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Guide to Working the Ski Season Worldwide, All Year Round

At a first glance, working at a ski resort might seem like a seasonal job opportunity. While your typical skiing season wouldn’t last more than four months, depending on the exact location and altitude of the resort, you can easily turn this dream job into a year-round experience.  Admittedly, it will take hopping from one place to another, but if you’re really passionate about it, there’s no reason why you can’t do it. What is more, you’ll also get a chance to see the world from one corner to another. No-one is saying that this would be the most convenient of career choices; however, for someone on a gap year or  for someone who simply wishes to take a year off and see what the world has to offer, this is definitely a once in a lifetime experience worth pursuing.

skitour - photo by Wia-Tirol (www.sxc.hu)Before packing your luggage and heading into the big unknown, consider your ski resort employment options. Naturally, the best paid positions are skiing or snowboarding instructors, but in order land a job like this, you will need past experience or at least some qualifications that could prove your abilities on the slopes. Some resorts are also on the lookout for ski hosts. Ski hosts are basically people hired to accompany guests on the slopes; sometimes, hosts are also required to join the tourists for lunch. You have to have appropriate skiing skills for this particular position, but past experience isn’t usually required. Because ski resorts have a higher demand for hosts and instructors, occupying either of these job positions will make it easier for you to transition for one resort to another.

If skiing is not your cup of tea, there are other options of finding employment at a ski resort. Bartenders and restaurant workers are also highly sought after and having experience in this industry will significantly increase your chances of finding a job. Alternatives include resort representatives, which is a kind of public relations and human resources position, shop assistants, receptionists, chefs, and maids. Regardless of the job you are looking for, a proficient level of English is generally a must, especially for internationally renowned resorts. Having knowledge of other foreign language, aside from English, will further increase your chances of getting hired.  

Think long and hard about what job would best suit your set of skills and make your decision accordingly. Afterwards, you can start setting up a plan on how to travel the world from one resort to another. Working all year round at a ski resort is a feasible task because of the way the globe is divided into two hemispheres. When it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer in the southern one, and the other way around. Say you live in the northern hemisphere and it’s the beginning of autumn, or September. This would be the perfect time to start applying for ski resort positions for the months to come, also in the northern hemisphere.

November would be a great month for skiing in Switzerland, Norway, and Northern Canada, so look for job openings in resorts around here. Throughout December, January, and February, it is pretty much winter all throughout the northern hemisphere, and your options will now also include France, the US, or Sweden. Come March, April, and May, your best bet would be to look for resorts in Canada or the Northern European countries, such as Norway and Denmark. By the time June arrives, you should have already made plans to relocate to the southern hemisphere. Great ski resorts can be found in Australia, New Zealand, or Chile. As you can see, at  any given time of the year, somewhere in the world it is winter and a ski resort is open for business.

Don’t worry that you will have to move from one resort to another, as you can set up your route however you please. You can easily pull off working at just three resorts, in three different locations, all year round. Alternatively, you can also pick one season in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern one and maybe take a month or two off between the two contracts. A great idea would be to secure jobs in all of the resorts you intend on visiting before you even leave home. Job openings are most easily found through online or offline recruiting agencies, but you also have the option of contacting the resorts directly, either via mail or telephone.

Since you will be travelling to different corners of the world, you will have to research Visa requirements for all the countries you plan on visiting and apply for permits as early on as possible. Since you will be away from home for virtually an entire year, make sure you also sort out all your affairs prior to departing.

 

Before you take off

Please contact us if you believe information on this page is incorrect, misleading or offensive, or if something important is missing.

The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.