There’s nothing quite like scoring free lift tickets at a favorite ski and snowboard area — unless it’s a free season pass. There are literally thousands of free tags between here and the Poconos, and now’s the time to get in line. Of course, they’re free in the sense that you don’t pay cash, but you WILL have to put in some hours at one of the many jobs that fuel ski area operations. The resorts are hiring right now, with many part time jobs available, from lift attendants to food service workers. Starting closest to home, here’s where they are and how to get in on the action. – Jay Lloyd

(credit: Jay Lloyd)

(credit: Jay Lloyd)

Spring Mountain operator Rick Buckman is on the final hiring push for the coming season with jobs open throughout the resort. Most of them are part time and perfect for students with available weekends. Rick tells me that anyone who lands a job and puts in 10 hours a week gets a season pass in addition to their salary. Jobs are open in skiing operations, the rental shop, customer service, even for instructor positions. You have to be at least 16 to apply, or 18 if you want to operate the lifts. Slide on over here for an online application.

Bear Creek, located in nearby Berks County, just held a job fair to fill positions at the sprawling resort. The popular local mountain has blossomed into a four-season complex, complete with hotel, four eateries, bars and a conference center. But the big crush comes as skiers and riders head for the mountain to play in the snow. The resort requires a lot of extra help on the slopes, at the lifts, in the nosheries as well as at a tony restaurant, along with all the usual support services needed by a high energy snow sports venue. Positions are still open. Here’s the application.

Shawnee Mountain will host a job fair on November 8th. Mountain Manager Jim Tust tells me he’ll be filling 500 jobs throughout the resort from the nursery to ski school. “Attitude is the key,” he says, and his staff can teach you the ropes. There are part-time jobs for those who can only work weekends. Mid-week day and night jobs are also available and come with skiing perks. If you’re hired full time, the spouse and kids also ski free. For a look at the available jobs and an application, click here.

(credit: Jay Lloyd)

(credit: Blue Mountain)

Blue Mountain, 17 miles north of Allentown, will be holding three November job fairs to staff the mountain. The first, on November 2nd, will focus on ski and snowboard instructors for an array of programs, from children’s classes to racing. Other departments will be interviewing prospective winter employees on November 13th and 15th. Check the hours and job opportunities here.

You can be as young as 14 to score a job with skiing and riding perks at Camelback Mountain. The jobs at that age are limited to the cafeteria, where you’ll be busing tables. But it’s a foot in the door, some money and a free lift tag. For older workers, hundreds of jobs are available in all departments here, including lift operations and customer service. Head to Camelback between November 5th and 8th for a job fair interview and check out the available positions before you go here.

(credit: Jay Lloyd)

(credit: Jay Lloyd)

Here’s a chance to apply for jobs at two popular Pocono ski and snowboard resorts in one shot. Jack Frost has been a longtime hit with skiers who nest in winter homes at the base of the mountain, while Big Boulder has a youthful tilt and is favored by terrain park buffs. The twin areas are looking for snowmakers, tubing attendants, ticket sellers and lift operators, along with a full range of inside help and ski school instructors. Look over all the openings and get an online application right here.

If you plan to spend winter days at these or any other snow sport resorts on a consistent basis, check their websites now. It’s peak seasonal hiring time, and virtually all ski resorts are looking for help. By the way, the jobs are not all reserved for the young. Retirees with more time to offer and more time to ski are also welcome.

Good luck.