Where You Can Find The Best Winter Job

The temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter and shorter. With winter just around the corner, it might be time to make a change and look for a new job. Most people think of seasonal jobs in terms of retail and big Christmas shopping crowds. However, the middle of the year is actually a hot spot for employers looking for workers to fill a winter job.

So whether you’re a student looking to earn some money over the uni break or looking to earn your second year visa, these jobs might be the thing needed to warm up your winter.

Snow Fields

Is there a better winter job than working on the slopes?

Despite the image of Australia as being a country of sun and sand, thousands of Aussies participate in snow sports. Large ski resorts like Falls Creek in Victoria and Perisher in New South Wales attract thousands each year. And other smaller fields that attract more niche crowds. People drawn to the snow require a large workforce to cater to them. Because of the amount of people and the length of the season, there are many job opportunities for people looking to experience a unique aspect of Australian culture. The snow season runs from mid-June until about September, although it depends on the year and how much snow falls.

Ski and Snowboard Instructor

The ultimate stereotype of the winter job has to be the snow sport instructor. With a fun, outdoors, and active job it’s no wonder some people literally chase the snow and disappear to Canada and the US during the summer to keep skiing. In winter, however, they are able to return to the snowfields of New South Wales and Victoria. 

If you want a job as a ski or snowboard instructor you will need to get accredited by the Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors (APSI) association. In addition to a good reputation with Australian snow resorts, APSI accredited instructors also enjoy international recognition from the International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA). This means you will be able to take your skills to the slopes of other countries and travel with your job.

Obviousy, you will also be expected to have to have a fairly reasonable knowledge and skill at either skiing or snowboarding. If you haven’t got those skills just yet there will be plenty of time to learn them while working in one of the many jobs around the slopes. The skills learnt on the slope can be put to good use in other careers too.

Lodge Employees

While Ski Instructors are busy whizzing down the mountains and helping first-timers up the Magic Carpet and the T-Bar, a lot of workers are required to help those people get there in the first place. The whole industry is literally supported by the workers that operate the machinery and run the stores and hotels during the winter. 

The support staff ensure that the winter season is as fun for Australians and tourists as every year. These jobs have a huge boom during the winter tourist period. They include:

  • Lift operators
  • Snow groomers
  • EMTs
  • Cooks
  • Hotel, bar and restaurant staff
  • Cleaners and housekeepers
  • Retail assistants

As you can see, there is a variety of jobs – ones that require little or no experience to others that require previous knowledge and skills.  There are also a variety of roles that allow you to work in an area that suits your interests. 

Because travelling around between the resorts becomes difficult during the snowy weather, you may be expected to help pitch in on jobs you haven’t got direct experience in. Embrace this attitude and use it to develop new skills as well as strengthen current ones like adaptability and resilience

Be aware, however, that working at a ski resort unfortunately does not count as “regional” for those looking to earn their second year visa.

Farms and Stations

Snow not your thing? That’s “snow” problem! Winter is the perfect time to get some work on a farm. 

Whether you are trying to fulfil your second year visa requirements, want some experience of working in regional Australia or simply looking for a job out of the big smoke – farm work has you covered. Working on the farm during the winter has the added benefit of worker in cooler climates – where you are less likely to be roasted to a crisp. With so many farms in regions across the country all focusing on different crops or animals, there are plenty of opportunities to find farm work that suits you.

Picking

Winter is a time for fresh fruits and vegetables – and not just to keep the flu at bay. The cold months are the perfect time to harvest fresh produce around the country.

Thanks in part to the huge country and differing climates you can go warm and avoid the worst of winter in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Or embrace the cold and head into Tasmania, Victoria, southern New South Wales and the ACT. Roll the dice and get a mix of hot and cold with Western Australia and South Australia. There are jobs to be found everywhere and you can literally follow the crops and move around the country if you want to.

Whatever you choose – hot or cold – you will have a winter job that will let you meet other people, work outdoors, and see more of this great country.

A (short!) list of some of the crops you can work with includes:

  • Citrus fruit
  • Grapes – both picking and pruning
  • Pineapples
  • Apples
  • Hops
  • Sugar Cane
  • Vegetables

It’s worth consulting a map and seeing what grows where. That way you can work out what work is available and what type of work you would be doing. If you decide to work on a farm as a picker be aware of your rights and make sure employers are acting according to the law.

Mustering

When people think about a winter job they don’t usually think about working on a farm. While winter is generally a quieter time on farms, there is still work to be done. Mustering is one of those essential winter jobs.

Although mustering is similar in many ways to the first drives that occurred in Australia, there are some new differences. One of the key ones is the use of helicopters to help drive and coordinate musters across the wide open bush. Because of the massive size of properties in the Top End, graziers heavily rely on experienced helicopter pilots to drive herds across their stations.

Although it is a dangerous job, helicopter pilots provide an invaluable service to farmers who would otherwise struggle to quickly cross their properties which can often take days to cross in remote and rugged terrain. It can also be exhilarating and will test both your physical skills and problem solving abilities. After completing training, pilots can look for a muster and start developing their professional helicopter muster career.

Smaller properties especially on the more lush East Coast don’t need helicopter pilots and so rely more on traditional methods such as horses and the less traditional motorbikes and quad bikes. Here you will work as part of a team to help drive livestock so they can be checked up on or sold on.

Winter Job Warning: Mustering is Not for the Faint of Heart

Make no mistake, it’s tough work. Experience with farm life and livestock is a bonus but not necessarily required. One of the most important qualities employers are looking for is longevity. Call it durability, stick-to-it-ness or gumption, employers want to know that you won’t call chicken after two days and leave them shorthanded.

It can be an extremely rewarding job however. It will also ensure that you’ll always have a great story to tell an interviewer. 

Retail

If the snow slopes seem too cold but long hours outdoors working on farms doesn’t appeal then retail might be your ideal winter job. Retail often experiences a mid-year rush as colder temperatures bring people inside and big sales encourage spending.

Getting a retail position in winter makes a lot of sense for those looking to break into the game. The rush period can definitely be a baptism by fire but it will give you fantastic experience. Your future job applications will look much better when your employer knows you can stick it out. 

You might even be lucky enough to secure a position going forward. This gets your foot in the door and saves you having to compete with the thousands of workers looking to grab a bit of the Christmas Casual action.

Putting Your Winter Job on Ice

Can’t find anything you like? That’s okay – there are still plenty of other employers looking for workers during the winter. With the end of the financial year approaching too there will be opportunities to jump on the payroll and a get a winter job for the new year.

I completely understand if the idea of a winter job isn’t thrilling. If you want to try your luck when the weather gets warmer that’s fine too. Prepare for the upcoming job hunt by using this time to brush up your skills at your current job. Make sure your resume is perfect and up to date. When the first summer jobs hit the job board, you’ll want to be ready to go.

Tell Us

What winter job do you want? Is there any that I have missed? Let me know if the comments below…

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