Types of Ski Jobs?
Ski Resort Operations and Support Jobs
What keeps most ski resorts running smoothly is the small army of those who work as bartenders, waitresses, housekeepers, lift ticket sales people, and other support staff. There are typically a ton of opportunities for these jobs and these are often the best positions to allow you the flexibility to work by night and ski by day. Though not actually working on the slopes, these employees are as much a part of the resorts as instructors and ski patrol members.
Another large group of resort support and operations workers spend their shifts outside on the slopes. These include grooming machinery operators, lift and snowmaker operators, janitors, parking staff, and base area employees who perform general outdoor maintenance. These people often work out of the public eye and may work erratic hours. Skiing ability is usually not required, but experience operating machinery sometimes is.
Retail Ski Salesperson and Ski Technician
Most ski resorts hire people to work in ski shops selling and renting ski clothing and equipment. These jobs are generally comparable to most other retail sales positions, although familiarity with ski merchandise is all but required. Another type of ski shop worker, ski technicians, are responsible for making sure skis, boots, and bindings for rent or sale are fine-tuned to fit each individual skier. Though testing and certification is often required, many serious skiers achieve certification with little trouble. Customer service is an integral part of both these jobs.
Ski Manufacturer Representative
Ski manufacturer representatives promote a specific company's products to retail shops throughout the country. There is often extensive travel involved and the responsibility of setting one's own schedule. These positions could be compared to that of a traveling salesperson.
Ski and Snowboard Instructor
Being a ski or snowboard instructor is perhaps what first comes to mind for many people when they consider working in the ski industry. The image of leading a group of students through fresh powder is what lures many experienced downhillers to the resorts.
Similar to being an instructor is being a ski coach. These individuals spend years working with young hopefuls, often becoming as much a surrogate parent as a trainer. This field is also highly regulated.
Members of ski patrol units at ski areas throughout the country are responsible for the very lives of skiers in trouble. These jobs - often on a volunteer basis - require extensive training, and those hired must be prepared to work in tense situations, often battling extreme terrain or weather.
Other Ski-related Jobs
Other opportunities related to the ski industry include ski journalists and tour guides. Though not typically employed by the resorts themselves, these positions allow professionals in other industries to cross over into their favorite winter hobby.