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10-02-2006, 04:50 PM #1
Engineering jobs in the ski industry?
Do they exist? As a ME student its seems like the time of the year to be looking for the internship for next year. I was just curious about whether companies even remotely related to the mountains use mechanical engineers for design or anything else.
Wasn't sure whether to put this here or some place like Ask TGR; figured it would get more views here anyways.
10-02-2006, 05:07 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
Where are you? If your in Utah maybe doppylmar lifts. But your more likely to need composite materials experiance for skis/snowboards themselves. Not sure though, I'm an ME student myself.
10-02-2006, 05:11 PM #3
No, not near Utah, although I would go anywhere for an internship.
I do the FSAE thing here at school so I have used carbon, kevlar, and fiberglass to some extent.
10-02-2006, 05:12 PM #4
If you find out about any, please let me know!
Actually, your chances are slim, but there still there. You probably won't work for the resort itself. Resorts generally don't have any use for an M.E., so they'll hire out when they're needed. Only a few of the very, very largest resorts will keep a civil on staff (not really ever an M.E.), and usually they're a P.E. with 10+ years experience, or they're a lowly draftsperson and keeper of topo maps.
Your chances are much better off the hill. There's usually one or two very small civil firms located within mountain towns that are fairly remote from major metropolitan areas (i.e. BCC and LCC have no civils, but Summit County and Jackson Hole do have civil firms). Those jobs tend to be fewer and far between.
The lower ranks tend to turn over fairly regularly. Most people last about 3-4 years or less in a ski town, or a whole lifetime. Few live for 5-15 years and then move on. Therefore, during most Springs, many civil firms will be hiring M.E.s. You guys are a bit of a hit-or-miss group, so you'll have to research some.
However, there's a turn over rate for reasons, the job market is often tight and competitive, the pay is crap, and the job stability is tenuous. If you get laid off, which is always a solid possibility, you're S.O.L., as no one else will be hiring nearby either. You'll end up either swinging a hammer, installing cable, working at a local grocery, or moving to somewhere with a bigger job market.
That said, it can be fun, and there are benefits.
- First off, you'll get paid better then most newbies in a ski town.
- Second, the winter's get very slow and you'll get a fair ammount of time on snow. For example, when I had a similar job, I got 60-80 days on snow while working almost full time. While it's not as nice as being able to get 100+ days in a season, 60+ days is still very solid. Most employers know that you're there for the snow, as they are, so they'll shut things down when bigger powder days come around. I had plenty of days where the boss and I headed up to the hill 'cause there was 1+ foot of blower.
- Third, you'll have health benefits for when you break yourself.
- Fourth, the company will be smaller and more down to earth then the corperations in the city. As such, you'll be less pigeon-holed, and be expected to cover more aspects of the business. You'll better learn how a company is run, since you may end up doing tasks that you'd never do at a big corperate firm. For example, you may end up answering phones, sending out invoices, tracking down unpaid invoices, etc.
Don't expect to do it forever. However, it will not hurt your career, and you'll get loads more skiing, biking, hiking, etc. in then if you lived in a bigger city.
Last edited by Ubersheist; 10-02-2006 at 05:15 PM. Reason: clarityFighting foot fungus one public bath house at a time!
10-02-2006, 05:25 PM #5peon
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Maybe not a job in the ski industry, but I have some friends that were ME and work for companies in ski towns. I know a decent amount of people who worked in engineering firms in ski towns (Steamboat and Vail precisely, in fact a friend of mine did an internship with a company in Vail). Lift mechanic is always a possibility, but it's going to be ski area pay.
10-02-2006, 05:34 PM #6
The most successfull engineer I know in the ski buisness graduated as a Wet Civil got a couple years of experience, went back to school, got his MBA and got into management.
I wouldn't be entirely surprised if he occasionally lurks here..."if the city is visibly one of humankind's greatest achievements, its uncontrolled evolution also can lead to desecration of both nature and the human spirit."
-- Melvin G. Marcus 1979
10-02-2006, 05:38 PM #7
As a fellow FSAE graduate, jobs like what youre thinking are pretty rare.
I did find some interesting stuff when I was hunting, but youd probably have better luck hopping on with an engineering firm close to a place with good skiing. There are lots of those.
I have degrees in ME, MSE, and Composites engineering in addition to 4 years FSAE suspension & chief engineer experience. I was looking from anything in bike, boat, ski, and general outdoor type equipment. Bes toption I found was from easton but never heard anything back. I think they were far from snow as well. Id also imagine benefits wouldnt be as great in comparison to a larger company. Theres a lot to be said for my work schedule, benefits, and pay. I had friends who worked in racing working on various IRL teams and they just ended up getting pissed off, having no free time, worked like a dog, shitty pay, shitty benefits, and just ended up getting laid off. Sounds pretty shitty just to work in a "cool industry".
10-02-2006, 05:40 PM #8
Maybe you can intern for PM Gear. You could sleep in Splat's garage and for payment you'd get half off on a pair of Bros. It would look fantastic on your resume.
10-02-2006, 05:58 PM #9
Hey thanks for the replies guys.
I figured there wasn't much out there from a non business standpoint. Unless I suddenly learn German I don't think there is much for me overseas either.
I know what you mean about your friends. A few of mine have found themselves stuck in Detroit as low level engineers with few ways to move up. Just looking at other places of interest since I can do an internship over a summer and not have to look 5 years out into that field if it isn't for me.
10-02-2006, 06:10 PM #10
10-02-2006, 06:35 PM #11
The key is to be an ME for construction (HVAC, elevators, etc.) That's the best way to live in a ski town and work as an ME. Still, of all the civls, you guys have the least options in mountain towns...Fighting foot fungus one public bath house at a time!
10-02-2006, 06:43 PM #12
JBN999, you can always try Burton as they sometimes have jobs for engineers posted. Also, if you want to try one of the larger ski companies, the only way I've really been able to see a way in is to do an Engineering Research Internship with Adidas which would at least get you into the company, from which you could try to move to the Salomon side.Yep, seen this before. Crazy liquor & cheeseburger party got out of control.
10-02-2006, 06:56 PM #13
Rule 1.) Don't work in the ski industry if you want to ski a lot.
There are a few engineering jobs in the ski industry. Some mechanical (think tramways) some civil (think land development), etc.
I looked for a while, and realized that getting a good engineering job in the area of the country I wanted to live in was more benifitial than getting the job in the actual industry. My degree in Environmental Resources and Forest Engineering (think civil, environmental, and dendrology all melded into one). The trade mag to take a look at isski area management.
Last edited by grskier; 10-02-2006 at 07:18 PM.
10-02-2006, 07:14 PM #14
i don't think the work was ski related, but i also know a couple ME dudes that did co-ops/internships at some place in Vail.
10-02-2006, 09:53 PM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
I am also an engineer with sales experience that would be open to moving "out west"....I gather that the best "areas" to find jobs close to skiing are:
Reno/Sparks/Carson City, NV
Denver/Co Springs, Co
What are some other "areas" a person like myself (Industrial Engineering with sales exp.) can look?
10-02-2006, 10:34 PM #16Registered User
Elvis has left the building
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
10-02-2006, 10:38 PM #17
10-02-2006, 10:48 PM #18
Last edited by The AD; 10-02-2006 at 10:52 PM.
10-02-2006, 11:18 PM #19
A friend of mine worked as a MEng for G3 in Vancouver. He spent a maybe 2years designing a b/c shovel for them.
I think he enjoyed it but its not really a life long career. An internship would be cool though.
10-02-2006, 11:59 PM #20the Fourth
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
A Mechal Engineer friend of mine worked for Power Engineers in Ketchum, ID (Sun Valley) for his first job out of college. I lost touch with him but I heard he may have worked for them in Durango as well.
10-03-2006, 12:10 AM #21
10-03-2006, 12:19 AM #22
10-03-2006, 12:49 AM #23
10-03-2006, 12:59 AM #24
10-03-2006, 08:10 AM #25A Mechal Engineer friend of mine worked for Power Engineers in Ketchum, ID (Sun Valley) for his first job out of college.I have mastered all major sporting activities to a high degree of mediocrity.
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