There’s nothing quite like living and breathing cool, crisp mountain air. This is exactly why there is a flock of people out there on those mountains who head out there for a once in a lifetime break and end up staying for a lot longer than their vacation. These adrenaline-stuffed thrillseekers are called ski bums and if you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re one of them. It’s a life that is fairly envied, being on the mountains. Waking up early to fresh powder to cut through while it’s still quiet and the sky is streaked with sunrise is something that burns in your memory – but it’s also why it’s addictive. While you’re busy staring at the breath-taking scenery, your mind is whirring away because soon, the next round of lift passes are due to be bought. Your salopettes are wearing thin and it’s time to buy a new set of boots. Skiing all year around may seem like a dream come true, but the cost is a huge consideration.
Living and breathing the ski life isn’t always snowflakes and sunsets, though, because as any ski bum will know, skiing is expensive. It’s not just a luxury break for most people, it’s a lifestyle, and to maintain a year-round ski season, any skiing fanatic needs to find a way to fund their time on the slopes. While you could dream about maintaining your era as an all work and no play ski bum, life doesn’t quite work that way. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to leave the slopes. It just means that it’s time to get a ski job that relates to what you love to do. You can surround yourself with your favorite scenery, people and sport, and you still get to pay your rent, enjoy eating and keep renewing those ski passes.
There are a lot of different ways to keep your skiing season going, and there are still a good few jobs out there that will ensure you have a bed for the night with your passion for skiing on show. Below, you’ll find some of the best ski jobs for ski bums out there who need a hand to keep their dream alive.
Rope Access Worker
Working alongside climbers and mountaineers, rope access work is making waves and becoming more and more popular. It’s an easy industry to get into, and you only have to invest a little within your own skills to get certified. You will need a level of training to ensure that you are safe on the mountains, but you could earn some big bucks in the camps and making bank so you can spend your time on the slopes for the year. You get to work with a thrill; suspended from a harness at all kinds of heights, and there are three different training levels which means that there is room for you to progress.
One of the downsides of skiing is the crowds when it comes to getting boots fitted and skis measured up. However, there is a market out there for those that don’t want to spend their time standing in line and waiting to be fitted. In many skiing towns there are services that will offer in-hotel boot fitting services, ski measurements and advice about snowsuit rental. You can spend your time away from those crowded rental stores and instead, deal with people directly. The good bit about this is that you can build yourself a network of regulars and get in with new crowds while still finding time to shred the mountain after work and before – which is the aim of the game.
If you want to stay and work on the slopes – seriously, you can work anywhere but the slopes are life – then consider being a heli-ski guide. There’s nothing more adrenaline-inducing than the risky job of jumping out of helicopters at altitude to cut through the fresh powder down the mountain. It’s the breath-taking risks you take as a heli-ski guide that make the job so worth it; untouched skiing ranges, huge mountains and a hugely rewarding salary make your days skiing so much better.
Almost every ski resort is littered with bars, restaurants, hotel bars and pubs. You don’t need to be a Tom Cruise in Cocktail to have the skills to work the bar, but the best thing that you could do is actually show up for work. You’ve got to have the skills to sell and the chops to banter with the customers. The more you have fun with the job, the bigger the tips and the bigger the tips, the more you can ski. The only real downside to bar work is the temptation to use your wages and tips to party with the others after hours, which could very quickly put the kibosh on anything ski-related. Those helmets don’t pay for themselves, you know.
Believe it or not, there are families out there that choose skiing as their haven every winter, which means that there is a role there for those who love children and have qualifications in nannying and childcare. If you have the skills, you could search around for a family who loves to ski and be on the slopes as much as you do, and spend time with the kids at the same time. It’s win-win for those who have a passion for steering children into sport, and it’s great for when you want to be on the mountain all day.
For those who truly want to be married to the snow, training as a ski instructor is a no-brainer. Not only do they get tipped extremely generously, private ski instructors get to network with people, teach something that they love AND spend all their time on the mountains. You could make enough money to see you through a couple of seasons and travel to where the work is in different countries if you wanted to. The first year is always a little hairy salary-wise, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stick it out. It’s a rewarding job that gives you time to get to know new people while pursuing the thing that you love the most.
If you have a knack for an amazing photo, you could be in for a good job with this one. Snapping photos of excited vacationers at the top of a mountain is great for tourism. You could also be mixing in the various resorts snapping pics for their websites and social media; which is a big deal for these companies. Tourists and locals love to spend their time in the powder, which makes ski photographer one of the best ski jobs out there. Not only will you spend all day at the top of the mountain helping people to make memories, you have to get down again, which gives you a chance to ski as much as you want through the day.
This one isn’t the most popular or the best job in the skiing world, but it does offer the chance for year-round employment and enough money to pay rent on a shared apartment. You could choose to work the night shift as a liftie and ski throughout the day, which gives you ample time to spend getting your heart racing. You can also do it the other way around, and the ski jobs should be plentiful given the huge number of resorts there are worldwide.
Every tourist has a question and every local needs advice, which is why skier services exists. These jobs see you answering to clients on the mountains, setting up special skiing events and working alongside ski patrol to ensure mountain safety measures are adhered to. Every resort needs customer relations and this role allows you the chance to mix with new clients to the mountain, have a steady contract with the resort and gives you the time to get on the slopes and be at one with the snow.
There’s nothing more thrilling than finding a ski job that can enable you to keep bumming around the slopes. Finding something to fund your passion is about staying focused, and the right ski job can help you do just that.