Ski Season Jobs
Let us help you find the best ski job in the best winter locations
Are you looking for something more from life? There is something about the shorter days, the colder nights and the endless rain that makes winter more than depressing – unless you’re lucky enough to be living somewhere like the Alps, the Rockies or Aspen. What’s stopping you from joining them?
Whether you’re hoping to find something close to home, or travel as far as you possibly can – working ski season jobs abroad can be your ticket to experiencing the best winter of your life.
Every year thousands of young people travel from every corner of the globe to work ski season jobs in the world’s best ski resorts. Want to travel but haven’t got the cash (or trust fund) to take a gap year? Ski season jobs can help you combine your passion for travel, whilst having a stable income, somewhere to live and meeting people you will never forget.
Recreate your childhood “snow day” memories and turn the miserable winter months into your favorite time of year with jobs in a ski resort.
As well as improving on your work experience, a season abroad in a ski resort can be a life-changing experience. Open your world to new cultures, different foods, foreign languages and traditions you’ll take home for your own friends and family – there is no experience quite like it, and you’ll make memories that last a lifetime.
Latest Ski Season Jobs
Types of Ski Season Jobs
It would be wrong to claim winter jobs in a ski resort are all fun and games – in fact, it’s a lot of hard work, but if you’re looking for a healthy work-life balance, it can be a great place to start. Jobs in a ski resort are perfect for someone with a work-hard and play-hard attitude, and a sprinkle of “adrenalin seeker” doesn’t go amiss.
If you’re thinking of applying for ski jobs next winter, the good news is you don’t need to know how to ski! Whilst there are plenty of ski instructor jobs, ski jobs also include; chalet hosts, transfer drivers, nannies, bar staff, reps and more! Let your skills take you somewhere new and see where in the world ski season jobs can take you.
To work as a Ski Instructor, as well as being a great skier and having good people skills, applicants need to be qualified in order to find work in the USA, Canada and most of Europe. Ski instructors have one of the most responsible ski season jobs, teaching children and adults how to ski, or helping to improve the skills of an experienced skier. Expect to spend 6 days a week on the slopes, and have the late afternoons and evenings to enjoy your downtime.
Like a Ski Instructor, to work in the USA, Canada and most of Europe you will need to be qualified in order to pursue ski season jobs as a Snowboard Instructor. Hours will likely begin between 9 and 10 in the morning with a 4-5pm finish, depending on the sunset hour and how many students you have booked in each day. One of the biggest perks of being a Snowboard Instructor is being able to hit the slopes all day, every day – one of the better jobs in a ski resort.
If hitting the slopes day in and day out isn’t your idea of a perfect winter, a Chalet Host is the perfect way to work hard, and play hard – with the potential of uncapped income through tips. If you have excellent customer service skills, a knack for hosting and excellent eye for detail – Chalet Hosting could be the best ski season jobs for you . When you’re not hosting, enjoy the local town (and local bars) and hit the slopes at a leisurely pace – without the pressure of teaching!
Ski Transfer Driver
Are you a confident driver? Can you handle the pressure of driving a vehicle in the ice and snow with passengers you’ve never met before? Whether it’s bringing guests to the resort from the local airport, chauffeuring them between slopes and ski lifts or taking them into town for a meal during their holiday – a Ski Transfer Driver’s job is to make sure they arrive safely and happily. These ski jobs will likely mean driving luxury cars, as well as mini-buses and plenty of time off between transfers to make the most of your downtime.
Do you love cooking? Does your cooking make people happy? If you want to combine your love of food with the opportunity to travel, a Chalet Chef is the winter job for you. Unlike restaurants, you will be cooking in what is a guest’s “home” for the period of their stay – cooking to their tastes, at the hours that suit them and often without a sous chef. Working hours as a chef can be unpredictable – like anywhere, but if you can handle the heat in the kitchen, even when the guests are watching – there’s no job quite like it. Apart from adding to your resume, you will be cooking in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Ski resorts are frequented by families in the winter time, but slopes aren’t always the ideal spot to take young kids for the day – meaning resort nannies are essential ski season jobs. With more responsibility than most ski jobs, being a winter resort nanny is a lifestyle. You will be responsible for the children in your care, for keeping them clean, fed, protected from the cold and sun and, of course, entertained. Sometimes nannying jobs abroad will involve taking children to skiing classes, hitting the slopes or eating out, but the majority of time care will take place in chalets, rooms and suites. If you want to try ski jobs that are different every day – a resort nanny could be it!
Do you have a passion for the mountains and a way with people? If you answered “yes” a ski rep job could be for you. As a ski rep, you’re the first port of call between the resort and paying guests – helping to create the perfect stay for each and every customer. If you’re chatty, sociable and can make things happen, ski rep jobs could be your ticket to a season in the snow. A Ski Rep is a great job for those of you who are highly organised and on the ball – but who make the most of your nights off. Ski Reps are one of the most most applied for jobs in a ski resort, if you’re thinking of applying for the next season – don’t leave it too late.
Where can you Work for a Ski Season?
The real question is where do you want to go? Both the northern and southern hemisphere are home to hundreds of jobs in ski resorts looking for staff year on year – where you go depends on where you want to see most and what time of year you want to travel.
For some seasonal workers being close to home is part of the perfect package, while others take their opportunity to go as far as possible – in terms of distance and culture.
There are two major winter seasons every year – once in the Northern Hemisphere and once in the Southern. From October to April, enjoy the winter season in the north, or head south from June to October to take advantage of a “second winter”. Where you go is up to you!
France is home to a section of the Alps – the most important skiing mountain range in Europe. Offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the world, many of the French resorts are intertwined to offer an uninterrupted skiing experience. The French Alps are famous for their impressive slopes and even better hospitality and are home to some of the most iconic ski slopes in the world – are you up for the challenge? Ski jobs in France will have you never wanting to go home.
Like France, Austria is home to a section of the Alps. Attracting both tourists and staff from all around the world, Austria offers skiing for a range of abilities and some of the slopes can be enjoyed year round. The SPC camp in the area is a popular summer location for professional snowboarders to practice – making year-round work possible for a lucky few. Austria’s resorts are a lot smaller than in neighboring France – but as the center of the Alps, the resorts are home to some of the most challenging courses in Europe. If you want ski season jobs in the heart of the action, think about applying in Austria.
New to skiing or snowboarding? The Italian Alps are much better suited to beginners than experts on the slopes. If you’re looking for the party side of a winter holiday, but you’re worried about limited slope experience, Italy is the best place for you. There are fewer resorts in Italy than other areas of the Alps, but the cold snap brings the snow at the same time every year – making it much easier to plan ahead for a winter season. First time abroad? Italy is a great place to ease yourself in with your first (of many) ski season jobs.
The Swiss Alps – think chocolate box chalets, snow capped mountains and some of the best chocolate in the world. If you want to use your winter season to save some cash, The Swiss Alps could be the best place, as the most expensive part of the Alps, wages are higher, and tips are too – if you score a job with food and accommodation included. Resorts offer the same great skiing and snowboarding experiences as the rest of the Alps with some of the most challenging courses in Europe and a great place to apply for jobs in a ski resort.
Canada is almost as big as Europe and offers a range of different resorts across the country. From November till April most slopes are open – whether you choose a resort in the British Columbia offering heliskiing, or you stick to the tamer resorts such as the Canadian Olympic Village. If you’re under the age of 30 obtaining a visa for Canada is relatively easy – depending where you’re from – but after 30 finding permission to work a season abroad can be a lot more difficult.
There are few places further than New Zealand wherever you’re from, so if you’re looking for a real adventure, moving to the other side of the world will probably fit the bill. New Zealand is also known as the “land of mountains and adventure” and you only need to spend a day there to know why. If you want a winter season that starts in the “summer” and ends in the “winter” New Zealand is a great place to spend the “off season” with the best skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Hemisphere.
Yes – you have read that right! Australia, despite our instant thoughts of beaches, deserts and endless sunshine, is also home to ski slopes. From June to September New South Wales and Victoria are both home to snow-capped mountain ranges for at least three months. Snow in Australia isn’t the best in the world, and snowfall can be unpredictable – but ski passes can be a lot cheaper, attracting a bigger crowd year on year. Like with Canada, if you’re under 30 and from participating countries, a working holiday visa is an easy and cheap way to enter the country for temporary work.
If you’re looking for something completely different – culture, food, language and scenery – why not choose Japan. From December to April (with some resorts staying open much longer) Japan has some of the best powder in the world. Working holiday visas make working in the country easy for those under 30, and the work abroad experience will be life changing. If you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime, Japan is waiting.
What’s it like to work a ski season?
Working a ski season abroad is a great way to experience a new lifestyle, way of living and meet new people. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games – in fact, a ski season job can be extremely challenging, but if you are up for the challenge it can be one of the most rewarding jobs you ever work.
Going Out – Night Life
One of the biggest attractions to working a ski season (outside the slopes of course!) are the great nights out. When you work a season abroad you automatically become part of a community who live together, work together and play together. Resorts are home to plenty of bars for the tourists, and any good resort will also be home to a bar or two where the workers can let their hair down with drink deals and offers for staff.
Of course, hitting the bar and teaching on the slopes the next morning isn’t recommended, but slow days and weekends at the beginning and end of the season can be the perfect excuse for a great night out.
Ski resort accommodation for staff is often included – but don’t expect the beautiful chalets you’ll see in the resort brochures. Ski season job accommodation is basic and often shared – but for most people it only makes the experience better. Expect a bed, somewhere to store your things and shared bathroom facilities.
Whilst your accommodation might be basic, most resort jobs will provide ski/snowboard hire, all meals, insurance and time to enjoy onsite facilities for free or a fraction of the price – benefits will differ between jobs and resorts, so be sure to research before you accept a job offer.
If you are applying for a ski season abroad because you’re looking for an easy way to make a quick buck, you’re looking in the wrong place. Ski season jobs often don’t pay well, as accommodation, ski passes, equipment and meals are often included – but the wealth of both life and work experience that you will gain is priceless.
If you’re thinking about your first ski season abroad, salaries vary but as a guide Ski Instructor’s should expect between $12 and $18 per hour and ski resort nannies should start on $12 per hour. Find out more about ski season salaries here.
A typical workday as a Ski Instructor
Obviously, every role within a ski resort will be different – but that said the majority of workers schedules are the same or similar, so this can be used as a guide.
- 6.30: Wake up, take a shower and eat breakfast.
- 8.00: Head towards the slopes.
- 8.30: Attend the team briefing – most good snow schools will host staff meetings every morning to discuss the weather, snow reports and any other new resort information or issues.
- 10.00: Start teaching classes.
- 13.00: Stop for lunch.
- 13.30: Resume classes.
- 16.00: Free time – most ski instructors will stop classes with enough time to enjoy an hour or two on the slopes themselves.
- 17.30: Shower back at accommodation – many instructors will take this time to nap too.
- 18.30: Dinner with other staff – sometimes at the accommodation, other times at restaurants in town.
- 20.00: Head to the local bar for a couple of drinks.
- 23.00: Back to accommodation for a good night’s sleep.
FAQs about working a ski season
Firstly, it depends on whether you’re applying in the northern or southern hemisphere – but as a general rule, most positions are filled at least two months before the start of the season.
In the northern hemisphere, job openings start to appear in April and May. If you have left it until October without applying, you might have left it too late to apply at all. For the southern hemisphere make sure you apply before June, and ideally by March or April.
In the northern hemisphere, the majority of ski season jobs start in November, with some starting earlier in October or later in December.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the ski season runs from June to October – again with some places starting as early as May or as late as July.
Every ski resort has its own charm and reason to visit – the resort you choose depends on you and the experience you want from your ski season abroad.
If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, choosing a location with the best slopes should be top of your list – if you’re thinking of a season abroad to enjoy a better social life and some great nights out, you might be better off choosing a larger resort near a city.
There are very few ski locations that are open all year round – but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For example, Hintertux in Austria is open 365 days a year, and they hire staff both for seasons and longer contracts.
If you’re hoping to work in ski resorts all year round, most people take advantage of the different snow seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres by spending two seasons in different places.