The Compass Blog

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda Key, Florida

The Variety of Winter Seasonal Jobs

Kathi Noaker

It’s that time of year when employers for winter seasonal jobs are in full recruiting mode. In pondering a winter job and where you might like to be, here’s a rundown of possibilities to consider. 

Like the snow?

  1. The ski industry employees thousands of seasonal workers each winter. The seasonal jobs aren’t just available at the ski resorts themselves. Lots of satellite businesses operate in ski towns – hotels, restaurants, outdoor gear shops, etc. When it comes to housing, some ski resorts have housing available in dorms on property, and some have off-site shared housing in condos. If you’re considering a job in a ski town and the employer doesn’t offer housing, look online for roommate options. Also, check out the public transportation that’s available. Often ski resorts have buses that run up the mountain from the nearest town several times a day. Speaking of buses, if you like driving, consider being a ski town shuttle/bus driver. If you don’t have a CDL license, check the ads closely as some provide paid training.
  2. For the more adventurous, consider a winter seasonal job experience in Alaska or Antarctica. From a ski resort south of Anchorage, to a heli-skiing lodge near Valdez, and then all the way north to some outdoor adventure camps in the Arctic, there are plenty of winter opportunities to experience Alaska’s darker season with the magic of the Northern Lights. At the opposite pole, you’ll find skilled trade positions and Information Technology and Communications positions working for companies that support three Antarctic research stations and two research vessels. Room and board available.
  3. If you’d like to give guest ranch work a try, you can find ranches in both snowy and desert environments. Some ranches in the northern Rockies convert their summer horseback, hiking and biking trails into groomed X-Country ski and/or snowmobile trails. Some groom upwards of 50 kilometers. They often run sleigh rides as well, and they of course serve up lots of hot cocoa!  

More of warm weather person?

  1. You might want to check out some of the more southerly National Parks – the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Big Bend have winter seasonal jobs available at lodges, resorts, and in Food & Beverage jobs. Everglades National Park has all of those as well as guide jobs – with both the National Park Concessionaires and private resorts and businesses near/surrounding the parks. Room and board is available with the National Park concessionaires, but you’ll have to check with the private businesses – some do, some don’t. 
  2. If you like physical work outside, think about a stint with a Conservation Corps in Arizona, California, New Mexico or Texas. You’ll learn leadership and trail building skills, and if they’re considered Americorps positions, you’ll receive an educational award at the end of your term of service. 
  3. You’ll find some winter opportunities in tropical Florida that include guest service and Food and Beverage jobs at resorts and restaurants in the Keys and on other islands. Many have housing available.
  4. Have a science background and like to work with kids? Outdoor Education Programs in California and Texas might interest you. Or how about being a camp counselor at Space Camp in Hunstville, Alabama?

And finally, here’s a sampling of some unique winter seasonal job opportunities that make the site every year about this time:

  • A builder of Ice Castles
  • A hanger of holiday lights
  • A caretaker of sled dogs – maybe even learn to be a musher
  • A Program Office Mate that allows you to snorkel and Scuba Dive in your free time
  • A ski or snowboard instructor for people with disabilities

Our Winter Jobs page is full of employers recruiting for a myriad of seasonal positions for the upcoming winter. From the conventional to the unique, there’s something to fit every seasonal worker’s eagerness for adventure and a new experience, whether it’s the place, the weather, the job, or the fellow crew members. Now’s the time to explore the possibilities and see where this winter will take you!