Holders of the old Level 2 certificate typically specified for racing coaches were automatically upgraded to a new Level 3 – Coach certificate. A revised curriculum for a completely new Level 2 certificate now focuses on developing additional knowledge and skill for the basic Level 1 instructors (teaching, management skills, spinnaker and trapeze use, and powerboat operation for emergency situations). The Level 3 – Head Instructor course trains head instructors and program directors in best practices for sailing program management.
– Having a detailed job description for each staff position will be a valuable aid to inform your new staff about your expectations and manage their performance on the job. And by referring to the job description in your employment contract with staff you can inform them of your expectations for sail training objectives and the ethical and behavioral traits you expect them to model for their student sailors. Please include all positions at your club in one ad.
– JSA requires that member clubs employ instructors who have passed the US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Instructor course (which requires they maintain valid powerboat safety, first aid, CPR and SafeSport certificates). In addition, JSA members voted in 2013 to require the US Safe Powerboat Handling certificate for newly certified Level 1 instructors in their first year of employment as an instructor. The SPH certificate may be earned through a 1- or 2-day course, depending on the instructor’s experience. US Sailing has reported that new instructors often do not have sufficient hands-on powerboat experience to pass the Level 1 course without a follow-up plan for improvement. So ask your new instructors to show their Level 1 course completion certificate, which will state if a plan for improvement is required. Double check each instructor’s certifications using the look up tool on the US Sailing website. Evaluate the powerboat handling skills of each instructor you hire, whether new or experienced, before they start work in June. Have your club’s professional staff check them out to assure they really can demonstrate capable and safe powerboat handling skills. If appropriate, schedule them for the US Sailing Safe Powerboat Handing course (2 days if do not have a state boating safety education certificate) or Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling course (1 day if already have a state boating safety education certificate) or a 3-hour powerboat handling challenge test, which may be found at this link http://www.uspowerboating.com/courses. Also recommended for sailing instructors is the Safety & Rescue Boat Handling course that provides practical techniques used in rescue situations.
– When you have completed negotiations with a candidate, it’s best to promptly summarize the agreed terms of employment in a job offer letter/employment contract that the candidate reviews, signs and returns. Each party retains a copy, which helps prevent future misunderstandings.
– When you have completed hiring for a position, please notify the JSA office so your job ad may be removed.
– If you have resumes of candidates that you did not hire, forward copies to JSA office for inclusion in the Candidate Resume File. Other clubs that are still hiring may find these resumes very helpful. We prefer email attachments, but if you have the resumes only in paper format, please mail to JSA of LIS, PO Box 212, Larchmont NY 10538.
– If your club wants copies of resumes from the Candidate Resume File, please email your specific request to JSA office; we do not email unsolicited resumes.
– The US Sailing Knowledge Base has some articles on recruiting and junior program management. Also review prior year JSA Midwinter Meeting presentations that touch on the instructor hiring process: Where to find coaches (by Lincoln White) and Staff Management handout.
Instructor Candidate Suggestions:
– Send your resume and cover letter to all jobs for which you feel qualified that are posted on the JSA Job Bank, or the national web sites listed above.
– If you are interviewing during the Thanksgiving holiday period, read the Club Employer section, above, to understand the guideline that allows first-year instructor candidates the opportunity to consider offers from various clubs but not be required to accept an offer of employment prior to 6 pm on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.
– Some of the job websites listed above accept candidate postings, so consider placing your ad there.
– You may also post a brief summary of your qualifiactions in the JSA Staff Available section or email a copy of your resume to the JSA Candidate Resume File, following the guidelines listed below.
– If you need to obtain or update your certifications, read the US Sailing website descriptions (use this link http://www.ussailing.org/education/teach-sailing > Small Boat to find out what is required). Pay particular attention to prerequisites. For example, the Level 1 instructor course prerequisites include a safe-boating certificate, experience in operating a powerboat safely, current USCG approved CPR and first aid certification, and other prerequisites listed on the US Sailing website. It is best to handle these prerequisites during the winter and spring. For example, the US Sailing instructor certification courses are generally given during college breaks (winter, spring and early summer). The schedule may be viewed at http://www.ussailing.org/education/calendar/ > Small Boat Levels 1, 2 or 3. Some warm Southern and California locations may be listed now, and the ones for the Northeast will be listed in midwinter (for spring and early summer dates). Keep a close watch weekly on the schedule as most locations can accommodate fewer than 20 people and the popular sites get booked quickly as soon as they are listed. US Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadron units, as well as continuing education classes at high schools and colleges in your local area are all good sources for off-season safe boating certification. The US Sailing Safe Powerboat Handling certificate is required by JSA for newly certified Level 1 instructors in their first year of employment as an instructor, and is encouraged for any instructor, especially those whose powerboat skills need enhancement. The certificate may be earned through a 1- or 2-day course, depending on the instructor’s experience. More information is available at this link: http://www.uspowerboating.com/courses > Safe Powerboat Handling (2 days if do not have a state boating safety education certificate) and Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling (1 day if already have a state boating safety education certificate). The earliest 2018 certification courses in the western Long Island Sound area are expected to be: Level 1 in early April, and Safe Powerboat Handing in late April; both in Bronx NY. Additional courses expected to be scheduled during the spring and early summer may be viewed at http://jsalis.org/coaches/instructor-certification-and-training-resources. The Red Cross or American Heart Assn. courses for CPR and first aid are available throughout the year.
Instructor Candidate Posting and Resume File Guidelines:
– After January 1 of each year, short ads may be posted on JSA website from candidates about their availability as instructors and coaches. Email the JSA office at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief summary of your qualifications and contact info.
– For the Resume File, please email; do not fax nor postal-mail your cover letter and resume, because we cannot easily forward non-electronic formats to our clubs.
– Email to JSA office at email@example.com. Send your cover letter and resume as an attachment in Word .DOCX, or generic .RTF, or .PDF format. It’s best to include your cover letter as part of the same attached file, not in the body of your email to JSA, so when the attachment is printed your cover letter appears first, followed by your resume, all at one printing.
– Name your letter/resume file something like “MyLastName_MyFirstName_SailingResume.docx” so that when it is forwarded to clubs, they can distinguish your letter/resume file from others. Your letter and resume will remain in the active file until a JSA club requests copies of current resumes. Then your letter/resume and all other active resumes will be sent to the requesting club.
– If you accept a job, or are no longer available for any reason, please email the JSA office requesting your resume be removed from the active Resume File.
Other Instructor Hiring Resources for Clubs
American Camping Assoc has tips on hiring and managing summer staff as well as access to their counselor job bank. A qualified camp counselor with a sailing background and US Sailing certification may be a good match for your non-racing students or sailing camp. Check out http://www.acacamps.org/ click on Jobs.
Foreign sources: If you can provide housing, you may be interested in foreign instructors. Many JSA programs have had great success with instructors from Ireland, England, Canada and Australia, to name a few. It is important to keep in mind that JSA by-laws require all instructors to have successfully completed US Sailing Level 1 or its international equivalent.
If you are considering this source, see these sites for intermediary organizations that can assist with identifying candidates or sponsor visas for candidates you already know. They operate under the US State Department J-1 Visa program that is described here http://j1visa.state.gov/programs/camp-counselor:
– CampUSA http://www.interexchange.org/campusa/
– Camp Counselors USA http://www.ccusa.com/
– Camp America (Stamford CT) http://www.campamerica.aifs.com
– British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) http://www.bunac.org/usa/us-employers
– American Work Experience http://www.aweusa.com/camp_directors/index.htm
– American Camp and Work Experience http://acawe.com/understanding-the-j-1-visa