How to get a career in the snow sports industry
Have you ever imagined yourself in a job that’s a little bit different from your everyday office gig? Perhaps you’re seeking a change in career and have been looking for something more adventurous? Choosing a career path can be a headache, but the decision doesn’t have to be difficult; your chosen job may involve an activity or hobby that you already have a passion for. For example, gamers can now enjoy a career in games quality testing or professional e-sports. The same idea applies to extreme sports enthusiasts and a range of other careers.
With that in mind, if you enjoy winter sports, there are a range of different options you could consider. Here, we take an in-depth look into how to get a career in the snow sports industry.
If you dream of spending most of your time on the slopes and have a passion for skiing or snowboarding, then why not consider a career as a snowboard or ski instructor? There are academies all over the world offering instructor-training courses, most of which will guarantee you a job upon completion.
These courses offer practical, hands-on experience, allowing you to learn “on the job” with endless opportunities to ski or snowboard. For example, SIA Austria (Ski Instructor Academy) offer internships, which see you spending an entire winter season on Niseko Mountain in Japan.
This course does require you to have a Japanese Working Holiday Visa, which citizens between the ages of 18-30 across Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Taiwan and the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for.
Winter sports journalist, events specialists or marketing
If you’re passionate about snow sports, the chances are you’d find yourself discussing it with like-minded people at every opportunity. Unfortunately, your technical knowledge in the sport may very well sound like you’re speaking a foreign language to those not in the know.
You could, therefore, consider a career based around events organisation, marketing or copywriting. After all, you’ll already be familiar with the subject and can offer your expert opinion on a range of snow-sports-related topics. Of course, you’ll need the appropriate skills for the job, including any previous experience and qualifications. These roles offer plenty of room for progression too, so they’re ideal if you’re looking to kickstart your career.
If you have a keen interest in snow sports, combined with the ability to talk endlessly about the topic, you could consider a career as a skiing and snowboarding holiday salesperson. This type of job requires previous sales or marketing experience, but they usually offer fast progression to Team Leader or Sales Manager positions.
Despite the fact that you may not be working up on the slopes, you’ll usually benefit from free or discounted ski holidays. Alternatively, you could work in a resort shop, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share your expertise on a daily basis, whilst hitting the slopes in your free time.
The duties of a park builder are to design, build and maintain the take-offs, landings and manmade features of a slope park, either in the UK or at the resort. Features in a park tend to include halfpipes, jumps, rails, tires, wall rides, quarter pipes and many other creatively placed objects which skiers or snowboarders can use.
To work in this role, you’ll have to be able to make these features fun and safe for users. For example, take-offs need to be well-positioned, gaps need to be properly spaced, and landings need to be kept smooth, along with other responsibilities. All of this would be new to someone who was unfamiliar with skiing or snowboarding, but if you’re already familiar with the sport, you’ll have a great head start.
Ski or snowboard rental technician
This role requires you to be able to service and repair skis and snowboards. You can work as ski and snowboard technician in the UK or at a ski resort abroad. Working abroad gives you the opportunity to spend an entire season at one of your favourite resorts.
Alternatively, there are ski slopes in the UK that are open all year round, so if you work the majority of a year in a resort, you can apply for these roles to fill out the remainder of your year until the ski season starts again.
If you’re technically gifted with a camera and have the relevant qualifications and experience, you can choose to pursue a career as a freelance photographer or video producer. Getting a job in this field is tough as you’ll need to build up a portfolio of contacts and previous work. You can get started by reaching out to holiday companies, resorts, agencies, industry brands and athletes.
Similar to a photographer or video producer, most design roles require relevant qualifications and experience. Although this job won’t offer as much ski time as other positions on this list, the role provides ample opportunity for progression and you’ll be working alongside like-minded individuals who also have a keen interest in snow sports.
If you work in a bar, as a chef or kitchen staff at a ski resort, then there’s plenty of opportunities to spend your free time between shifts on the slopes. These roles are usually seasonal, but there’s plenty of progression opportunities for the right person.
Become a manager, administrator, co-ordinator or ski resort rep
As a ski resort rep, you’ll be the face of the company within the resort. This role can be highly pressured, as it’s your responsibility to make sure all guests are happy and resolved any issues that may arise. Despite this, these roles are generally well paid and allow for plenty of time on the slopes.
These are just a few of the exciting roles that you can find within the skiing and snow sports industry. There are plenty of opportunities available but it’s always best to do your research before applying. If you’re looking for a career change, or simply wanting to make a living out of your passion, these roles can offer you an exciting and rewarding career on the slopes.
The editorial unit