Every skier dreams of spending an entire ski season at their favorite resort. The big question is how do you support yourself in pursuit of days filled with snow and sun, and many wonder how to find the best ski season jobs. While mega-resorts have made the classic ski bum lifestyle more difficult, there remain many ways to spend a ski season working at a ski area or resort.
Ski Area and Resort Jobs
Most resorts have hiring programs for many seasonal positions, including lift operators, food service, maintenance and housekeeping. These ski season jobs are not highly skilled and see high turnover each year. Depending on the resort, the job may include shared housing with other workers, a lift pass and meal discounts. The pay is not typically high, but you will be able to live a basic lifestyle and ski when you have days off. If you just want a one-season experience, this is probably the best route and can be lined up before the season begins.
Snow grooming operators along with snowmaking specialists always provide a necessary service. The downside to these positions is they typically work at night-but they do give you the perfect opportunity to ski during the day.
Restaurant and Bar Positions
Most ski areas have many independent restaurant and bars that look for employees during the busy ski season. While the pay is higher including tips, there is more competition from long-term locals, and you will have to find and pay for your own housing. Also, there will be the expense of a season pass at the ski area, unless the employer has some employee passes or discounts available. This kind of job can be ideal if you have a night shift, leaving your days free to ski with your friends.
Hotels and Spas
Independent hotels always need support staff, but the pay is low and often shifts are in the daytime. However, if you are a quality worker the position could become year round and include some housing benefits. Advancement is possible over time,which could lead to a permanent career type position. However, if you want to ski a lot for just one season, this may not be the best choice for a ski job.
Child Care Programs
This is an often overlooked ski job, and can be an ideal way to support yourself and also enter the ski industry. There are childcare programs for toddlers up to 5 years old that can also include time on the slopes. If you don’t mind skiing with a three year old, this work experience can be an entry to the best ski season job, which is to be a ski instructor.
Ski Instructor and Ski Patrol
These positions are the elite ski season jobs that everyone wants, and so few can obtain. Often it requires some contacts and special skill sets that require a few seasons to acquire. But if this is your dream and you have good skiing ability, it is not out of reach. The best approach is to work at a resort a season or two, get to know the hiring and qualification process and work on your skills.
If you want to be ski patrol, take paramedic and first aid courses. For a ski instructor, ski a lot, study modern skiing techniques and vie for a place in the annual tryouts that many resorts will host. As with many sought after positions, networking is key so try to meet the people that can help you, and get some local work references.
With a little luck, the best ski season job can be yours!