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A Guide To The Types of Jobs Gap Year Students And Graduates Could Find In A Ski Resort

Introduction To Working A Season In A Ski Resort
For students and graduates who are thinking about doing some seasonal work to earn a bit of extra cash - and, of course, to enjoy the experience of working abroad for a while and making new friends in the process - working a winter season in a ski resort job as a seasonaire could be an interesting option.

Obviously, most people who apply for work in ski resorts are those who have a passion for skiing and / or snowboarding. This is not the cheapest hobby one can choose in life and so trying to get a job as a seasonaire (a person who works a ski season in a given resort) is a way to not only fund that hobby but also to make the most of any free time the job allows by getting straight out there on the ski slopes and enjoying the snow.

While some people might think you have to be a ski addict to enjoy a temporary position in a ski resort, this is not necessarily the case. There are some jobs available that have limited free time or that require you to work a variety of hours. These types of jobs are good for those gap year students or graduates that are not too bothered about making the most of their time on the ski slopes, but would rather enjoy the time away from home and spending a few months in the mountains.

Vice versa, for those young people who are only really on resort because they are looking to eek out as much time as possible on the ski runs, it’s worth bearing in mind that some jobs allow more free time than others. Make sure you apply for the right type of ski resort job to suit you, otherwise, you could find yourself working long hours and spending little or no time on the slopes.

This is a guide to the different types of jobs that might be available to gap year students, graduates, and other young people who think they would like to work as a seasonaire in some of the world’s ski resorts. There will be brief job descriptions, a guide to hours, payments and perks you might be able to expect and some of the companies who look to recruit people for their resorts and holidays.

Which Types Of Seasonal Jobs Might Be Available To Young People Working In A Ski Resort And Do I Need Any Special Qualifications?
Chalet Staff
This job is perhaps one of the more well known of possible seasonal jobs in ski resorts. Known until relatively recently in its not very politically correct former title, chalet girl, many gap year students and young professionals apply for the roles of chalet staff. This is because, in years gone by, no previous experience was necessary and, even today, the hours that people need to work as chalet staff means this is one of the jobs that affords the most opportunity to ski.

Chalet staff are generally free between 10:30 am and 5 pm which obviously means good skiing time. However, people working this role need to be very organised and have good time management. You can find yourself looking after groups of up to 30 people where, while your guests are in the chalet, you are expected to be the life and soul of the party whilst making sure they are comfortable, having fun, being fed and watered (yes, you will prepare breakfast, evening meal, bake cakes, make sandwiches) and have clean facilities to use (and that does mean making the beds and cleaning the toilets, too).

Colletts Mountain Holidays
Oyster Worldwide Ski Resort Jobs
Your day usually starts at around 7 am and finishes at 10:30 pm. This is where the tiredness factor comes in. Of course, your love of skiing or snowboarding will outweigh any tiredness but you need to show self-discipline when, as you make new friends, you start to dabble in more of the Apres Ski (that’s the ski resort nightlife). Remember you are there, first and foremost to look after your chalet staff. If you get a job in a lively resort and spend too much time partying in the bars, you could end up with no job and therefore, no more ski time.

These days, quite a few of the companies that recruit chalet staff are looking for some type of cooking experience. This is perfect for students and graduates who have done any catering or hospitality qualifications but if you have no experience at all, you might be required to do a cooking course run by companies who recruit. If the ski resort is aimed at the more luxury market, then fully qualified chefs may be employed to cook the meals in the chalets while chalet staff take on other chores.

Bar Jobs
Lots of young people are attracted to the idea of working in a bar in a ski resort but you need to be sure you are ready to work the long and often anti-social hours throughout the ski season. Some bar jobs carry with them a lot of responsibility for little financial reward and quite often, don’t come with accommodation or ski passes. If you are a gap year student or graduate who is thinking about working a ski season in one of the bars, make sure you read up on the job to check what’s involved and what you get in return for your efforts.

Driving
Not the most obvious job that springs to mind when thinking about working as a seasonaire in a ski resort, is it? However, if you have a full clean driving licence and are a confident driver (experience of driving along mountain roads is obviously a big advantage), you could find a job as a driver, transferring guests from their arrival point to their accommodation. Depending on the quality of the ski resort, your job title could be anything from ‘transfer rep’ to ‘chauffeur.’

Hotel Staff
If the thought of running a ski chalet and being responsible for up to 30 guests scares the life out of you - let’s face it, it is a big responsibility and certainly not the job for everyone - you could think about applying for a job in a hotel in a ski resort. There are many roles that need to be filled with varying degrees of qualification and experience required. for example, if you have no previous experience, you could work as a housekeeper or maybe front of house as a greeter. Just bear in mind that lots of other newbyseasonaire hopefuls will be going for the same jobs as you. If you are in a position where you are desperate to work a season but have no experience or relevant qualifications, think about your competition and how you can be proactive in getting in there ahead of them. The roles have to be filled and you might as well be one of the people who is going to fill them.

Maintenance Staff
No, it doesn’t sound too glamorous does it; doing a seasonal job as a maintenance person? But who do you think does the chopping of the logs for the cosy log-fuelled fires, who fixes broken guttering or mends dripping taps? If you quite fancy yourself as a handy person, there could be a job in a ski resort for you. It might not be anything to with your degree, post graduate qualification or even anything to do with your continuing career, but it is all good life experience. Many maintenance staff who work in ski resorts leave at the end of the season with improved foreign language skills because they deal with local people in the purchasing of repair equipment and also have local work friends.

What Are The Best Paid Jobs In A Ski Resort?
What skills have you got? Getting a job in the positions that are mentioned above is possible but competition for roles can be high because they require little or no qualifications and previous experience. However, graduates and gap year students with particular skills could find themselves in high demand and can even pick and choose between countries and ski resorts. These are the types of seasonal jobs that are perfect for those who have completed study and are deciding on their next career move - but they are also the types of jobs that will likely give you limited free time to ski or snowboard.

Ski Instructor
Students and graduates looking to find a ski resort job no doubt fancy the idea of being a ski instructor. E4S have a more detailed article about how to become a ski instructor.

Educating Adventures
Chef
If you’ve done any type of catering qualifications that allow you to work in a kitchen as a chef, then you’ll be pleased to know that providers of skiing holidays are always looking for people to fill thıose roles. Your role could be as a head chef in a larger hotel or even a personal chef in a luxury ski chalet. As with other positions, if your main reason for going to work in a ski resort is so you can be out on the ski slopes all day, check the hours you will be required to work.

Nanny / Childcare
If you love working with children, applying for childcare roles in a ski resort is a good way to get a foot in the door. Just like summer package holiday companies, many ski resorts run kids clubs or have a creche and are always looking to recruit staff to run them. If you have an NNEB qualification and a driving licence (children need to be drive around), this will obviously increase your wage and also make you much more employable.

Nannies and childcare assistants are usually required to work five days a week which means only one or two week are free to be able to ski. That’s the downside of the role. The upside is that you are in demand and are highly likely to find a ski resort to take you on. Two days a week on the slopes has got to be better than none at all.

Beauty Therapist And Masseur
When people have been out on the ski slopes all day, they have tired, aching muscles and need a good massage to relieve the pain. If you are a qualified masseur, you could be the person to do that. And as for the beauty therapist part of it, for many people (and yes, the vast majority of those people will be female), it’s not just about showing off your skills on the ski runs. It’s about looking good while you’re showing off your skills on the ski runs. For some, skiing is as much about high fashion and looking good as it is about snow!

Accountancy and Managerial Positions
There are many senior roles in ski resorts for graduates or for people with previous experience. accountants, IT specialists and those with managerial experience, for example, are all needed to help run a resort smoothly so that guests get the best from their skiing holiday. Positions such as resort manager can be demanding but are enjoyed by those who relish the challenge of keeping staff organised and motivated so that they can get on with keeping the guests entertained. Of course, with that, comes the guest gripes of which there are inevitably some. Maybe a seasonal post as a customer services manager would suit you?

As you might expect, these types of jobs are are the ones that resorts find difficult to fill so if you fit the bill, the job could be yours. For senior roles the pay is better than most jobs, but with that extra responsibility comes less free time to go out and ski.



How Much Can I Expect To Be Paid And Do I Get Any ‘Perks Of The Job’?
As with jobs in summer camps, gap year students and graduates don’t go to work in ski resorts to earn their fortune. Generally, it’s for the perks of being close to the ski slopes and the chance to ski for free that tempts people into these jobs. Do your homework and check your salary and what you are expected to do for that money before you apply for the job. Most roles include ski passes, equipment, food allowance, staff discounts in the bars and accommodation. Many bar jobs don’t include these perks so do your research first.

Wages vary depending on your experience, the ski resort and the company you are working for but below is an example list:
Chalet staff, drivers and maintenance staff are on the lower end of the scale, earning between £80 - £200 per week.
Bar work - wages vary. Do your research to see if it would be right for you.
Nannies can earn between £150-£250 per week and if you do want to make extra money, you could always take on some evening babysitting work occasionally.
Ski Instructors - up to £20 per hour. Read our more in-depth article about how to become a ski instructor.

Which Companies Recruit Seasonal Staff To Work In Ski Resorts?
There are many companies who recruit staff to work in ski resorts. As we said above, some also run short courses at a cost so that young people looking to work as a chalet host can qualify in catering skills. This is a requirement for some companies.

Finding work in North America can be a challenge due to the requirement of work visas, but BUNAC are experienced in dealing with this situation for you.

Oyster Worldwide offer hospitality and ski / snowboard instructor jobs at ski resorts in North America and Europe.

Ski Astons
Well known companies such as Crystal Ski and Inghams recruit gap year students and graduates - and keep an eye out for new vacancies right here on the e4s website.

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