So you want to work in a ski resort? You’re dreaming of parties and 100+ days on the snow, right? Good for you. However, not all snow resort jobs are the same. Snowriders WA takes a closer look.
Job #6. Ticket Sales Attendant
These days, ticket sales positions are being replaced with on-line booking systems and/or vending machines, especially in resorts with electronic ski passes. But should you be worried? We think not. We ranked ticket office sales last in our top 6 for good reason. Ticket sales are generally strongest in the mornings, meaning you’ll need to start early. Really early. This will seriously curtail your night-time social life and limit opportunities for first tracks on powder days. But, if you like working in doors, don’t care about powder days(!) and like early starts, then ticket sales might be for you. It also helps to be good looking in this position, which immediately rules out about 70% of us.
Job #5. Lift Attendant
Lift attendants seem to have it all. They ski/ snowboard to work, have nights off and spend their days in the snow helping pretty girls on and off the chairlift. A charmed life? Maybe. In reality lift attendants get very few days off (maybe one a week), work in all manner of conditions (not just sunshine) and spend most a lot of their time freezing their butts off checking ski passes and de-icing chairlifts. In Australia, lift attendants are often the lowest in the pecking order, and may find themselves living in dormitory style accommodation with ten smelly, and very loud extroverts. Sure, you might get the girls, but how romantic is a room full of snoring men and a single bed? We ranked lift attendant No. 5.
Job #4. Ski/Snowboard Instructor
Ahh, ski instructing, the blue ribbon job! Lets face it, you’re hot and even hotter on a pair of skis. And, you look so damn good in that red uniform. Don’t believe all the hype. While ski instruction can certainly be a very rewarding and sometimes lucrative career, it’s a bit like breaking into the music industry – it’s low paid and difficult at first, and few ever make it to the top. Until they get more work, and start earning tips through a network of private clients, early career instructors must often supplement their income with a second job. Sure, as an instructor you’ll spend a lot of time on the snow, but it wont be your own time. Endless lessons, endless drills and unfortunately, endless morons to deal with. We ranked ski instructing No. 4 – a good option, but not the blue ribbon position it’s often cracked up to be.
Job #3. Bar Staff
Bar staff have a pretty good gig. They generally work nights and have their days pretty much free. That leaves plenty of time for skiing and snowboarding and first tracks are no problem as long as you can drag yourself out of bed after a late night working. There is also the obvious benefits of working behind the bar: staff drinks, that enigmatic ‘cool factor’ and endless opportunities with the ladies (or men, whatever takes your fancy). There are not many cons to bar work. Get it if you can. We ranked bar work No. 3.
Job #2. Ski Patrol
Ski patrol is like the CIA of the ski instructing. Highly respected, but less overt. Visible, but kind of mysterious. And always exciting. Ski patrollers get first tracks in the morning and plenty of time on the snow. They are first on the hill and last off it. As good as they are, ski patrol gigs are impossible to come by as a newbie. You’ll need to be highly proficient in all conditions (not just a show-pony in a red uniform ;-)), cool under pressure and good with people. You’ll probably also have to undergo specialist first aid training and be available for arduous search and rescue missions, often through the night. We ranked Ski Patrolling No. 2. We would have ranked it No. 1 if it wasn’t for the sometimes appalling weather conditions, and the need to occasionally deal with traumatic situations (i.e. dead people).
Job #1. Dish washing
So finally we come to our No. 1 snow resort job. Dish washing or ‘Dish Pigging’ as its known in Australia, is not glamorous. We get that. It is however the best job on the mountain in terms of working hours and the freedom it affords those lucky enough to get this work. Dish pigs generally work between the hours of 5 and 11 pm, leaving plenty of time for late night partying and plenty of time for skiing and boarding. You’ll also get first tracks if you’re disciplined enough to get up early. Dish pigging positions are rarely advertised which one of the reasons they are so hard to find. They are often just one of the jobs going in larger hotels. You’ll need to position yourself well, let the kitchen staff know you are interested in working in a kitchen and prepared to start at the bottom. We ranked dish washing No.1 mainly for the opportunity to ski and party, qualities reserved only for the finest snow resort jobs.