Top Three Seasonal Ski Jobs
It’s officially August, which means that ski resorts around North America have posted their winter job openings and have ramped up hiring efforts. Maybe you just graduated from high school or college and are looking to live your dream in the mountains, or maybe you just retired from 40+ years in a corporate role and want to spend the remainder of your working days in a ski instructor uniform, ripping daily laps down the mountain. Within the next few months, aspiring ski bums can hit job fairs, apply to various roles online, or get creative with ways to move to their dream mountain town. In honor of this exciting time of the year, we’re breaking down what we think are the top three seasonal ski jobs.
Patrollers are, without question, the most respected and admired employees on the mountain. As guests’ lifeline, patrollers work from dawn until dusk keeping avalanches at bay and helping rescue injured skiers and snowboarders. In their official capacity, patrollers provide rescue and medical services to injured skiers within the resort boundaries. Are you a great skier or snowboarder with a desire to give back and help save lives? To become a ski patroller, it is recommended that you join the National Ski Patrol and then complete its Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course. You will need to complete this course before you become a patroller. Have an expired CPR certification? Be sure to renew this before applying for any patrol jobs, as a current certification is a requirement. You should note, though, that no two resorts are alike in terms of their requirements for prospective patrollers. Some smaller hills may consider you fully qualified if you pass the OEC course. Other resorts, especially those with advanced-expert terrain susceptible to avalanches, will require two years of training or more before you can officially call yourself a ski patroller. Have the dream of working on avalanche control? Expect much more training, in addition to obtaining an ATF explosives handler permit. Added bonuses of the job, other than saving lives? You’ll get the usual resort benefits package: complimentary skis and boots or a killer pro deal, and a season pass. On top of all of this? If you work your way up the ranks, you may even eventually get to work with your very own patrol dog!
Image Credit: Open Snow
SKI / SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR
Often thought of as that sexy dream job that almost every hopeful ski bum wants, being a ski instructor is no easy task. Much less so than patrolling hours, ski instructors will still work nearly around the clock during the busy periods at resorts. When are those high traffic times, you may ask? Kiss your Christmas morning and that late-night New Year’s Eve party goodbye, because you will be up on the hill in your freshly cleaned uniform by 7:30AM at the latest on both of those holidays. On to the positives: if you truly love skiing and interacting with people, being a ski insctructor can be an absolute dream job. Unfortunately for some, the easiest way to get into the world of ski instructing is to apply to the Children’s Ski School at your desired resort. Know that this means you could be spending your days on a magic carpet, helping (adorable) three year olds stay upright on their tiny skis. The job can be tons of fun, but isn’t for everyone. If you absoulutely love working with kids, you may want to stay in the world of Ski School. If you want to move on up, you can join the PSIA and if you pass your Level I certification in your first year, and you will not only see a pay raise from your resort, but you will receive some incredible pro discounts in turn for your annual dues. If you want to make a real career out of ski instructing, it is absolutely possible. Work on passing your Level II exam and then get all the way up to the highest, Level III, and you will most likely be able to make a decent living. Level III certified instructors are mostly used for private lessons, and can take their clients all over the mountain. This means you can skip the ski school mac and cheese line at lunch time and grab a steak sandwich with your clientele. A literal bonus here is that private clients tend to tip quite well, so if you work hard and perform consistently, you will most likely take home much more cash than you did at ski school.
Image Credit: Deer Valley Resort
So you still want to live that ski town dream, but you aren’t sure if you have what it takes to be a patroller, and you also don’t want to spend every waking hour teaching the pizza and french fry as an entry level instructor? Enter your ideal role: the ski technician. Ski techs are not often resort employees, but rather work for the shops who service the resort. Whether you are working in a more traditional brick and mortor rental or tune shop, or for a ski rental delivery company like Ski Butlers, ski techs are tasked with keeping ski and snowboard equipment expertly tuned up and well prepared for the slopes on a daily basis. Expect to work with not only tools and fun equipment, but with your actual customers. You should be very customer service oriented for this role, as most customers will have specific requests for their equipment. As you may have guessed, ski techs are at the core of each of our shops around the 48 resorts we serve here at Ski Butlers. At Ski Butlers, ski technicians provide excellent customer service with every delivery they make, making sure to make that customer’s vacation as convenient as possible. When not on the road interacting with our customers, our ski techs are in the shop preparing the team for success by tuning skis, packing orders, or doing anything else that is necessary that day. No two shifts will be the same as a ski tech, so we can promise you that your time in the shop or on the road will fly by. Looking for some extra perks? Ski Butlers ski techs will get to choose from a ski pass of their choice, competitive hourly pay, as well as the opportunity to earn substantial tips from customers. Perhaps the best benefit of them all is the ability to actually SKI…every. single. day. Ski techs at Ski Butlers start working early in the morning so they can make their deliveries before the lifts start spinning, and will shift change out by 2:00 PM each day. Those with the late shift will work from 2:00 PM into the evenings, also leaving ample time to get out and make some turns during the day.
HOW TO APPLY
If you’ve decided that one or more of the jobs above appeals to you, you can most easily apply online or attend a seasonal hiring fair, which tend to take place every October prior to that season. Almost every resort has a comprehensive employment site that will guide you towards filling out those patroller or ski instructor applications. For a high-end resort, expect to, at minimum, have one video interview so employers can hone in on your people skills. For the ski tech role, it is best to call or go and visit the shop you want to work at. If you’ve decided you want to live the dream with us here at Ski Butlers, you can head to our employment page, where you will be redirected to our application site. Whether you’ll be keeping guests safe as a patroller, teaching them how to shred as an instructor, or delivering fantastic ski rentals to their accomodations, we hope we will see you on the mountain soon.