The thought of being paid to lead a winter hike down a snowy trail or ski down your favorite mountain is not as far-fetched as you might think. There are actually a number of great jobs that allow you to combine your passion for winter sports with your need for a steady paycheck.
While skiing is one of the most popular winter activities in the world, it can also be one of the most dangerous. Every developed resort you’re ever likely to visit employs some type of medical team responsible for safely dealing with emergencies on the slopes.
If you’re an exceptionally proficient skier and have a keen interest in emergency medicine, working ski patrol could be a perfect fit for you. Becoming certified as a Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician is a good first step, but look into specific training regarding chair-lift safety and avalanche rescue if you really want to grab the attention of potential employers.
Check out the National Ski Patrol website for more information on education and credentials.
Snow Sports Instructor
If emergency medicine isn’t something you’re interested in, but you still want to turn skiing into a paycheck, consider a position as a ski or snowboard instructor. Whether you’re an advanced telemarketer or a veteran boarder, instructors are needed at resorts all over the country for all types of snow sports.
Visit the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors website for more information pertaining to qualifications and training.
Sporting Goods Retail
While it may not sound as glamorous as “ski patrol,” winter sports retail positions offer a unique opportunity to share your passion and knowledge of the outdoors with others. In addition, many of these jobs come with the added bonus of in-store discounts and manufacturer specials. Most outdoor professionals are offered a chance to purchase gear directly from the manufacturer at a significantly discounted price — a perk known in the industry as a “pro deal.” Both parties actually benefit greatly from this relationship because while the professionals get to buy cheaper equipment, their use of the products serves as an unofficial endorsement for the manufacturer.
The benefits of combining work and play are endless. I hope the above ideas encourage you to research the individual positions further in hopes of landing that perfect winter sports job.