According to the National Ski Areas Association, there are nearly 500 ski resorts in the country. Each one of these ski resorts employs people to help provide a great customer service. There are a variety of positions available at ski resorts for the person who would like a job in the industry. One of these positions is that of a lift operator.
Lift Operator Duties
If you have ever been to a ski resort you likely have a good idea of what a lift operator does. If you went there to ski there is a good chance that the lift operator assisted with your adventure, either directly, or by taking care of the lift set-up to make it all happen. At a ski resort, the lift operator takes care of the chair lift. In doing so they undertake a range of duties, most of which are learned on the job.
Duties that a lift operator will have include:
• Preparing the ski lift for customers. This may include the cleaning of equipment, setting out of cones or signs, and ensuring that everything is set-up for the customers to hit the slopes.
• In helping people on and off the chair lift, the operator will also be checking lift tickets.
• The ski lift operator will run the chair lift, ensuring that everyone is taking safety measures. They will operate the chair lift in an efficient and safe manner and ensure that the area is free of any potential hazards.
• The ski lift operator will provide a range of customer service duties. They may assist customers in getting on the chair lift, help them with their equipment, or simply answer questions.
• Most ski lift operators also need to keep logs and maintain some paperwork, as required by the individual resort.
• As part of running the ski lift, the operator may have a routine that they have to do periodically or at specific times in order to check for hazards and help assure safety for guests.
Ski lift operators will find that while they spend the majority of their time working at the lift chair, they still need to engage in duties that may involve other departments. They may have to have meetings, discuss overall ski resort goals, and perform other duties. Good customer service and the ability to work well with others is essential for this position.
Those who are interested in a lift operator position will want to focus on gaining customer service skills and experience. One of the main duties of the job is to provide good customer service and help guests have a good time and enjoy skiing at that particular resort. While a college education is not generally need for this position, those who have taken courses in recreational studies may find it beneficial.
Additional skills that will be helpful include communication abilities and an understanding of skiing. Since you will most likely be answering a lot of questions from clients it is important to be able to provide them with basic answers regarding skiing, as well as the resort, and even the general area that the resort is located in.
The salaries that can be expected as a lift operator are going to vary, depending on the resort, as well as your personal experience. Typically speaking, salaries will usually range between $10-13 per hour. Those with more experience, as well as those who get hired at more well known resorts, can expect to earn more per hour.
Although it may seem obvious, it’s important to note that lift operators have to not mind being out in the cold. Most of their time will be spent outdoors, so they have to be comfortable with that setting. The job also comes with many perks, depending on the resort, which may include passes and discounts for family and friends to ski at the resort, and the ability to ski free of charge on breaks and after work.
Ski lift operator positions are usually seasonal as well. Therefore you will either have to find another job during the off-season, or take another position at the resort during that time, providing they stay open during that period. Some ski resorts do stay open during the off-season, allowing for other events to take place at the resort. For many people, especially ski enthusiasts, they tend to feel that a position at a ski resort, and especially one as a lift operator, provides the opportunity of a lifetime. They get the opportunity to help people, talk skiing all day, and get the perks of hitting the slopes right after work!