Our guide to finding a job in one of the many resorts around the world.
Working in a ski resort is a great way to improve your skiing or snowboarding skills, get some great work experience and to meet people who share your passion. Whatever work you do, you’ll get plenty of opportunity to ski your heart out in your time off.
The kind of jobs available during the ski season include lift operators, janitors, food and beverage staff, guest services, equipment rental and repair, day care, ticket checking, parking attendants, cashiers, retail staff, room attendants and of course ski and snowboard instructors. Canada is understandably very popular - many resorts have recruitment fairs in Canadian cities during October or November, so it’s important to time your arrival to coincide with the start of the recruitment period. European skiing is focused on alpine areas of Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany. The season runs from October to March, and resorts and tour operators are busy recruiting staff in September.
Most positions require you to have some experience in the relevant field - whether its just customer services or catering. If you want to work as a ski or snowboard instructor, you will need to have the relevant qualifications.
Alternatively what you could do is go on a placement when you arrive in Canada that will qualify you as a ski or snowboard instructor, so you can then go on after the scheme to find work.
The provinces in Canada with the largest number of ski resorts include Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Québec. These are the places where you are most likely to find work. As an employee of one of the big ski resorts you can expect to have low pay and shared accommodation. However, you can also expect a discount on ski passes, subsidised accommodation and food, as well as an active social life! So if you are there for the love of the snow, rather than the need to earn lots of money you’ll be fine.
Ski work with a tour operator
Instead of heading off into the great unknown, you could apply for a job with a tour operator before you leave the UK. The benefits of getting work this way is that you get your accommodation, transport, ski pass, uniform and wages all included in the package. Ideally you should speak a second language, German or French is especially useful. A number of British package holiday operators have employment opportunities in their Canadian resorts during the winter:
TUI own Crystal Holidays, Thomson Ski and Snowboard and Simply Holidays. For their North America resorts they employ staff from reps, to kitchen staff and nannies. Crystal Holidays alone employ over 1000 staff in their resorts overseas. The season runs from November to April, and you will have to commit to working the full season. To work in Canadian resorts you need to have your work permit in place before you apply for the jobs.
Inghams is another big UK based ski package holiday operator. Again you will need to sort out your own work visa before you get the job. The minimum age for resort reps and managers is 23.
First Choice ski include training for applicants interested in positions as resort reps. A resort rep is basically a customer service role, involving taking guests to and from the airport, sorting out room bookings and distributing ski passes. Being a rep is a tough job, not for anyone who thinks they’ll be spending the winter bumming around on the slopes!
If you are interested in finding out more about ski jobs around the world, take a look at our Winter Sports section which includes links to organisations who can help you.