Are you looking for the best way to spend most of your time during the winter season in the snow? You might enjoy working in a skiing resort.
The coolest thing about working in the skiing industry is perhaps the ability to ski down the mountain during your ride breaks or while working.
It’s usually a big perk to snow sports enthusiasts working in the ski area as they get to maximize their skiing and snowboarding time without spending too much money on lift tickets.
Even so, it’s essential to keep in mind that not all ski resort jobs will let you ride the slopes as much as you would want.
Some jobs at ski mountains can be restrictive, so you want to ensure that you seize the opportunity that will allow you to maximize your skiing and snowboarding time.
The best thing to do is to go for a job that involves spending a large part of the day in the snow or one that provides regular ride breaks throughout the day.
In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the best jobs at ski resorts that allow employees to maximize their skiing time.
6 Best Ski Resorts Jobs to Help You Maximize Your Skiing Time
#1. Trail Maintenance
The main responsibilities of trail maintenance employees are to move the snowmaking equipment around and ensure that trails have enough snow and are maintained safely for guests.
This means that most of your time as a trail maintenance employee will be spent on the snow, giving you more time to ride compared to other jobs in the ski industry.
What’s more exciting about this job is that you get free access to the entire mountain since all the ski runs need to be checked for any exposed areas, debris, and icy patches.
Sure, you’ll need to focus on high-traffic areas, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t have time to ski down the snowy slopes. You can even ride advanced and isolated runs after checking the vulnerable spots.
The only downside of this job is that you need to have considerable experience skiing and snowboarding.
You also need some snowmaking experience and mountain familiarity to ensure that you can efficiently maintain the snow conditions as needed.
Trail maintenance jobs require the employees to have the ability to effectively assess how safe the ski runs are. So, the ski resort has to get a good fit for the job.
Overall, trail maintenance is a great way to spend more time on the mountain and maximize skiing, but it may not be the best fit for those looking to work in a ski resort for the first time.
However, first-time ski resort workers shouldn’t be discouraged as there are other desirable opportunities to leverage during the ski season.
#2. Ski Patrol
Another incredibly cool job that will let you spend the most time on the slopes is ski patrol. Ski patrollers carry out their duties in the snow all day.
Ski patrol jobs typically involve helping injured individuals on the mountain, inspecting the ski terrain for any dangers, blasting avalanches, and ensuring that skiers and snowboarders abide by the mountain rules.
This job best suits people who want to spend time in the snow and ski while doing their daily duties.
However, unlike trail maintenance employees, ski patrollers don’t have much freedom based on where they can go on the mountain and where they get to ski and snowboard.
The reason is that they are always on the lookout for skiers and riders in distress, which may consume most of their time, especially if the slopes are crowded.
If you want to become a ski patroller at a ski resort, you must be 15 years of age, receive training from an Outdoor Emergency Care Program, and have the approval of the National Ski Patrol.
Beginners should get the relevant formal training and the right certifications to look for ski patrol jobs.
#3. Ski School Instructors
Just like ski patrollers, instructors in ski resorts’ schools spend a big part of their day on the mountain.
Their main responsibility is to conduct and facilitate lessons, which are usually delivered as group or private lessons.
Depending on the ski resort you work for, you’ll spend half of the day conducting lessons for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
In other ski resorts, instructors offer lessons to beginners all day, but they take breaks. Either way, you’ll have some time to hit the slopes between the resort’s opening time and closing time.
Even so, it’s important to keep in mind that instructors in ski schools don’t have much say or freedom in where they get to ski or snowboard.
This applies particularly to those providing lessons to young kids and complete beginner skiers and boarders, as they have to remain on the gentle slopes.
Now, if you want to become a ski school instructor, you’ll be delighted to know that the process of hiring is usually easier than that of ski patrollers.
This job doesn’t require much experience in skiing and snowboarding or certificates and registrations.
With that said, you can advance to a better level as a ski school instructor by getting a higher-level PSIA-AASI certificate.
The certificate will allow you to handle more technical and advanced lessons, giving you the best opportunity to ride on challenging terrain.
#4. Lift Attendants
Lift attendants spend their working time primarily on the mountain, allowing them to maximize skiing and snowboarding.
On a normal day, lift attendants will start managing a specific chairlift and then shuffle around to other ski lifts throughout the day.
This means that they can ski or snowboard a run or two as they go to the next lift they need to attend to.
Unfortunately, lift attendants don’t get as much free time and diverse terrain to ski as patrollers and ski school instructors.
The reason is that the lifts serve one or two, and the attendants are expected to arrive on time and be ready for the next job.
As with patrollers and instructors, lift attendants can’t go to the part of the mountain they wish since they have to follow a specific routine. But at least they have some free time to hit the slopes between the lifts.
This job doesn’t require a lot of experience to be hired, but you need to know a few things about ski lift systems and be familiar with the mountain.
You don’t need to have much experience skiing under your belt or know how to teach other people how to ride the slopes or the lifts.
So, this job is an excellent match for first-time ski resort workers who want to ski more at less cost.
#5. Guest Services
Guest services jobs have the most extensive duties in ski resorts. They are usually a wide range of activities, which include delivering supplies to mid-mountain facilities and setting up tents and signs for events.
These jobs can also involve directing guests to specific parts of the mountain when needed. This could be during events or ensuring that guests don’t go beyond the resort boundaries.
When working as a guest service provider, you may have to make many trips up and down the mountain to direct people and get supplies where they are needed.
So, you must be able to efficiently move up and down the mountain. This doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to ski, but you can still ride down when going back to the base.
In many resorts, mid-mountain facilities and event spaces are usually located near beginner trails and high-traffic areas.
This makes the jobs ideal for individuals who lack great skiing ability but still want to spend a big part of their day in the snow.
#6. Working at Equipment Rental Shops
Unlike other types of employees discussed in the list, equipment rental shop employees don’t work on the slopes for the most part of their day. Instead, they spend time indoors renting out ski gear to customers.
But this doesn’t mean that they don’t ski at all during work days. They rather get breaks at midday to hit the slopes.
Most customers who rent ski gear will visit the rental shop in the morning and return the equipment later in the evening if they want to ski the whole day.
Those who want to hit a couple of runs and then leave the resort will rent skis and ski boots first thing in the morning and return them as soon as they finish hitting the slopes.
This leaves rental ski shop attendants with some time to ski down the runs they please mainly at mid-day.
While rental shop attendants don’t necessarily spend more time on the mountain, they enjoy a better opportunity and more time skiing than instructors, lift attendants, and patrollers, who are often at the mercy of the duties their jobs involve.
That said, rental shop jobs are more appealing because the employee can leverage ride breaks, the industry’s most popular perk. And they get to ski or snowboard the slopes they crave.
Tips for Choosing the Best Ski Resort Job
If you want to start a career in the ski industry, you can be a seasonal worker in a ski resort, as there are many positions that involve different duties and have varied benefits.
Depending on the type of work experience you are looking for, you can choose a position that will help you maximize your skiing time or let you travel to beautiful ski destinations.
Some of the most desirable jobs in the ski industry include ski filmmaker, marketing manager, ski photographer, ski instructor, graphic designer, ski patroller, lift operator, and more.
But it’s important to keep in mind that some jobs like ski school instructors and rental shop attendants afford employees more time than other positions like product designers and filmmakers.
Here are a few tips to help choose the best ski resort job:
- Research and understand different positions and the duties involved
- Consider your skiing or snowboarding ability and apply for a job that suits your experience
- If you want to ski every day, choose a position that will not restrict you
- Once you choose your desired position get the right certification and the training required
- If you don’t manage to get a job during the recruitment, keep checking for vacancies during the ski season.
- Get health insurance since working in a ski resort can be dangerous, especially for positions that involve spending more time on the mountain.
- If you are a first-time resort worker, apply for jobs in different destinations rather than waiting for one of the local restaurants or mountain resorts to hire you.
Q: What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in a Ski Resort?
A: The highest paying jobs in a ski resort include financial director, product designer, professional skier, financial analyst, ski representative, and ski patrol.
Other great jobs in ski resorts include ski instructors, lift operators, food and beverage positions, rental/retail ski shop attendants, and resort managers.
Q: What Do Ski Resort Employees Do in the Summer?
A: There are different activities that ski resort employees can engage in in the summer. They can stay at the resort to instruct a summer sport and guide tourists in summer activities or take a part-time job.
If you work in a ski resort in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter season is over, you can head to the Southern Hemisphere to spend more time in the snow.
Some of the best countries for summer skiing include New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina.
But before you start planning a trip to the Southern Hemisphere, you can try applying for jobs in North American ski areas that offer summer skiing, like Arapahoe, Timberline Lodge, and Whistler Blackcomb.
Ski resort employees can also take advantage of the off-season to travel the world while taking part-time jobs to fund their adventures.
Q: Can Skiing Be a Job?
A: Yes, skiing can be a job, but you’ll need to perfect your skills and become a professional skier or snowboarder.
Professional skiers and snowboarders are usually hired to participate in competitions, resort events, and ski and snowboarding films.
So, if you want riding on the snow to be your job, you’ll want to learn and perfect your tricks and jumps.
You’ll also need to maintain a rigorous practice schedule, meet with brand representatives for promotions and sponsorships, and appear for press meetings.
The good thing about being a pro skier or snowboarder for a ski resort is that salaries are high. You also get free gear, invitations to grand events, and adventure opportunities.
Most positions at a ski resort will give you more time to ski without spending too much on lit tickets than jobs in other industries.
But there are specific ski resort jobs that will let you enjoy skiing more than others can, as explained in this article.
Lift attendants, ski patrol, trail maintenance, and ski school instructors will afford you more time to hit the slopes, but such positions may need more experience compared to guest services and rental shop jobs.
No matter which job you get in a ski resort, you can always be sure of having some time to ski and snowboard during the ski season.
But if you are looking to have more freedom to ride the terrain you covet when working in a ski resort, rental shop attendant is a safe bet.