So you want to work in a ski resort? There isn’t really much else that you can compare ski resort jobs to. It can be hard work sometimes, but as anyone who’s tried it will testify – it’s totally worth it. You don’t even need to have skied before to do it, as working a season on the slopes is the perfect opportunity to learn. I thought I’d whiz through the kinds of ski resort jobs on offer and how you can apply for them.
There are Two Kinds of Ski Resort
Before jumping in at the deep end, you’ll need to pick a resort. This is probably the most important part of the process. And that’s because of the distinction between large and small resorts. It all depends on what kind of atmosphere you’re looking to work in.
Jobs at large ski resorts:
- + Better and more varied skiing opportunities.
- + More bars, clubs and restaurants to try out.
- - Higher costs of living.
- - Less friendly due to the huge number of workers.
Jobs at small ski resorts:
- + Close-knit and involving.
- + Much cheaper.
- - Small ski areas.
- - Fewer amenities and facilities.
So ski resorts jobs in places such as Les Gets and Selva won’t always set alight during the après-ski and you might get bored after a while of visiting the same old places. Though there is always the opportunity of visiting a closer resort for more scope. Going back to Les Gets, for example, Morzine isn’t too far to go for a bit more variety.
The larger ski resorts such as Verbier and St Anton obviously have much more to offer in terms of both amenities and skiing, but since there are so many members of staff, they can lose the friendly feeling and cliques begin to develop. Ultimately, it can simply come down to luck of who you end up being around. But by being a little bit selective, you can increase your chances of settling in.
Who Can Work in a Ski Resort?
The skill sets required for ski resort jobs can vary from just needing a bit of common sense, to having an internationally recognised qualification. This opens the field to virtually anyone. You’ll find a whole range of people, although the most popular form of worker seems to be those on gap years or taking a break from study.
I think when you’re in the middle of Uni, it’s a really good opportunity to get something decent and exciting onto your CV. That way, when you finish studying, you’ve not only got a qualification but you’ve also got that extra bit of experience which shows you can get out into the world and try something new.
It’s not just students though and there are full-time professions out there. Working as an instructor for example is one of the most popular ski resort jobs, but you’ll need to work hard to get there and the relevant qualifications are needed. There’s also opportunities for chefs, child-minding and management which all require a little bit more than a willingness to learn.
Ultimately, anybody can (and does) work in ski resorts, but the choice available can depend on your level of education.
Types of Ski Resort Jobs
Whichever type of ski work you decide to go for, you’ll have to work hard, but some are less demanding than others. I’ve picked a few of the ski resort jobs that stand out below, but you’ll find there are plenty of other different opportunities once you go looking.
A useful tip is to do a bit of research around a role in a resort you fancy and see if you can find any forums or sites with other people’s experiences there. That way you can find out how much skiing you’ll get a chance to fit in and what kind of atmosphere is likely. Since every resort is different, it’s definitely worth seeing if others have had positive or negative experiences.
- • Chalet Hosts – This is pretty much exactly what you’d expect. You host the chalet for the staying guests. This means you’ll be making breakfast, three course meals and general up-keeping around the chalet. Qualifications are sometimes need needed to apply, but often resorts provide you with cookery classes out of season, if you can’t cook. Opportunities to go skiing will come during the late mornings and early afternoons.
- • Resort Reps – To do repping you need a bit of experience as you’ll not only need knowledge of the resort to refer onto guests, you’ll also need to be a reasonable skier and be conversational in at least one foreign language. This is because sometimes you’ll find yourself escorting guests around the mountain. However, at least you get a decent amount of opportunities to squeeze in a bit of skiing.
- • Instructors – It’s tough to get into instructing, but due to the amount of skiing you get to do, it’s one of the ski resort jobs that just about everybody wishes they were doing. You’ll need recognised qualifications to apply.
- • Nannies – Joining one of the many available child-minding companies on the slopes will require appropriate qualifications and skills. There are crèches and kids’ areas with all ages. You may be required in both the day and night to mind children, but will find gaps to hit the slopes.
- • Maintenance – From plumbing to car repairs, there are all sorts of jobs that need attention on resorts. Generally handymen have to be able to drive, as response time are important. Your schedule can change day by day, you’ll probably find yourself having lots of time to ski and then suddenly being really busy.
- • Chefs – Know your fondue from your raclette? This could be the role for you. There’s obviously more to it than, though. You’ll need to be able to cook for large numbers, cope under the pressure of a frenzied kitchen and plan/budget a shopping list every week. Generally you get a day off each week, where you can ski to heart’s content.
- • Hotel Staff – Hotels need all kinds of staff, the most common being waiting on in the restaurants. Though, the chances are you’ll be helping with resort transfers, shopping and cleaning amongst other things. It’s a varied role without need for qualifications, but experience in hotels or knowledge of a foreign language can always give you a leg up.
- • Plongeurs – How far are you willing to go in order to spend a season skiing? Pot washing isn’t that bad. Alright, it’s not got the variety of hosting or repping, but it still gets you out there.
- • Bar Staff – There are always a decent number of bars that need assistance, especially in the larger resorts. You’ll need to be a keen socialite and conversational level of a foreign language is definitely a bonus. Also knowledge of the odd cocktail wouldn’t go amiss, the people demand Caipirinhas.
How to Search for Ski Resort Jobs
After deciding one or two roles you think you’d be suitable for, it’s time to start hunting. If you’ve got a particular resort you’d like to visit, try using search engines to narrow your options down. Here are a few decent places that list ski resort jobs to get you started.
Remember that you’ll still need a CV on-hand, as often you’ll have to email one over or copy bits from it for application forms. Any relevant experience helps, so make sure you don’t leave anything out!