Let's work in the French Alps

If you love the great outdoors, love French food and generally like to be active with action, adrenaline sports on your doorstep then a move to the French Alps could be just what you’re looking for. There are enough interesting jobs on offer, both during the summer and winter season, that you could find yourself busy in the mountains all year round. The majority of the work focuses on the bustling tourist industry.

During the winter months, the mountains are awash with holidaymakers eager to check out the excellent skiing that’s on offer. If you simply want to find a job that pays the rent to enable you to live in the mountains and ski or snowboard everyday then bar work, nanny work, chalet hosting or one of the numerous hotel jobs could be ideal. Generally these jobs will often come with accommodation, food and a season’s ski pass. If you’re looking for something a bit more interesting and different then maybe you should consider becoming a snowboarding guide. You should already be a pretty good snowboarder before you start and although not essential, it would be beneficial if you held some qualifications as a snowboarding instructor. There are numerous schools that can train you up and get you through the qualification, take a look at for further details. Once qualified, you may also find employment in Canada, Australia or New Zealand at an instructor level. A point worth noting, it is extremely difficult to get instructor work in France unless you have been assessed in the French scheme, which requires a very high standard of skiing and downhill racing. Traditionally, very few non-natives of France have achieved this qualification, although EU regulations are beginning to break down the nationality barrier. However, being a snowboarding guide is much more accessible and possibly more fun as you don’t spend most of your time on the nursery slopes teaching people the basics.
During the summer months the mountains become a magnet for rock climbers, mountain bikers, BASE jumpers and hill walkers. With warm temperatures and long days, the once snowy mountain villages are reborn with outdoor cafes and open air swimming pools. Again, like during the winter, the great majority of jobs are in the tourist industry. An interesting job for the summer season is to be a mountain biking guide. Obviously it would be helpful if you liked mountain biking before you applied but those with the necessary skills could find the job very rewarding. You could be guiding anyone from a family group looking for a relaxed ride around a lake to a tearaway group of youngsters looking for the biggest hills. Generally both groups want the same thing, someone with local knowledge who can show them where to go and not get lost. In fact, you can learn this local knowledge quite quickly as you find your way around the mountains and establish your different routes depending on what your customers want. Many chalets will offer mountain bike guides for its customers and this would be a good place to start to look for work. There are also many private firms that hire guides each season. In addition to skills on a mountain bike, basic first aid skills and an awareness of mountain safety are essential. As a guide, you are expected to take responsibility for your group and get them off the mountain safely.


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