Career Profile: Ski Lift Mechanic

Career Profile: Ski Lift Mechanic

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Imagine what it would be like to carry someone up a mountain slope. Very few people could do that on their own, but they can if they work as ski lift mechanics. These skilled workers help to keep downhill skiers going up hills and mountains so that they can enjoy their sport.

Normally, people go skiing only in winter and early spring, but ski lift mechanics work all year to keep the lifts working in good order. Have you ever gone skiing? If you have, you might have seen two types of ski lifts. One type has long wires called cables close to the ground where people can hold on as their skis slide up the slope. The other has bench-style chairs attached to cables, which carry people far above the ground to the top of the hill. Both types of lifts need people to look after them.

During the snowy season, ski lift mechanics can be very busy. With people using the lifts every day except in bad weather, mechanics have to make sure that all of the equipment is working well. It is very important that the lifts are safe for people to use because otherwise they might fall and get hurt. Mechanics need to check the cables and other parts to make sure that they will work smoothly and not fail in the middle of the day. They might need to work in the dark to make sure that the lifts are working when people want to use them. Sometimes, they also first install the lifts and then continue to take care of them later on.

Even when ski season is done, mechanics still have a lot of work to do.  They need to repair or replace parts and test the lifts to make sure that they are working. On high mountains which have snow all year, mechanics have to work hard to keep the lifts working all the time. Often, mechanics also operate  and fix the lifts.

Getting work in this field usually requires a combination of training and experience. Some ski lift mechanics need certificates, and many people also work in an apprenticeship to learn from experienced mechanics. Some employers are willing to train their workers, but others might want people to get some education or experience before they start. A career college might be a good place to start looking for any necessary training.

Ski lift mechanics people should be able to work well with others in all kinds of weather conditions, including blizzards and extreme cold. Generally, they earn between about $26 and $28 per hour. In Canada, most of the jobs would be in provinces like Alberta and British Columbia, but other areas might need mechanics, as well. Do you love to ski? Maybe you can combine that interest with your future job.


Apprentice Search.com. “What Does a Ski Lift Mechanic Do?”  http://www.apprenticesearch.com/AboutTrades/GetTradeDetails?tradeId=81&TradeName=ski-lift-mechanic.

Go Ski Alberta. “Jobs.” http://www.goskialberta.com/jobs/.

Go 2 Tourism HR Society. “Lift Mechanic.” https://www.go2hr.ca/careers/lift-mechanic.

Technical Standards & Safety Authority. “Ski Lift Mechanic Certification.” https://www.tssa.org/regulated/ski/skiLiftCertification.aspx

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