Getting Hired for the Ski Patrol
Imagine looking forward to going to work. Would you enjoy earning a paycheck by playing in the snow, riding chairlifts, and going skiing every day? Of course there is more to ski patrolling than just that. It’s a job where you get to dig snow pits, make bombs, create avalanches, administer first aid, assess patients, help guests, and work outside. Sounds nice, right?
As a ski patroller, the ski resort is your office and the mountains are your playground. Every day is an adventure and each radio call is exciting. No two situations are the same and the ski patrol has to always be ready for the unexpected. Working on ski patrol is a fun, active seasonal job. It’s not surprising that so many people dream of being on ski patrol.
Build Your Resume
Skiing provides easy access to the wilderness and nature that we all love. Ski resorts cover huge areas of steep terrain, big runs, tight forests, and open bowls. Many people don’t realize how far from help you they are when you are deep in the mountains. Ski patrol is full of qualified, talented individuals who can access this terrain and provide first response care whenever the need arises.
Ski patrols require applicants to have very specific skills. A solid resume may include certifications in…
- First Aid – The majority of ski patrol work is first aid related. Most ski patrol calls are to help injured guests be transported to more sophisticated medical facilities for further evaluation.
- Snow Science – Snow is fun, but it can also be dangerous. To keep a ski area safe, it is important to understand snow, weather, and avalanches. Techniques such as ski cuts, snow pits, and bombing avalanche paths can really be a blast!
- Skiing – This is the bread and butter of the industry. Being able to confidently travel down any run at any time is a necessity.
If you think your resume sets you a step ahead of the competition, send it in. Be sure to apply early so you don’t miss out. Find out about ski patrol openings via ads on the company website, flyers around your local ski hill, or by word of mouth. There are typically only a few spots on a ski patrol each year. For every spot there are lots applicants.
Some ski patrols hire people from recommendations and resumes, but many set up tryouts in the late spring. This is an opportunity for eager-eyed applicants to show the veterans what they are made of. It’s a test of physical stamina, skiing ability, basic skills, customer service, and sheer dedication. The head of ski patrol has tryouts, reads resumes, and holds interviews to determine who is the best person for the job.
Often it is wise to sign up to work on the volunteer ski patrol where you can prove your dedication, desire, and love for the job. Volunteering can land you a free pass, but it can also set you up for your dream job.
Every resort has different hiring procedures. Look into job opportunities well in advance of the season. There is not much turnover because ski patrollers love their jobs, but most areas need at least a few new patrollers every season. One of the best way to get the inside scoop is to buttonhole any patroller and ask who to see and where to get an application.
Talk to the human resources director, the patrol director, or the area manager. Figure out what they want on a resume, how many spots are available, and what you need to do to give yourself the best shot. Showing a little face time in advance makes you stand out.
It is recommended by the National Ski Patrol that anyone interested in joining the ski patrol should arrange to talk with the patrol director of the local ski area.
To locate a ski patrol near you and to learn more information about ski patrolling in general, contact:
National Ski Patrol
133 South Van Gordon Street, Suite 100
Lakewood, CO 80228
Ski Patroller Pay
Many people work ski patrol for free because it is such an awesome gig. Before you sign up to be a ski patroller, realize that on average a qualified ski patroller only makes $8 to $15 per hour, plus overtime. It’s not a job where you’ll make your millions, but it is a job that will keep you healthy, active, and looking forward to life.
Maybe the best way to know if you’re destined for life as a ski patroller is to hear what the job is like from a veteran patroller. Check out the following interview…