Jobs at ski resorts can vary widely; positions range from ski instructors to restaurant chefs. However, these jobs can be sorted into two general categories: outdoor and indoor. Considering one’s interests and experience is important when deciding which type of job to apply for at a ski resort. Whatever the decision, a seasonal job at a ski resort would be a unique and rewarding experience.
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Finding Ski Season Jobs
Some websites specifically feature jobs at mountain resorts. Seasonal jobs as well as year-round jobs are listed on these websites. MountainJobs is a website that specifically targets ski and resort jobs. Job Search is a mountain resort company with locations across the United States. All open positions are listed on the website. Additionally, Intrawest, which is also a mountain resort company in Northern America, offers a career center to search for jobs across the country.
It is important to apply to seasonal jobs early because they may fill up earlier in the fall. Some ski instructor positions are posted as early as the summer.
Getting Ski Season Jobs
While qualifications differ from job to job, there are standard requirements that are similar across fields. While a few resorts hire sixteen year olds as apprentice instructors, many resorts require applicants to be at least eighteen years old. A high school diploma or an equivalent are also common requirements. Employees must also be able to work in cold temperatures for long periods of time, even if they primarily work indoors. Similarly, employees must be able to do physical activity for long periods of time; these activities may include heavy lifting, standing, and walking. Lastly, seasonal jobs require the employees to be flexible with their schedules; they must be able to work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Seasonal retail jobs at ski resorts often require previous sales experience. Skills such as entering retail data in computer systems and answering telephones are also required. Good guest services and communication skills are desirable, and previous experience in working at a snow sports industry is also desirable.
The qualities that are important for ski and snowboard instructors are teaching ability, attitude, initiative, skiing/riding ability, technical knowledge, appearance, PSIA or AASI certification, and professionalism. As ski and snowboard instructors teach children and adults, instructors must demonstrate a willingness to teach and have good communication skills.
Becoming certified highly increases one’s chances of being hired as a ski or snowboard instructor. The Professional Ski Instructors of America – American Association of Snowboard Instructors is an association that promotes skiing and snowboarding. After joining PSIA – AASI, registered members can then pass certain exams to become certified as instructors in skiing or snowboarding. There are three levels of certification in either skiing or snowboarding.