What job is right for you?
Many skiers like to imagine what life in the ski industry is like: an office with a mountain view, powder day clauses and working with a bunch of reformed ski bums all day. Working in the ski industry can be great, but the reality is that ski jobs can be very tough to come by.
Competition for these jobs are high, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a good one, you’ll get to live out every skiers dream. If you’re planning a way into the industry, here are some jobs you may want to consider:
Heli Ski Guide
What could be cooler than skiing un-tracked powder high up in the mountains? Getting paid to ski un-tracked powder high up in the mountains. Working as a Heli Skiing Guide offers some great perks, but it can be a pretty tough gig to get.
Guides must have a high level of safety and rescue training, and often have to work their way up through the ranks at the heli skiing operation before becoming a guide. But for the chance to ski some of the best powder all winter long, it’s probably worth it.
Resort Social Media Manager
Social media is big business these days, and resorts need someone with some savvy and personality to maintain their online presence. A normal day for a social media manager can include posting blogs, updating and interacting with fans on Facebook and Twitter and taking photos out on the mountain for Instagram.
You’ll need to be on top of the latest trends and news, and be able to communicate with customers online in a fun and relatable fashion. Being a social media manager can be a highly-enjoyable job for someone who is a real people person, but you also need to be able to act on the fly, often outside of normal working hours.
Being a ski instructor is a great way to spend more time on the hill and to share your love of skiing with others. It’s a rewarding feeling to help someone nail a new maneuver or trick, knowing you had a hand in making them a better skier.
You might get some difficult students from time to time, but for the most part, students are there because they genuinely want to learn and become better skiers. Communication skills are a must, and you must be a patient teacher, as not everyone will pick things up as quickly as you did.
Being a ski photographer or videographer require tons of hustle, but the upsides are pretty amazing. For one, you get paid to travel to and ski some of the most amazing places on earth, while documenting these beautiful locals with photos or videos.
The job also offers lots of freedom when it comes to working on your own terms; this could also be seen as a negative, as you need to constantly be on the lookout for new jobs or opportunities. Photographers and videographers must be proficient in the photo/video editing programs and have an eye for details, as getting the perfect shot can be meticulous.
Snow Park Builder
As a Terrain Park Designer, you’ll get to dream up the gnarly lines that skiers and boarders will hit, jib and jump. Freestyle skiing and boarding is huge these days, and resorts need to have a killer terrain park to please these park rats.
In this job, you must plan out the creation of a terrain park that is conducive to rider safety, creativity and stoke. Designers will typically have a background in construction management, and it would help to be a pretty strong freestyle skier who knows the in and outs of a terrain park.
If you want to help shape the future of the ski industry, Product Design may be the job for you. Designing skis or ski boots is an incredible opportunity to leave your mark on how people ski, but it’s far from an easy task.
Products must be tested rigorously, and getting a job working on skis often requires an extensive product design background and years of experience within the company. Of course, you also get to test the products you make, so that’s a worthy excuse to get out on the mountain some more.
Whether you're considering a career change or just entering the workforce, the ski industry can be tough, but rewarding, to break into. If you don’t know where to begin your ski industry job search, check out the Snowsports Industries America’s job page or Mountain Careers. Happy hunting!