Life as a Ski Resort employee in the Canadian Rockies.

 Life as a ski resort employee in the Canadian Rockies.

You have gained employment in a resort in the Canadian Rockies. You may have secured a short-term working contract. You could be a student, working in a gap year. There could be the possibility of a permanent job. What can you expect from working in a famous ski resort?

To look at what's on offer.

These resorts can be world-famous. They will be fully equipped ski resorts, that can offer skiing opportunities for serious professionals all the way through the beginners. There will be other winter sports such as snowboarding. 

When you look at the Canadian Rockies, you have the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver to the west, and close to the Rockies. In the province of British Colombia. On the other side of the Rockies, on the east, in Alberta province, you have the city of Calgary and above that Edmonton. To the side of the Rockies on the east, there is the national park and town of Banff.  Above that, there is the large Jasper national park.

To look at some examples. 

There is Sunshine village, part of the Banff national park in Alberta Canada. There are restaurants, bars, and shops.

Whistler in British Colombia is a fully developed skiing resort.  Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. Whistler village is found at the bottom or base of Whistler mountain.  This has hotels, condos, restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars. 

From this, you can see that you do not have to worry if you are not a fully qualified ski instructor. If you already have experience in bar work or catering, then there will be opportunities. There could be openings for service work in the hotels. There may be a need for maintenance staff, guides, and instructors. If you are there for any length of time, then help could be given for this. 

OK, the life you can expect there, starting with employment possibilities. 

Going online and typing in job opportunities in the Canadian Rockies will soon throw up a lot of possibilities. 

Food and beverage jump out immediately if you look for work. Previous experience will be needed along with a valid Canadian work visa.  Some jobs may ask for previous skiing experience.

The type of work covers “front of house” activities in major resorts and hotels. If you have a good rapport with people then this sort of work could suit you. You may be a cashier at a bar or a restaurant. Maybe work as a waitress or waiter, or a bistro or food station attendant.. there are possibilities in all these different areas. 

There are also possibilities for “back of house” workers. This includes food preparation. If you have a background as a chef or sous chef, you may be able to find work in these roles. Be prepared to work hard, and be able to take the pressure.  If you feel you are up for this and are qualified, give it a go.  This could look great on any future resume or CV. 

There is cleaning work as a maid in many resort hotels. Plus work in large establishments shipping and receiving. That is making sure inventories and stocks are maintained in say a big hotel or resort.  

Plus roles as guides in hotels could be on offer. Again, after initial training, this could be a role for anyone who likes helping people. 


Look out for the perks and extras that may be on offer with any of these jobs.  These may include reduced accommodation fees, as well as discounted food. You could get free skiing and snowboarding lessons. There could be a season pass to skiing very near you. Specific staff discounts on food beverages and products in the resort. 

If you have a background in sales, then there could well be openings in a resort like Whistler,  A snowboarding and skiing school will need someone who can give advice and sell specific services the school has to offer. This role could apply to other outlets in a resort-like Whistler. This would suit someone with previous experience in sales, plus who is very confident with people. 

An example of this is a guest relations host. This is someone who can relay accurate information about the facilities and opportunities available at the resort in general.  If you are working in a hotel then this would also relate specifically to the hotel. Again, good people skills are essential as you will be there to sort out guests' concerns and worries. Success would be to make people want to return again to that specific hotel or resort. This could be partly down to the role you performed in helping people. 

For a more rugged job, there are openings for snow lift hosts. You will be expected to get up early and clear away any snow from the lift. Plus making sure then loading ramps are kept clear of snow and debris.  You will need to look after anyone using the lift and deal with any problems that might arise. 

Average temperatures in Banff for example can drop to -16c in January, so full winter clothing is needed if you are to work outside. Low temperatures will be a shock to start with, but if you keep active this will not be a problem.  In central provinces like Quebec, winter temperatures can drop to -20c or more plus wind chill.  Being totally covered up, outside will be essential there. 

Alternatively, a far warmer variation could be a lift attendant in a hotel. 

For those with specific skill sets, there are maintenance jobs available. Winter conditions, snow, and frost can take a toll on buildings and structures. If you have a background in the building trade, painting, decorating, and carpentry, then there are openings. These are more long-term jobs and may last more than the season. It would be a good idea to look at what work visa you would need for this post.  Being in a supervisory role would look good again, on a resume or CV. 

Also, if you do have qualifications as a ski instructor then there are many openings. You will need the experience and the right qualifications.  However, there are opening for nonspecialists. For very young children, 4 to 6, there are special schools for snowboarding and skiing.  A background in working with children will help. You will be given specific instructions about what to do when you get there.  

During the winter season, from mid-November through to April, many jobs will be seasonal and temporary.  However, many of these resorts have a lot to offer all year round, in terms of hiking the scenery, etc.

So there could be longer-term opportunities. If you want to find a job in the Canadian Rockies, play to your strengths.  With the help of a good agency, you will be able to see what skills, qualifications, and experience can be used to find you a good work placement.

All Work And No Play

If you are fairly young and you have got yourself a good seasonal job in a Canadian Rockies ski resort then you will have some time to enjoy yourself. 

This will depend upon the hours and shifts you work, but you should have some time to yourself.  If you have a good enough income, you should have enough to spend while you are there and maybe save a bit.

The major resorts do have a lot to offer, this will also give you the chance to meet new friends from different corners of the world. 

In Banff, if you are a Country and Western fan, there is Wild Bill's Legendary Saloon, offering live bands as well as good food.  This includes cuisine from Western Canada, plus a range of beers, wines, and spirits.  Aurora is for anyone into club and house music. They have the latest sounds plus visiting DJs. The Hoodoo bar offers a range of drinks, bars, and DJs. The Dancing Sasquatch offers an amazing interior along with a mix of good music.  

Canmore, Alberta, is on the edge of the Banff National Park and 81 K (50 miles) from Calgary. You will find Hooligans there, with DJs and good music. There is also the Legends pub with live entertainment and a dance floor that can take 240.  

Jasper, in Jasper Park Alberta offers the Atha B Night club with a range of sound systems and karaoke. This is part of the Atha B Hotel.  Pete's Night Club offers live bands, sports on big screens, and a free pool.

For those on the west of the Rockies, then accessing Vancouver should not be difficult, if you want a good night out. There is a huge range of bars, clubs, and venues.

You may not want to go clubbing and drinking all the time. The Rockies offer an amazing landscape. It would be worthwhile just hiking and visiting places. Plus learning new skills, like getting into skiing snowboarding, and skating. Plus if you get the opportunity to go to see an  ice hockey match, one of the premier sports in Canada,

Plus, if you have put some money aside, there will be shopping opportunists in the major resorts and cities. 

There is a world of possibilities if you find work in the Canadian Rockies.  There is the experience of the work itself and what you will gain from being in this amazing part of the world.


To help you find a work placement and to sort out the visas plus other details, it makes a lot of sense to find a good agency that can help you.  They will guide you through the application process. This will be combined with matching your skills to any possible job there may be out there.

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