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How Much Money Can You Make?

For anyone who's never worked in a resort community - and that can be during the winter or summer - you may be surprised to learn that many of the jobs you apply for are low-paying positions. While almost every job will be above the minimum wage, it may not be much more. Jobs come in two basic flavors - tipped and non-tipped. If the former, then overall compensation can be considerably more in a good ski season.

Many guest service jobs that you apply for are TIPPED jobs. These are the bartending, waiter, valet and concierge positions that work directly with the public.

So, don't be turned off when you discover that the hourly base rate is only $2.00 an hour. The good news is that depending on the time of year and the quality of service that you provide, you could make several hundred dollars a day or more in tips. There are even stories floating around the locker room of ski instructors getting a new Porsche for a tip - but those are largely fiction. The bad news is that you are bound by law to report ALL of your earnings to the Internal Revenue Service at the end of the year, so be sure to keep good records of your earnings.

Other jobs like ski and snowboard instructors earn money based on performance. The beginning salary for a non-certified instructor at a small ski area can be as low as minimum wage - higher at larger resorts. But, in addition to your hourly wage, you receive bonuses for the number of returning guests you teach, how many students request you and other incentives. Fully certified snowboard and ski instructors can make as much as several hundred dollars a day, including tips at large ski resorts.

NON-TIPPED jobs are positions that offer an hourly wage, but typically don't get tipped by the guests. These include ski lift operators, ski patrolmen and other positions that work behind the scenes and don't necessarily come into direct contact with guests. The only wage you make is your hourly wage.

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