Getting Hired By a Ski Resort
Every winter, ski resorts hire energetic people who love to ski and ride. These are the people who run the mountain and the town - the ones that make it possible for the ski and snowboard industry to operate successfully.
Eager workers are needed to operate lifts, teach lessons, run hotels, cook food, serve beer, groom snow, patrol the slopes, manage the terrain park, fit boots, scan tickets, tune skis, sell gear, provide information, market the hill, and do other odd jobs that are necessary to run a ski area.
Guests interact with many employees during their ski vacations. A smoothly operating ski resort runs on flawless guest service. Each employee plays an important role in making sure that guests are happy, satisfied, and have a blast.
It's important to mention that everyone who works in a ski resort has the same ultimate goal no matter what the job title - to ski or snowboard as much as possible. That typically means a laid back, relatively flexible, fun work environment because everyone is on the same page.
There are plenty of jobs in ski resorts all over the United States, but you still have to be hired. If you are ready to do a season or a lifetime working a non-cubicle job in a ski resort, then get started today.
Did you know? A ski resort might hire 100 to 1,500 employees just for the ski season.
Time flies. It always seems that things need to be finished yesterday. Don't wait if you want a job in a ski area. Apply early. Ski resorts want to be organized and ready for operation long before the November to April season. Most resorts begin the hiring process as early as April or May for the upcoming winter season. Some positions even require ski tests the season before you begin work. Typically, resorts want to hire people and finalize staffing by September or October.
If you are set on working somewhere next winter, take a trip and log a bit of face time with people who might hire you. Impress them. Show them that you are dedicated and eager to be a part of the team. Get your name out there and figure out whom to email directly with job applications.
Build a stellar resume. Try to have pertinent work history or experience for the job you are applying for. If you don't, it's no big deal. Every ski resort offers entry level positions. It's not always the resume that lands the job, but the person.
Apply for jobs at multiple ski areas - see our ski area directory for ideas. You may not get your job of choice at your resort of choice, but that doesn't mean you can't do something similar someplace else that is also really cool. Be flexible.
Search for jobs. Many ski resorts only list job postings online. Some ski areas host job fairs, which is a great way to meet potential employers in person. Plan ahead if you are serious about spending the winter skiing and riding.
Which Ski Resort Is Best?
Every ski resort is unique. They might be known for partying, no crowds, easy access, steeps, powder, terrain parks, family oriented, high class, or extreme terrain. Are you wondering what ski area is best for you to work at?
Lots of people head to the big names - Aspen, Vail, Whistler, Telluride, Breckenridge, Lake Louise, Stowe, Big White, Mammoth, Squaw Valley, Keystone, Killington, or Jackson Hole. But there is more to a ski town than just a name.
Maybe you want to work at a smaller resort. Consider resorts close to your home because ski resorts always need part time workers.
Busy resorts are good too as there is more work. Maybe you want to spend a season skiing legendary terrain or at a resort with bottomless snow.
For some working for the industry's largest employers, who operate big mountains and multiple resorts, is best. Vail Resorts operates Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Arapahoe Basin, and Northstar at Tahoe (along with some sweet summer resorts in the Caribbean Islands). Aspen Ski Co. runs 4 resorts - Ajax, Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Intrawest operates Winter Park, Steamboat, Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Stratton, Snowshoe, and CMH. Working for a ski company that runs multiple resorts makes it easy to travel around to different resorts and may even get you a ski pass to lots of ski hills.
Skiing isn't just limited to the United States either. There are ski resorts all over the world - Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, China, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, France, Dubai, Italy.
Skiing is everywhere. Don't limit your options. Working at ski areas often opens up international opportunities.
Ski area work also can open up year round employment. Some people chase the endless winter to the Southern Hemisphere. Others stick around ski towns for the summer and work the hotels, restaurants, mountains, rivers, and shops. A fun winter season can easily turn into a lifetime of fun in the mountains.
Employee Benefits & Perks
The biggest benefit of working at any ski area is the skiing. Any resort is going to supply its employees with a free ski pass. Many also provide health insurance, housing, bus passes, discounts on food, dental plans, summer golf passes, gear discounts, reduced rates on lodging, and lots of other perks. Look into what the resorts you are considering offer their employees before you sign on the dotted line.
Did You Know? Resorts hire for mountain operations, transportation, business, hospitality, real estate, and retail.
- Plan ahead and be sure to apply early!
- Consider lots of resorts and think about where you will fit in best.
- Look over benefit packages.
- Ski area jobs can lead to year round employment all over the world.
- Ski resorts and mountain towns hire both entry level and career-oriented people.