During the Whistler ski season, there’s a great demand for instructors in ski resorts all over the world. However, fast forward to the offseason and that demand quickly shrinks. So, what should ski instructors do during the summer to keep a steady paycheck whilst they wait for ski season to start back up? Finding a summer job should be at the top of the list.
But don’t worry, there’s no need to trade in your ski equipment for a corporate desk job. You can satisfy your craving for adventure while simultaneously earning a living. But you’ll need to know where to look and which opportunities are good for summer work.
Here are a few ideas for jobs that ski instructors typically pursue during the offseason.
If you’re committed to living in the mountains year-round, in many ski resorts you may be pretty limited when it comes to finding work. There are likely dozens or even hundreds of people searching for seasonal work, with only a few opportunities available. However, some resorts are as busy in summer and they are in winter, examples being Whistler, Chamonix and Zermatt.
Don’t worry, though. You may be able to utilise some of your existing skills. For experienced climbers, summer is a great time to work towards becoming a certified mountain guide.
Training to become a fully qualified mountain guide is a serious undertaking and it’ll take plenty of time, hard work and competence to become certified. But the rewards are great once you achieve this status and it will allow you to command a high wage and earn a decent living year round. In addition to spending time outdoors, it means that you should be able to find a good amount of summer work at your chosen resort.
In Europe, Chamonix is famed for its summer climbing and guiding. Over in Canada, Whistler has many climbs in the immediate area around the Garibaldi Park, Squamish and beyond. The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) has plenty of useful information and resources regarding the route to becoming a guide and all the necessary certifications that you will need. The Canadians have a really well developed system for guide training and you will be able to carry out some work as you undergo your training.
Non-Instructor Resort Jobs
It may not be the most fun work, but you could possibly find an opportunity in the same resort you work at in the winter as a ski instructor. Those ski resorts that keep their doors open during the summer – with tourists coming for mountain biking, golfing, hiking, mountain, canoeing, rock climbing or just to enjoy the mountains – have bars, hotels, restaurants and other service-based businesses that need staff.
The benefit of working in the same resort is that you’ll probably already have the connections long before the summer. The search process can be pretty easy, as long as you start early enough. Don’t wait until April or May to start inquiring about summer positions. Go ahead and line something up in January or February.
Many people who love skiing, enjoy being out on the water just as much. The sailing and watersports industry is significantly busier in the summer, which makes combining it with being a ski instructor ideal.
Like skiing, you need to be taught how to sail safely and effectively, which in turn, provides many jobs for qualified sailors. Other water sports such as diving, surfing, kite surfing and wind-surfing also require instruction. So if you’re any good at these, why not get qualified to teach them and open up a world of exciting summer opportunities?
Working on larger yachts (check out superyachtjobs.com as a starting point) can also pay well, and can be exciting work – as well as offer the opportunity to travel to beautiful places.
Want to be outdoors at all costs? It might not be as glamorous as working on a super yacht, but companies are often looking to hire during the summer. This is their busy season and often they fit in a whole year’s work in a few months before the snow returns.
Find out if the resort you work for has any openings. If not, start expanding your search to include independent companies in the surrounding areas.
You’re not going to get rich as a landscaper, but you can make some decent money and avoid having to work inside. It is a skill that you can take almost anywhere and it keeps you fit.
For those interested in seeking shelter from the summer heat, a job inside a ski or outdoor store may sound better than landscaping. Again, you’ll want to inquire about these opportunities well in advance, as these shops get piles of applications come April or May.
In addition to your pay, you may also be able to score some big employee discounts on equipment. If you know you’re in the market for a new pair of skis for the following season, the discount could be significant enough to equal a few weeks’ work.
While being a clerk or salesperson at an outdoors shop may not satisfy your craving for skiing, it will allow you to surround yourself with people that enjoy the same things and live a similar lifestyle.
If staying where you are isn’t something you’re interested in, you may want to travel and carry on instructing. The good news is that countries in the southern hemisphere are in peak season when Europe and North America are enjoying summer.
Popular options with past ALLTRACKS students are New Zealand and Australia, which both have decent skiing, and opportunities may even be available in both Argentina and Chile.
All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
It’s not all about working during the offseason, though. Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a gap year? Well, this is the perfect time for a ‘mini gap year.’
Take three or four months and do something new. Travel to a new place, work for a cause you believe in, meet new people, and enjoy new things. Gap years can be incredibly powerful and it’s never too late to take one.
Snowboarding: The Ultimate Adventure
At ALLTRACKS Academy, we offer ski instructor courses designed to help even the most experienced skiers enhance their skills. With programs ranging from 4 to 11 weeks in length, summer is the time to finalise plans for the ski season ahead.
For more information, please contact us today! We would love to tell you more about the opportunities we have in Whistler Blackcomb, Canada.