Working (and Playing) at Ski Resorts in Western Canada
Is working on a ski hill your dream job, but you're not sure where to start? The first options that may spring to mind are ski patrollers, lifties and ticket agents. These are the most visible staff who engage with the public daily.
But the list of employment opportunities is as long and varied as the terrain on the mountain. Rental shops, retail services, maintenance, marketing, human resources, snow operations, instructors, transportation, food services, security, custodians, accounting, guest services, content creation, lift operations, mountain safety, and parking are all essential sectors for the seamless operation of a winter resort.
And that list doesn’t even include specialty areas that are unique to each individual hill, such as front desk staff, housekeeping, day cares, tube parks, terrain parks, guides, and more. There truly is something for everybody and every skill set.
Who's hiring among AB, BC ski resorts?
As fall progresses, numerous resorts are currently going through the winter recruitment process and releasing their expected opening dates. Keep reading to find some anwers to frequently asked questions and a list of current job postings at ski resorts across Alberta and BC.
Resorts hire many international workers to fill seasonal roles, but locals play an important role in ski hill staffing as well for both seasonal and permanent roles.
What qualifications do I need to work at a ski area?
Depending on the field you’re applying to, the prerequisites for employment (education, previous experience, specific skill sets, etc.) vary greatly. You also need to be legally entitled to work in Canada, possess a social insurance number (or work visa, depending) and a clean criminal record check.
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Without a doubt though, they are looking for enthusiastic, motivated, and dependable people who embrace the mountain lifestyle and who can be trusted to represent their brand in a professional manner.
Whether you’re looking to work indoors or outside, we can assure you of a unique working environment where no two days will be exactly the same.
What are the perks of working at a ski resort?
Aside from steady employment, a paycheque and an opportunity to work in a mountain paradise, resort staff are also eligible for some delightful perks. Each individual resort sets their own employee benefits, but some of the most common include:
- season’s passes
- discounts on rentals, repairs, food and retail
- award programs
- staff appreciation activities and social events
- reciprocal resort privileges
- and family/friend discount passes
These are all commonplace benefits of working in the industry. And if all of that’s not enough to get you started on your application you also get to work (and play) in some of Alberta and BC’s most beautiful settings!
Just watch this SilverStar Mountain Resort recruitment video and tell us working at the hill wouldn't be a dream job, right?
We can continue to sing the praises of winter resorts everywhere, but instead, why not hear it directly from dedicated employees who are presently living the lifestyle.
Ski industry professionals on why they love their jobs
John Smits, the Snow School Supervisor at the Lake Louise Ski Resort says, “The best part of my job is watching people improve and enjoy skiing and snowboarding more...and the riding!”
Veteran Heli-Ski Guide for Canadian Mountain Heli, Jeff MacPherson, had this to say, “The best thing is having the privilege to ski in some of the most beautiful places in the world, and to share that experience with guests from around the globe.”
“It is truly amazing to witness the joy and happiness people gain from a day on the slopes. Being part of that, especially during these current times, is very special to me, and has created memories that I will never forget” is how Spencer McFeetors, the Lift Operations Supervisor at Sunshine Village describes the best part of his job.
Finally, here’s Kieren Gaul, owner of Big Red Cats, describing why he does what he does, “Helping people have their best day ever. Having the opportunity to ski and ride the best powder on some of the best runs in the world.”
This is merely a sampling, but if you talk to any number of workers at any local hill we’re sure you’ll receive similar responses.
So, what are you waiting for? Your most memorable winter adventure is nothing more than a few clicks away. A quick Google search will uncover numerous job opportunities or you can head directly to the source by visiting the career and employment section of the website for your favourite ski/snowboard resort.
Even though it’s considered a ‘job’, it’s tough to classify it as ‘work’ when you’re having so much fun!
Ski resort job fairs
Ski resort job listings
The following resorts are currently advertising positions.
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
(Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Nakiska)
More ski and snowboard job info
Read more about different careers and working experiences at ski resorts in Alberta and BC.