Ski Resort Jobs: What to expect

Ski Resort Jobs: What to expect

I have been living and working in the French Alps for a few years now. In this time I have learned quite a lot about working and living in this environment. Even if you only do one season, it is an amazing life experience. You will have so many stories to tell, meet life long friends and have the best time ever. However, you need to do work, so there are a few things you need to know before you go. 

Ski Resort Jobs

If you are looking for ski resort jobs, there are quite a few different ones you can look in to. To be honest, some ski resort jobs are not far off slavery. However, you soon forget this after a decent day on the mountain and a great night out. Here is a little run down of the possible ski resort jobs you can get to pay your way though a season and how to get them.

Chalet Host

Ski Resort Jobs: chalet host

Being a chalet host is one of the most popular ski resort jobs you can get. I have done a few seasons as a chalet host and it is great fun.

What does it involve?

Waking up before the guests and getting to the chalet to cook them breakfast. Depending on the company you work for, you may have to drive them to the ski lifts and pick them up later. When you have your systems sorted, you can be on the mountain by 10:30am at the latest.

In the evening, you cook them their dinner and host their evening. Depending on your guests you can be finished early or late.

There is a lot of cleaning involved, especially on transfer days. This is when you have to wave off your guests and make your chalet look like nobody has ever been there, before the next lot turn up.

Pros

  • You get to go skiing or snowboarding pretty much every day apart from transfer days. You will improve fantastically within a couple of weeks.
  • You get free food and drink while you are are work.
  • Meet lots of amazing people
  • Make lots of friends
  • Extra money from tips and sometimes the honesty bar (depending on the chalet company)
  • Build a good tolerance to alcohol
  • Gain lots of people skills
  • Learn to be able cook anything in an emergency
  • Have lots of stories to tell 
  • Free accommodation 
  • Free lift pass

Cons

  • Some guests are a pain
  • Money isn’t great (but you don’t have to pay for anything)
  • Prepare to be very tired
  • Transfer day isn’t much fun
  • Cleaning toilets and hot tubs
  • Have the same conversations every day

What to Expect

What other job lets you cook a bit of breakfast, allows you to go on the mountain all day before hosting a dinner party every night? It is a brilliant job! Personally, I couldn’t do it forever, but I know of a couple that hosted for twenty years!

You will obviously get the odd guest that is horrible, but you get to a point where they are quite entertaining and become a challenge once you know what you are doing. However, 90% of guests are either fine or brilliant fun. I have met war heroes, celebrities, olympic athletes, CEOs of major corporations and body guards for celebrities and politicians.

When it comes to cooking, you will get all the training you need before the season starts. The only time it gets difficult, is when you get fussy eaters or ones with difficult dietary requirements. But, you get well practiced at making something out of nothing. You learn to use the odd 5 or 10 minutes here and there to prepare food to make your life easier. This gets you on the mountain or to the pub quicker.

Be prepared to answer the same questions all the time (especially some very silly ones). There may be a few questions that are quite offending, like “when are you going to get a proper job?”. But, just ignore them, they are just jealous.

The variety of tasks and situations you experience as a chalet host, makes it one of the best ski resort jobs.

Bar Work

Ski Resort Jobs: bar work

Lots of people apply for bar work, but there are only so many bars in a ski resort. I used to think that working in a bar in a ski resort would be a great job. Although, it would be amazing a some points, it could also be horrendous.

What does it involve?

Serving drinks to holiday makers and seasonnaires (seasonal workers). Depending on the type of bar, you are going to have some very late nights. Some bars are only open for aprés ski. So they are usually open from 4pm to 8pm. But, you can easily be up all night.

Pros

  • Free drinks
  • You get to know everyone in resort
  • Brilliant fun in the right bar
  • Have free time until it is time for the bar to open in the evening

Cons

  • Drunk people
  • Very late nights
  • Have to buy your own lift pass

What to Expect

You will have a great social life, but you may find that it is a little restricted. This is because you will be working when your friends are out having fun. However, if you get the right bar to work in, it can be as good as a night out anyway.

Some bars allow you to drink while working for free. My advice is to take it easy, as counting money out after a few drinks isn’t that easy.

You will have to deal with drunk people all the time. This can be hilarious, but it can also be annoying.

When it comes to mountain time, bar work is a great ski resort job. But, if you finish work at 5am, you may want some sleep, this may mean you miss a few powder days. 

Cleaner

Ski Resort Jobs: cleaner

A cleaner may not sound like one of the best ski resort jobs, but it is. The reason being, is that you mostly only work on transfer days. You get the rest of the week to do what you want. You may want to get another part time job, or start your own business on the side.

Pros

  • Lots of mountain time
  • Set amount of money for just a few hours work
  • Can listen to your own music all day as loud as you want
  • Cleaner’s spoils (Left over food and drink)

Cons

  • You get a whole new perspective on how disgusting people are
  • May not earn you enough money to just be a cleaner
  • Have to buy your own lift pass
What does it involve?

Being a cleaner in a ski resort involves lots of scrubbing. You will be in an apartment, chalet or hotel getting it ready for the next set of guests. The time it takes to clean a property depends on the size of it and the companies cleaning standards. You will probably have one or two properties to clean on Saturday and Sunday. The money is pretty good considering you are working just a few hours. However, it isn’t a lot of money in total, as you only work two days. Therefore, many other cleaners have part time jobs or to top up their beer money. Some work as cleaners while they are working on building their own business.

What to Expect

As soon as the guest leave, you get cracking on cleaning the property and changing the bed linen. You have to work fast, as you need to get it done before the next guests arrive. If you are lucky the previous guests will have left a load of untouched food and drink (if it is self catered) that you can keep. You get paid per property, so the quicker you finish the better for you, as you will be free to go. However, if you don’t do a proper job, you will either be called back to finish it properly, or be docked money.

You need great attention to detail, but it is a stress free job that gives you plenty of mountain time.

Instructor

Ski Resort Jobs: ski instructor

Surely the best ski resort job? Possibly…. You get to go on the mountain every day and preach what you love to the world. The money is pretty good too after a couple of seasons. 

Pros

  • Lots of respect
  • A huge amount of time on the mountain 
  • Fitness
  • You get to advocate everything you love about the mountains all day
  • Free lunches (when you take your clients to restaurants)
  • Good money
  • Sense of satisfaction when clients progress
  • Get to travel to different ski resorts
  • Get to know all the secret spots

Cons

  • You may miss out on the best conditions when you are stuck on a green run with kids or beginners
  • Do a lot of baby sitting
  • It can be hard on your body
  • Have to go out in all weather
  • Courses are expensive and difficult to pass

What to Expect

There are a lot of perks to being a ski instructor and it is a great way of life. There are different levels of ski instructor 1 to 4. If you want to teach in France, you need level 4. This is very hard to get, as you need to do lots of courses and complete the speed test. This is where you do a downhill race course and have to be within a certain time of a professional racer (really useful when teaching kids how to snowplough).

I know a few ski and snowboard instructors and they love their jobs and they have worked really hard to get them.

I think the type of teaching you do depends on your specialities and on the school you work for. For example, if you are an off-piste or freestyle expert, you will get more interesting jobs from time to time. But, some instructors spend a lot of time with kids on green runs.

Transfer Driver

Ski Resort Jobs: transfer driver

Guests need to get driven to the ski resort from the airport and back again at the end of the week. This is the transfer driver’s job. 

Pros

  • Generally good working hours
  • Once you have done your allocated drop offs, your day is your own
  • Tips from generous clients
  • Meet lots of people
  • Can work part time for plenty of mountain time or your own business

Cons

  • Same conversations several times a day
  • Flight delays can be a nightmare
  • Driving in snow
  • Traffic jams
  • Can’t drink for 24 hours before driving
  • Drunk passangers
  • Have to buy your own lift pass

What to Expect

Being a transfer driver is one of those ski resort jobs with its ups and downs. Depending on the distance between the resort and the airport, you can do two to three trips on a transfer day. The busiest time is Christmas. This is usually when the snow comes too, so this can be quite a tiring day.

Once you have done your allocated drop offs, you are free to go and do as you wish. Many transfer drivers have their own online business that they are trying to build up. This is because  they can make enough money to keep them going, while having enough time to go on the mountain and do some of their own work.

Nanny

Ski Resort Jobs: nanny

Looking after one or more kids while parents go skiing or out in the evening. You basically have to make sure they are entertained all day.

Pros

  • Get to play all day
  • Adulation from kids and parents
  • Get to meet up with your nanny friends, walk around and meet them for coffee (depending on the kids)
  • Only work when you have bookings
  • Get more money and time off as a private nanny
  • Brilliant if you like kids

Cons

  • Not great if you have a hangover
  • You have to be careful where you go on a night out. You don’t want parents seeing you in the wet t-shirt competition (true story, I was there)
  • Pay isn’t great, but better in high end ski resorts
  • Don’t always get lots of mountain time (depends on bookings)

What to Expect

Looking after lots of kids (obviously). You will be expected to take them for crepes, sledging, pick them up from ski school and take them ice skating etc.

If you work as a nanny, you really need to stay active during your time off. Eating crepes every day and drinking most nights does take its toll on some nannies (not all!). However, many nannies are in it for the job rather than the mountain activities.

Nannies make lots of friends in resort, so it is a very social job. It is best to start with a tour operator for your first season and maybe move to a child care company if it feels right for your second season. You can even set up your own nannying business, this will allow you to have more flexibility.

Online Work

I want to work from home from my computer

As I said further up this post, some people get part time ski resort jobs to keep them going while building their online business. This is something that can give you a more long term plan. If you can earn money online, you don’t have to scrub toilets, wipe kid’s bums or deal with drunk guests.

I solely work online now and live in a ski resort. It gives me the flexibility to do what I want, when I want to. My choice of online business is affiliate marketing, but there are lots of different ways to earn money online.

Pros

  • Flexibility to work anywhere
  • Work your own hours
  • Earning potential is massive
  • Don’t have to deal with the public
  • Clean
  • No ski resort manager to boss you around
  • Pick and choose the days you go on the mountain
  • Never miss a powder day
  • Cheap to set up

Cons

  • Not great if you like working with people
  • Takes time to make good money

What to Expect

Working online is brilliant. During the winter, I constantly watch the weather forecast to plan my working time. If it is looking like a blue sky powder day, I will work late to get jobs done, so I can make the most of the conditions. When working from home, you do need to be very disciplined, or you won’t get any work done.

There are some ways of earning money online that don’t pay much, but they can keep you ticking over. If you are considering affiliate marketing, get started as soon as possible. This is because it takes a long time to make any money at all. But, once you are established within your niche, the sky is the limit.

I love my lifestyle, it is everything I want in life and it just keeps getting better. I am glad that I have had ski resort jobs, as I have met some great people and have loads of stories to tell (I should put them in a post). But, for a long term plan, my online affiliate marketing business is perfect for me.

Which of These Ski Resort Jobs Do you Fancy?

A great resource for ski resort jobs is Natives. They have lots of jobs listed, tips on how to get them. They even offer courses to get you necessary experience to get jobs. You can of course contact companies directly to see when they are recruiting.

Are you considering doing a season in a ski resort? If so let me know your plans in the comments section below. Also, let me know if you have any questions.

6 thoughts on “Ski Resort Jobs: What to expect

  • June 10, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    Sounds interesting to have job like this, I know I never have. I’m don’t know if I’ll ever be doing this myself anytime soon, but it may be fun to try at least once one day. Are there any areas to do this type of job better than others? And I’m just curious … you mentioned you’ve met some famous people, who was your favorite famous celebrity you met? Thanks for the information!

    Reply
    • June 10, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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      Hi Jeremy,

      I just loved the social aspect and variation of working in a chalet, it was great fun. Now, I have my online business, and a group of friends that live here all year round, life is even better.

      The celebs I have met are British Olympic athletes, footballers and a pop star.

      Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm
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    These Ski Resort Jobs are really interesting jobs for me. I really like reading this article and get to know about these jobs. Thank you for telling the pros and cons of these jobs. From these jobs, I do like the transfer driver and instructor. Thank you for your recommendation about wealthy affiliate. Yes, it is a great site to learn money from online although it takes time. Thank you again for the article. 

    Reply
    • June 10, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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      Hi Fahim,

      To be an instructor in France it will take at least four years. But, you can work in any other country with lower qualifications.

      Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 8:22 pm
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    Hi! I really love the French Alps. And I have found your post very useful, thank you. In my book, a combination of two of the jobs you have mentioned would be great for me. And those jobs are: being a Chalet Host and getting started with Online Work during free time. Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2019 at 9:15 pm
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      Hi Henry,

      If you wanted to start an online business, a chalet host job could work, but you really would want to spend your time off on the mountain. A transfer driver or cleaner would be better options.

      Reply

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