The ski resorts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States offer the chance to keep earning all year. Work can be arranged in advance through a tour operator or casual work picked up in a resort.
The winter tourist season. In Europe, jobs in ski resorts are available from October to March with the peak time at and around Christmas. The season in the southern hemisphere is June to October.
The French, Austrian, Swiss, Italian and German Alps, Spain, Andorra, parts of eastern Europe and Scotland. Outside of Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have well developed skiing industries.
The best skiers pick up the best jobs as ski guides. The rest of us will have to take a job that allows skiing after hours rather than during work time. All work at the resort will involve, either directly or indirectly, looking after paying tourists. See Ski Work Rundown for more details of the type of employment usually available.
Most employers, either tour operators or local businesses, will be looking for people friendly staff that will stick the entire season. A foreign language, either French, German or Italian, increases the options available but isn't essential for all jobs. Patience, resourcefulness and maturity are other traits worth cultivating.
It's not high, but accommodation and board is included for employees of tour operators. As are lift passes and ski equipment hire. Others will have to pay the high accommodation and living expenses of resort life.
Either head for a resort and knock on doors of bars, hotels, ski hire shops etc or apply in advance to resorts or tour operators. Europeans and Aussies will meet with restrictive work regulations in North America (ie they're not allowed to) and vice versa for Americans in Europe. Though it is always possible to find a job on the spot without the necessary papers, most work in a ski resort is in the public eye and the indiscreet can quickly find themselves heading home with a black marked passport.
Don't give up if you don't find work straight away. Though competition is heavy for ski jobs, people drop out before and during the season for many and varied reasons and will need replacing.
Vacation Work's Working in Ski Resorts: Europe & North America provides details of finding work in advance with the major British ski tour operators, and with school ski party organisers and other organisations. Also included is advice on picking up work on the spot, with information on each of Europe and North America's ski resorts.
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Image courtesy of Andrew Moir