Ski Lift Operator

Control the ski lift and help skiers climb aboard.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $26,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Ski Lift Operators do?

Flying down the hill on a snowboard or a pair of skis can be incredibly invigorating. However, scrabbling up the side of the mountain to begin the ride isn’t invigorating at all, unless of course you’re a Mountain Climber. Good thing there are ski lifts that transport thrill-seekers to the summit where they can begin their ride. Even better, there’s the Ski Lift Operator who helps people on and off the lift, and steps in if trouble occurs.

If you’re a Ski Lift Operator, your workday begins long before the first rider shows up, especially if a significant amount of snow has fallen overnight. All of that snow must be removed so the loading and unloading areas are clear, and you use a shovel and your strength to do the job.

When the area is clear, you test the lift equipment to make sure it’s functioning properly. If the equipment isn’t working, you call in a Ski Lift Technician to make repairs, and you keep people from climbing onto the broken equipment.

Once the machinery is running smoothly, you check tickets to make sure people have paid to use the lift, and you help them get on and off it without falling down. Being cheerful and kind is part of your job as a Ski Lift Operator, and you enjoy working with all sorts of people.

If the lift has a problem, or if there’s a weather-related emergency on the mountain, you quickly evacuate your riders and help them get to safety. If someone’s hurt or injured in your area, you notify Ski Patrollers, and you stay with the person until help arrives.

Should I be a Ski Lift Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Artificial Snow Making Machine Operator, Auto-Speedway Operator, Shooting Gallery Operator, Shuffle Board Operator See More

    How to become a Ski Lift Operator

    Most Ski Lift Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9aaaaa&chl=no+college+%2899%25%29||associate%27s+%281%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,99,99
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