Doing a ski season or "being a ski bum", for most people, is all about getting a lot of skiing in that would otherwise be unaffordable. For others it can be a fun way to fill the winter months of a gap year, meet new people or a chance to explore different career options. 

The tourism industry offers a good selection of jobs, from managerial positions to working as a ski instructor, ski rep, chef or barman. Depending on your chosen resort, you may even be able to learn another language.

Veteran seasonaire, James Young, has spent eight winters in the Alps and can't recommend it enough: "I decided to do a season to improve my skiing and by the third winter I was a qualified instructor. It's not just the skiing that appealed to me though, I met lots of likeminded people including my wife and also managed to pick up Italian."

The first thing to decide is where you want to go. Don't forget that there are two hemispheres and it is possible to ski all year round. Once you've decided on your destination, you have to be clear about what you can offer an employer - experience, languages, a cooking qualification or of course an instructor's qualification.

Make sure that your job actually allows you skiing time. Don't forget a day job will keep you busy when the ski lifts operate unless you have previously agreed arrangements to take time to ski. Many seasonaires favour evening jobs - bar or restaurant work - so they can make the most of skiing. Being a ski rep for a tour operator is the near ideal way of getting time on the mountain and on the customers' side of the bar in the evening.

Working for a well known ski company will mean they pay your season's ski pass, accommodation, and some meals too. It is a pretty informal job market place and first come first served is the rule although application forms have to be properly filled in. 

Accommodation provided for resort workers is not luxurious and you will not have room for much stuff. If you fly out the baggage limit will affect you as well.

The internet is a good place to start looking or talk to friends who have already done a season. If you're thinking about doing a season this year, the sooner you apply for jobs the better.

Visit or for the latest ski resort jobs around the world.