Living and working a season in a ski resort is many people's idea of the dream job, and many probably think of it as an unobtainable dream. Working here at best ski jobs I have come to realise that this is far from true. I speak to ski companies every day who are looking for people to come and work a season in their ski resorts. Seasonal work can be both challenging and fun. It may not be the twenty four hour party that some people expect, but along with the hard work come the benefits of après ski and the most amazing scenery. Imagine waking up most mornings to falling snow and picture postcard views.
So what is resort work really like? First thing you'll probably notice is that you aren't as fit as you thought you were. You see the problem with ski resorts is that they aren't very often built on level ground. So you are either walking uphill, or you are about to walk uphill. Whether your new job involves teaching people how to ski, setting people up with all the gear at an outfitters, looking after their children while they are on the slopes, working in local bars or managing hotels and chalets, you will probably be working long hours. But if you aren't afraid of some hard work then spending a season in a ski resort can be very rewarding.
Most people wonder what it is like to know you are only going to be in the place for a relatively short amount of time. A season may last four or five months, depending upon that year's weather and the resort location, but once you arrive, you won't spend much time thinking about your going home date. Arrival is usually quite a busy time - you will have lots of new things to get used to, familiarisation with the resort, the company, and your accommodation and daily routine. You may also have to set up a local bank account in order to receive your pay cheque. In Canada for example, a bank account and a tax reference number will be one of your first priorities upon arrival.
First week and hours of work
Assuming you are traveling to resort just before the season begins, your first week or so will be your familiarisation week; during this time you will be shown the ropes and given quite a lot of instruction from your employer. If you are traveling mid season then you may be in at the deep end at bit more. Our advice would be to apply early and try to get your job arranged in time for the start of the season. It is still very possible to find work mid way through, but you won't have forged those same friendships that you do when you all arrive together, before all the tourists.
Your hours of work on a day to day basis will vary by resort, employer and of course job type. If you are teaching people to ski, you are less likely to be needed long after nightfall, whereas if you are a chalet chef or host, your daytimes will be less busy and your early mornings and late evenings more so. Our advice would be to enjoy the day to day work, and make the most of your time off. Being on your feet all day may mean your downtime is best spent at a local spa, or doing some light shopping, but you may later regret missing the chance to explore the local area, to get a better feel for the resort's surroundings.
If you want to work in a ski resort because you like to be on the powder, choosing a job as a ski or snowboard instructor is the obvious move. But where previous experience may be enough to secure some bar work, as an instructor, you will need to have a professional qualification. This is the most popular and oversubscribed type of seasonal resort work on our website. We do get plenty of instructor roles, but the competition is fierce, so make sure your CV is polished. We also list a number of training courses which will enable you to bruch up your skills and put you in a better position to secure that instructor job. Follow the link to find out more about how you can work a season as an instructor.
Have you seen the film "chalet girl"? Well it's nothing like that. As a member of the chalet team you will be responsible for looking after a new set of clients each week. Your role may be as a host, cleaner, or cook. Or if you are working at a very small chalet, you may be involved in all three. Don't imagine that because the clients are out on the slopes all day that you will be able to put your feet up. The reality of chalet work is long hours, but there can be some great perks too. Some companies prefer to receive applications from couples, who will work together to run every aspect of the chalet. This is a great opportunity if you are no longer foot loose, but make sure you are good at working together first. Discover more about working in a chalet
Have you seen the film Super Size Me? Only joking. Tour operators often find it more difficult to fill qualified chef positions than some of their other seasonal positions. As a chef or waiting staff, your job will be to make sure your gests, be they in your chalet or hotel, or just visiting your restaurant, are well fed and refulled. Certainly if you are working in a small chalet, you will have some control over menus and food buying, which in itself is great experience. While you should be able to find work if you have good experience, you may find that if you do a chalet cookery course before you apply, the cookery school will have links with one or more operators and you may get a job referral. You can find more information and all our current 2013/14 catering staff vacancies here.
Employer: Come Ski
Come-Ski operate luxury chalets in the fantastic 3 Valleys region of France. Based in the resort of La Tania, you will be working as a Chalet Host in a small team, ensuring your guests receive the highest level of service. Duties will include welcoming guests, cleaning bedrooms and communal areas, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and general chalet maintenance including snow clearing etc. We offer a fantastic package including a competitive salary, accommodation, travel, ski pass/ hire and insurance, as well as the opportunity to spend the season working in one of the best ski resorts in the French Alps
SkiBound are currently looking for a Commis Chef with a passion for good food, to join them in their ClubHotels situated in various resorts throughout the French Alps. As a commis chef your role will be to assist the head chef in the preparation and service of food, maintaining high levels of hygiene, safety and cleanliness in the kitchen. If you have an NVQ in Catering or experience working in a kitchen we can reward you with a fantastic benefits package including competitive wages, ski pass and hire, travel, accommodation and 1 1/2 days off per week!
Employer: Flying Fish
Flying Fish have a fantastic Ski Instructor Course in Canada with a guaranteed job once you qualify. Based in the amazing resort of Whistler Blackcomb, the course lasts for 4 weeks during which time you'll gain your CSIA Level 1 Ski certification. After this you will be offered a guaranteed job as a ski instructor with Intrawest who run Whistler Blackcomb resort, and you'll spend the rest of the season teaching the sport you love. The course starts in November and once qualified you'll have the opportunity to work throughout the season until April. If you've ever dreamt of becoming a ski instructor or spending the season doing nothing but skiing, this is your opportunity to make it become a reality