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Gap Year Jobs

Skier in jacket and powder

Gap year jobs

So you are set on taking a gap year and you have decided to spend it in a ski resort. But what are the gap year opportunities and which is right for you?

If skiing or snowboarding is your passion then a winter season on the slopes in your gap year in the mountains could be an experience of a lifetime!

Instructor Training Courses

Every winter hundreds of gap year students from across the UK decide to spend the winter part of their Gap Year in a ski resort, training to be a ski or snowboard instructor. Although it’s not the cheap option, it is a great way to gain valuable and interesting qualifications while having fun and improving both people-skills and your skiing/snowboarding. Courses run for between 4 and 11 weeks and include training from instructor trainers, a lift pass, accommodation, First Aid qualifications, mountain safety training, exam fees and instructor association membership along with other perks.

Instructor courses often involve training 4 days a week (at least four hours a day) along with shadowing and structured practice scheduled for the remainder of the day. Generally, the weekends are left for free skiing or just recovering!

A ski instructor course is hard work, improves your skills, is great fun and will enable you to find a job in the sector worldwide. If you've saved up some money and you're looking to enjoy yourself, learn some new skills, become a better skier or boarder, and gain some internationally recognised qualifications; this is a great option for you. Once you are qualified you will be able to instruct all over the world.

Working as a ski instructor is a fantastic way to spend a winter season in the mountains. Instructing will not only develop and refine your people skills but will also give you lots of confidence, put some cash in your pocket and help to improve your skiing or boarding.

Instructors are normally paid relatively well compared to those doing other seasonal work, and instructors who are highly qualified can make a good living from teaching. When you begin instructing you'll be teaching a lot of beginners and intermediates, but you will soon progress.

Chalet Staff

This is arguably the most popular option for those wishing to work in a ski resort. It's hard work being a chalet boy/girl but it’s an affordable option. It's great fun and in terms of employment, there is a wide selection of UK Tour Operators to choose from. Also, sign up for our chalet cookery course and we'll even help arrange the interviews for you!

One of the main benefits is that you will have most of the day to go skiing or snowboarding, which is more than some other workers in the resort get. The downside is that wages are often lower and you are exposed to the elements regardless of the conditions. That being said, employees are normally provided with a place to live, food and accommodation. In most cases, a lift pass for the season is included too.

Bartender or Waiter

If you can speak another language and have experience cooking in a commercial kitchen or bartending this can be a fun and financially rewarding. Nevertheless, jobs are harder to come by as this type of gap year work often goes to local residents and seasonaires that return year after year.

Bartending will give you lots of time to ski or snowboard, the money and tips are usually pretty good too and you will undoubtedly improve your understanding of the native tongue.

Lift Operator

Another job for a gap year is a lift operator (or lifty) who is somebody that works on the ski lifts in resort. It's more difficult to get a job as a lifty in Europe but there are lifty jobs available at resorts in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Although the pay rate isn't fantastic you will always be up on the mountain and out in the fresh air. You'll also be able to take advantage of the resorts Aprés Ski scene as the hours of work are during the day so your evenings will be your own.

To work as a lifty in New Zealand, Australia and Canada you will need to secure a working holiday VISA. In New Zealand and Australia, the best thing to do is to visit a resort's website and look on their jobs page. For Canada, it is best to use a company like BUNAC.

Work as a Nanny/Manny

This option can earn you some good money over the winter season. In the larger resorts, there are usually a number of nanny agencies that you can register with for work. You will need to have experience looking after young children and the relevant qualifications.

The great thing about working as a nanny (or a manny if you are male!) is that the work is generally freelance and although you will be very busy over the holiday periods (Christmas, New Year, Half Term, Easter), working all day every day, at quieter times of the ski season you will have plenty of time to ski or snowboard.

You can also work for Tour Operators as a nanny and in this situation, you get provided with a package much like chalet hosts, including your accommodation and pay into your UK bank account. 

If you are interested in becoming a ski or snowboard instructor or a chalet host, contact us today!