Ski Resort Workers


Employment Prospects


Approximately 40 states have ski resorts, with the highest number of ski resorts located in Colorado, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Colorado is the most popular skiing state, where many communities such as Vail, Aspen, and Telluride have grown around the industry.

Workers who are interested in year-round employment should look for resorts that cater to year-round business. The Aspen Skiing Company, for example, has four mountain ski areas in operation during the winter. Many employees work the slopes from November to April and the golf courses the rest of the year.

Starting Out

Many resorts actively recruit at college campuses and job fairs. Phone and virtual interviews and online applications are becoming more prevalent in this field. There are also Web sites that operate online employment services. Visit them to find job descriptions, salary expectations, and job benefits.

It would be wise to first compile a list of resorts or locations that interest you. Trade magazines, such as Powder, the Skier's Magazine (https://www.powdermag.com) or SKI (https://www.skimag.com), as well as your local library, are helpful resources. Apply for work at least two seasons ahead—that means start looking for winter work in the summer to be considered for choice positions.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement is determined by a worker's experience, skill, level of education, and starting position. Ski lift operators can be promoted to department supervisors of that division, general supervisors, and finally, management. Ski instructors may begin their careers by giving beginner's lessons or children's lessons and then advance to intermediate- or expert-level classes. Experienced instructors with good reputations may develop a following of students. They may also be promoted to department supervisor or management. Lodge employees may be promoted to positions with increased responsibilities such as shift supervisor or manager.

Tips for Entry

To learn more about a career as a ski or snowboard instructor, read:

  • 32 Degrees (https://www.thesnowpros.org/education/32-degrees-magazine)
  • Powder, the Skier's Magazine (https://www.powdermag.com)
  • National Ski Areas Association Journal (https://www.nsaa.org)
  • SKI (https://www.skimag.com)

Visit https://www.resortjobs.com for job listings. 

Use social media to stay up to date on industry developments, network, and learn about job openings. Many associations have social media sites. For example, the Professional Ski Instructors of America has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.