Career Profile: Ski Lift Mechanic

Career Profile: Ski Lift Mechanic

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

During the winter, many people like to go skiing in the mountains. Walking up the hills would be difficult or even impossible in many cases, but using a ski lift helps people to get up to the top so that they can enjoy coming down. Ski lift mechanics help make that possible.

Mechanics learn to fix problems with all kinds of machines. A ski lift is different from a car or a truck, but many of the principles are the same. Ski lift mechanics install, maintain, and repair ski lifts, including the cars, the wires, and the motors that keep the lifts running. The skiing season is only during the months with snow, but ski lift mechanics can work all year, doing major repairs in summer and fall and doing regular maintenance during the winter.

Working in this job requires an ability to work in all kinds of weather, often high off the ground. Having a good ability to balance on narrow beams and to do precise work, even with cold fingers, is important. Ski lift mechanics should be able to drive snowmobiles, trucks, and other vehicles. Being able to work alone is helpful, but people in this field also often need to work with other employees and to be able to follow or give instructions. When a ski lift breaks down, the mechanic might also need to keep passengers on the lift calm and to be able to give concise and accurate information.

Wages for this work generally start at about $24 per hour or almost $52,000 per year and can rise to $60 per hour or more than $125,000 per year. Job prospects in this field are limited since Canada has only a few areas with mountains high enough for ski lifts. Most of the jobs are in Alberta and British Columbia, but a few could also be in other parts of the country. For example, Manitoba has a few places with downhill skiing, and the other provinces and territories might also have opportunities.

Most employers require at least a high school education for their employees in this field. Apprenticing as a millwright or a related trade can also be very helpful for learning the necessary skills. Many of these apprenticeships take three or four years to complete, with both on-the-job and classroom training. Knowing the regulations for this kind of work is very important, since ski lifts carry people at great heights, and passengers can be killed if any mechanical problems cause the lift to fall. Even being stuck on the lift for a long time could be very stressful for many people.

Ski lift mechanics should enjoy working with their hands and solving problems. The work can be physically difficult, and  Still, the skills that they learn can be useful in many other trades. If you think that the work sounds interesting, you might want to consider this career. Then you could help people have fun and keep them safe at the same time.


Go2HR. “Career Summary: Lift Mechanic.” https://www.go2hr.ca/career-summary/lift-mechanic.

Payscale. “Elevator Mechanic.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Elevator_Mechanic/Hourly_Rate.

Technical Standards and Safety Authority. “Ski Lift Mechanic Certification.” https://www.tssa.org/en/ski-lifts/ski-lift-mechanic-certification.aspx.

Zippia. “How to Become a Ski Lift Mechanic.” https://www.zippia.com/ski-lift-mechanic-jobs/.

Zip Recruiter. “Ski Lift Mechanic Salary.” https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Ski-Lift-Mechanic-Salary.

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