Picture this for a moment:
You wake up in your cozy cabin, dazed from last night's hot tub party with sexy Norwegian snow bunnies (or Swedish ski hunk, Sven). You grab a fresh hot chocolate as you rush out the door to spend the rest of your day carving down the slopes at a beautiful ski resort. Oh, and you get paid to do it, all winter long...Yes, this can be you!
Ski Resorts are hiring year round for full-time and seasonal employees. Benefits include free season lift passes, free rentals, even paid on-site accommodations and they are hiring now!
If you're an experienced ski bum, you can get paid to stay strapped into your gear all day as a ski or snowboard instructor, ski coach or ski patrol member. Not a snowsports expert? You can still work at a resort. There are plenty of jobs available for anybody in food service, administration and hospitality (and you still get access to all resort amenities).
Step 1: Picking A Ski Resort
Some of the best ski resorts in the world can be found throughout North America, Canada and Europe. Start by prioritizing your points of interests, affordability and flexibility...Do you seek powdery double black diamonds vs. scenery and nightlife? How about working internationally? What paperwork would that require and is it worth the exotic babes and bragging rights?
Use this great list of top rated resorts by INTEREST or REGION to figure out where to go and some of the requirements to work there: http://away.com/
If you're looking for the utmost craziest slopes on the planet, we suggest checking out Blackcomb Whistler!
Step 2: Jobs - What, When, Where & How to Apply
There are all sorts of jobs available that will earn you free ski resort benefits and the sooner you apply (like now!) the better your chances are of landing the gig you want. If you have ski or snowboarding experience, there are a number of ways to stay on the slopes all day (consider your skill level when choosing a ski resort and certification requirements: See step 3). You can find other cool jobs like bartending, lift operating, working at the ski shop or as operations/support staff . You can also look for work outside the resort in nearby restaurants, bars, hotels and rental shops.
Ski Resorts Seeking Inquiries right NOW for the Winter 09-10 Season...
Find a job in Aspen http://www.aspensnowmass.com/companyinfo/employment/
Current Ski Resort Job Postings: http://www.jobmonkeyjobs.com/
International Ski Resort Jobs: http://www.natives.co.uk/
Comprehensive International Ski Jobs Contact List: http://www.skijobs411.com/ski-jobs-abroad.html
Step 3: Certification for Ski/Snowboard Instructors & Patrol
You must be a good skier/snowboarder to qualify as you will be given a physical test anywhere you apply. Practice skiing backwards as its great for class instruction and will impress the hiring staff. Although being a certified ski instructor is NOT necessary (finagling skills are a must if you wish to apply without certification), having a certificate from a recognized certification program will get you in your resort of choice quicker. Certificates from any of the below programs are accepted at most resorts WORLDWIDE:
PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America): the basic program takes about four to six weeks, costs vary based on the type of membership/instructor level you choose to pursue and instruction areas are broken down into 9 divisions across the United States. Pick your division and check out some of their course guidebooks for more information You can join the ISIA (International Ski Instructor Alliance) upon completion and attend their annual Interski event in various places around the world (i.e. Japan, Austria, France).
Similarly, BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) and CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance) as well as APSI (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors) offer similar programs based in their respective countries. BASI is rumored to be the most internationally accepted certification as their students are covered through the EU. Consider the living costs in London (which are high) when applying with them.
All programs offer snowboarding instructor certification programs that are often shorter in duration with the main requirement being your ability to snowboard well.
The certification requirements for a Ski Patrol officer are more rigorous as they are responsible for the safety of the slopes. Thus, a prospective ski patroler has to have extensive knowledge of snow conditions, be able to diffuse a potential avalanche (with explosives nonetheless) and have first aid training. Start your research at http://www.skipatrol.org/ .
For other jobs, get your resume together and send it off to the positions listed in the above section with a witty cover letter.
Step 4: Housing
Many ski resorts provide cheap/discounted accommodations on-site where you will live in snug cabin quarters with co-workers, presumably with access to many a hot tub. Otherwise, they should be able to provide you with information regarding affordable housing for employees. If you decide to find a job outside the resort, your employer should be able to help you find housing based on your budget and needs.
Step 5: Save Up Some (not much) Money
As glamorous as it sounds, working at a ski resort is hard and offers little pay, but the benefits included with the position balance out the small salary. You will have the time of your life and make just enough money to keep your stomach full, your head spinning and your feet moving. Take into account your traveling expenses to and from the resort, throw aside a few bucks for after-work drinks and some wool socks.
If you know snowsports are in your near future, why not maximize your skills to your benefit by working internationally instead of paying for lift tickets at your local, dinky ski resort. Hell, you can work year round if you want: the hemisphere thing works to your advantage. When snow season closes in the U.S. it opens in New Zealand. All you need now is a few snow bunnies on-call for massages across the hemispheres.