How Much Do Ski Patrollers Make?

Cori Gramms
Written by
Last update:

What do Ski Patrollers Do?

Firstly, it is important not to confuse ski patrollers with ski instructors. Instructors are in charge of teaching skiing to people at a resort. Ski patrollers work for community-based organizations that aim to help people enjoy the mountain recreation area. Based on their location, ski patrols help skiers, snowboarders, and mountain bikers. They provide emergency care and first aid when necessary, as well as assist in taking injured skiers to the nearest medical facility. Ski patrols may also conduct search and rescue.

In addition, ski patrollers offer advice to visitors, monitor the weather and avalanche conditions, regulate the terrain around their area of responsibility, and train people how to use the ski area safely.

Here’s a summary of the most important activities that patrollers do:

  • They provide first aid care to people recovering from injuries and sudden illnesses
  • They offer advice and tips on skiing, hiking, or climbing to visitors who request it
  • Additionally, they explain the safety rules and regulations, teach avalanche preparedness, and oversee evacuation protocols
  • Patrollers rescue people in the event of an avalanche or where there are ski injuries or accidents
  • As patrollers are at the sites of emergencies, they may become involved in air and helicopter transport of injured people or even medevac assistance

To view a day in the life of a ski patroller, watch:


How Much do Ski Patrollers Make?

It is extremely difficult to find the exact data on how much ski patrollers make because it varies a lot with location, time of year, and other factors. US ski resorts usually have one of the following pay systems during the operating seasons:

  • volunteer basis (patrollers do not get paid)
  • part-time
  • full-time
  • per day basis
  • per season basis
  • per year basis

Sometimes ski patrollers work under a contract for the entire season, while others get paid on an hourly basis. According to 2018 reports, American ski patrollers earn an average of $15.79 per hour or an average salary of $28,557 per annum. However, salaries can range from $21,000 to $68,000 in the US alone. This confirms our assessment that earnings are highly dependent on location.

Ski Patroller Appreciation

Ski patrollers earn a relatively low salary for the essential services they provide. In the US, patrollers do not receive employee benefits or holiday pay. They also have to work over 48-hour weeks to qualify for overtime pay. By and large, they are only employed for four months of the year.

Patrollers don't just help us with the ski lifts or answer our questions – they take every measure to ensure our safety at all times. They provide an invaluable service because they know how important the work is, not because of the earnings.

For these reasons, we need to appreciate the great work that they do on a daily basis and not to take them for granted. Take the time to thank ski patrollers for their hard work, long hours, dedication, and the essential service they provide to all skiers.

Your small act of appreciation will go a long way to keep them motivated or just brighten their day.