Zamboni Driver Jobs
Do you ice skate or play hockey? Do you enjoy sports that take place on ice? If you do, you’ll appreciate a smooth sheet of freshly resurfaced ice. You have probably seen the big ice resurfacers cruising around the rink at the local ice arena. The people driving those giant machines are called ice resurfacing drivers.
Ice resurfacing drivers use a large ice resurfacing machine, like a Zamboni or an Olympia, to drive around an ice rink. They are often called Zamboni drivers. The driver operates the machine that cuts and shaves the ice with a sharp blade. Then he pours water on the ice to create a perfect sheet of ice that is smooth, slick and safe. A good ice resurfacer is judged on the quality of ice that he creates.
Many people have never heard of an ice resurfacing machine. It looks like a big truck that drives around the ice. A common term for these big machines is a Zamboni, but Zamboni is only a brand name like Kodak or Kleenex.
Driving an ice resurfacer is a fun job where you press the gas and off you go. An ice resurfacer operates much like a car. It has a steering wheel, gas pedal, and brakes. It also has a giant holding tank of water and a sharp blade called the conditioner. It helps repair the ice by fixing rough and melted patches. Different types of skaters like hockey players, speed skaters, or figure skaters want different types of ice.
It can be difficult to drive an ice resurfacer. It is a huge machine driving on slippery ice. Every run means lots of right turns. Turning an ice resurfacer is the hardest part of the job because you have to steer clear of the boards. But don’t worry a license isn’t necessary to drive an ice resurfacer.
Ice resurfacers go on the ice regularly and it takes about 6 to 10 minutes to condition the ice. This means that ice resurfacer drivers often have irregular, long hours. It is a good idea to also get involved working other ice rink jobs or become involved in ice rink operations.
There are also job opportunities for mechanics because the machine must be maintained. It is a good idea to learn and understand how the machine works and how to do routine machine maintenance, refill holding tanks, sharpen blade, and refill or charge the natural gas, propane, or electric power.
The best place to get started as a driver is by working at the local ice rink. Try to find a job working in any capacity at the ice rink and then express interest in driving the ice resurfacer.
Another route to get involved is by taking a Servicing The American Rinks (STAR) Ice Technician certification course or the Safe Ice Resurfacer Operation course to learn about ice, ice arenas, and ice rink machinery.
As you gain experience driving, look for jobs at bigger ice arenas. The best jobs are working for NHL teams or the Olympics. During these events, you get to watch games for free and when you are working you’ll have thousands of eyes watching you and the magic machine driving around the ice. For many fans it is a mesmerizing part of the ice arena.
The average ice resurfacer driver makes $13 per hour or about $31,000 per year. Pay depends on what size arena you work at and the quality of ice you generate.
If you love ice and don’t mind getting cold at work you should consider a job as an ice resurfacer. It’s cool to work with big machines and frozen water.
Quick Facts About Driving Zambonis
Job Title: Ice Resurfacing Driver or Zamboni Driver
Office: Ice Rink
Description: Drive an ice resurfacer to clean and smooth ice
Certifications/Education: No formal education required
Necessary Skills: Knowledge of mechanics and ice
Potential Employers: Ice arenas
Pay: $13 per hour or $31,000 per year