Getting A Seasonal Job in Whistler | Where to Find Work
So the jaw-dropping mountains and endless adventure of Whistler Blackcomb have caught your attention. Dreaming of days spent earning your turns, surfing the powder, and then reliving it all an hour later over an ice cold craft beer is what drew most of us to Whistler in the first place and keeps a lot of us around.
While life in Whistler can be simple, it isn’t cheap. Luckily for you, there are so many ways to lower your cost of living in Whistler – the easiest being to get a job that gives you free ski passes, super cheap accommodation, and free meals to some of the fanciest restaurants in town.
Here are our top tips on finding jobs, choosing the best one, and the epic perks you’ll get along the way.
What You Need to Know About Whistler Jobs
Your first season should be spent with a seasonal position in Whistler. We suggest working weekends and having weekdays off to best enjoy what the mountain has to offer.
What’s the difference since COVID-19? No matter the position you’re looking for, you’re in luck. One silver lining to this never-ending pandemic is that Whistler is in dire need of all kinds of workers. Servers, instructors, customer service, dish washers, and hosts, there are open positions across Whistler.
In regular times, there’d be an influx of people coming from around the world. The city is even nicknamed Whistralia due to the incredible amounts of Australians that usually take over. Unfortunately, with borders shutting, they’ve had a hard time making their way to Whistler.
What You Need To Know Before You Move Here
Your first job in Whistler probably won’t be like any job you’ve had before. You probably didn’t have the 20 cm rule at your last job, and we’re almost certain you didn’t get to sneak in some powder laps on your lunch break. So here’s a few other key things you need to know before you get here:
Get Yourself a Work Permit
First things first, If you aren’t Canadian, you’ll need a work permit to work in Whistler. If you’re British, Australian, Kiwi, or from loads of other countries, you can get an IEC Working Holiday Visa which is pretty easy to get. They give you one or two years to live and work anywhere in Canada. If you’re not eligible, don’t worry – plenty of employers will sponsor employees for the right job.
Don’t Expect To Earn Your Fortune
Minimum wage in BC is $15.20 so you can expect to earn anything from $15 to $18 per hour, depending on your job. Don’t panic hearing that, plenty of jobs will earn you great tips. For example, while servers do have a slightly lower minimum wage, they more than make up for it in tips. If you’re lucky enough to work at one of the high-end restaurants, you could earn hundreds of dollars a night at the busiest times of year.
Save Some Money For Your Rent
Rent in Whistler does not come cheap. With so many remote workers moving to Whistler, housing is nearly impossible to come by. Be prepared to spend a good portion of your paycheck on your house. If you’re lucky enough to get staff accommodation, you could pay as little as $500 per month. Otherwise, expect to pay anywhere from $650-1200 per month, especially in winter.
Make The Most of The Perks
Look, no-one comes to Whistler to make money. We come here for the lifestyle – the days spent outside, the adventure, the friendship, and the freedom. Luckily for us, most employers work hard to create great perks to make your season way more fun.
The most obvious perk is a free ski pass – offered to everyone who works for Vail. Staff housing is another great benefit to look out for. More and more businesses are investing in accommodation to keep staff comfortable and happy.
There are also adventure perks. Depending on where you work, you could get paid to ski, get your hands on free snowmobile tours and bungee jumps and get major discounts on your favourite outdoor brands.
Think About Pemberton and Squamish
With Whistler having the big name, it also has the big costs. By living in Pemberton or Squamish and commuting, you’ll be able to save money on rent and enjoy a quieter lifestyle. That being said, you’d need to own a car and be ready to experience traffic on weekends with tourists visiting from the lower mainland.
What Kind of Jobs Can You Get in Whistler?
As previously stated, there are tons of jobs, both seasonal jobs in Whistler and full time. Most jobs are in recreation, accommodation, food and beverage, or retail. It’s pretty likely you’ll find yourself working in one (or more) of those roles.
Even within that, there’s a huge range of jobs. Here’s just a few that we thought of:
- Ski Instructors
- Snowmobile and zipline guides
- Axe throwing hosts
- Restaurant servers
- Daycare workers
- Retail sales clerks
- Boot fitters
- Ski rental techs
- Reservations agents
- Hotel bellmen
- Ski valets
- Shuttle drivers
- Hotel concierge
- Night audit
- Maintenance technician
As you can probably tell, most of these jobs involve helping out the millions of visitors who come to Whistler every year. That’s honestly one of the best things about working here: sharing the town that we love with people from all around the world who can’t believe it’s for real.
Where to Find a Job in Whistler
With so many jobs on offer, it’s never too difficult to find something you love. In fact, if you don’t need to start working straight away, it’s normally worth waiting until you arrive to start hunting. That way, you can apply in person, and get interviewed nice and quickly.
A few of the best ways to find seasonal jobs in Whistler are:
At Job Fairs
Several times a year, Whistler Blackcomb (Vail) and Gibbons offer job fairs in Whistler. Both places typically offer free ski passes and cheap staff housing. They also recruit all over the world – in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Honestly, the personal touch works in Whistler. Print out a smart looking resume, and do the rounds. It’s a pretty small village so it won’t take you long. Plus, they’re more likely to remember you and call you back in for an interview.
The classified website is actually a great place to find jobs here. New jobs are posted nearly every day, and most have a really simple application process.
Another great jobs listing website that gets loads of updates from Whistler businesses all the time is Indeed. They have an option to include your resume and apply directly off their website.
Whistler Personnel Solutions
Whistler Personnel Solutions is a site that connects employers to those wanting to work. Either sift through their job board or upload your resume and let them match you with the perfect job.
Working for the city will definitely be more serious than working in the food and beverage or hospitality realm, but you’ll probably get paid a better salary as well as be able to take more vacation days. Check out their current opportunities online.
What Are The Best Jobs In Whistler?
There’s a job for everyone here in Whistler. But here’s a few of the ones we think are particularly awesome, and why:
- Ski or bike instructor – I mean, c’mon, you get paid to have fun and bring out your childish side by playing with kids. Spending every day on the mountain? Yes please. Because all instructors work for Whistler Blackcomb, you’ll get your ski or bike pass fully covered, too.
- Server – Servers work hard, but it’s paid off in tips. Plus, you can get your mornings off to ridem or evenings off to party.
- Hotel Front Desk – Front Desk Agents get to sell all the awesome activities and restaurants in Whistler. That also means they get to try them all out. Think free dinners, free drinks, and even free bobsleigh tours (yes, for real). Plus, loads of hotels offer staff housing and epic parties.
- Axe Throwing Host – Throwing axes and hosting parties every day? Seems like a pretty good deal to us. We love working here at Forged, and we think you will too.
Finding a job might not be the most exciting part of starting your life in Whistler. But we’ve found that working in Whistler is (almost) as fun as playing here.
You’ll get to know awesome people, have unforgettable experiences, and make friends for life in your Whistler job. So what are you waiting for?