We all dream of getting paid to do something we love, unfortunately though, not everyone is cut out to be a ski instructor. There are however a few jobs that are a well within your reach and can certainly help in your search for that all important season pass. The hours are long and you may end up with less money than you started with, but like we said, this is about the love not the money.
Handyman (or girl)
£60 per week
Any Alpine hotel or chalet in the world needs someone who can fix the pipes and ski resorts are no different. Being the resort handyman can be a blessing or a curse on any given day. Unblocking toilets, replacing light bulbs, and driving into town to pick up supplies are just some of the duties you’ll need to carry out. It actually doesn’t sound too bad, but we all know that when one thing goes wrong, inevitably, so does everything else. So while you could have plenty of downtime, you can also expect days when you’re being pulled in all directions. You’ll definitely need a bit of DIY experience for this, if you have none then check out The DIY School for a quick 4 day handyman course.
“There are days when you wish you’d never have to see a toilet again but then there’s those days when there is literally nothing to do, they don’t come along too often though. If you’re taking this job on you’ll be working 50-60 hours a week and sometimes you’ll even get called in on your day off. Still a good experience but a lot of work” – Rick Holmes, 24 Banbury
£120 per week
If you’re good with people and have a lot of patience then this might be the job for you. It’s the best paid of our jobs for a reason, incredibly busy transfer days and being at the beck and call of the resort’s guests make this a tough job. As the public face of the resort you’ll be mingling with the guests for almost every waking hour. This can be viewed as a major advantage as where else do guests spend most of their time but on the slopes. However as the resort rep you’ll also have to deal with customer complaints which can become a very frustrating experience, especially when an entire group has had their luggage put on the wrong bus.
“The transfer days were a nightmare and getting everybody ready for the tours could take forever but I’m people person and I like sorting problems out so I had a great time. Definitely coming back next year!” – Debbie Walsh, 22 Brighton
Plongeur (kitchen assistant)
£50 per week
Land yourself this position and not only do you get the best job title in the resort but you also get one of the best jobs. Your main duties include washing the dishes and helping out with a bit of food prep when needed, a very simple job with very little responsibility and plenty of free time for the slopes. Although it may offer the least pay and look like the most boring ski resort job on offer, this is the job that most seasonaires want. This is mostly due to the fact that there is no interaction whatsoever with resort guests. The downside of course is that you miss out on tips and you are the kitchen lackey, but the slope time and hassle free working day more than make up for this.
“To be honest I really didn’t want to work in the kitchens but it was all that I could get at the time. My friend was a rep and when I saw how busy he was and how many complaints he had to listen to I changed my mind. Best thing about the kitchens is no customers and I’m never called in on my day off” – Tim Langfield, 20 Oxford
Bear in mind that the above salaries are based on the average wage for each job and your wages could actually be considerably higher or even lower depending on the ski resort you choose. So if you’re serious about becoming a seasonaire check out forums such as J2Ski where you can ask a few old hands for their opinions on which are the best resorts to work at.
For finding your first job there are many recruitment agencies that specialize in ski resort or seasonal jobs but Silver Swan is one of our favourites. They have a full listing of both professional jobs and those that require little or no experience.
So whether you’re an avid skier that will do anything to spend a few more days on the slopes or you’re a novice that wants practice time, spending a season on the slopes is something that’s no longer a dream, but is in fact, a definite possibility.