Canadian Rockies FAQ: Working in Jasper National Park

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Canadian Rockies FAQ: Working in Jasper National Park
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Ok, so you’ve just come to Jasper National Park for the first time, and you’re hooked. You don’t just want to be a tourist, you want to live here. This isn’t like the time you almost moved to a cabin in the Yukon, or the time when you were a kid and you wanted to live at the amusement park. You’re serious. What now?

jasper-national-park-mt-christie

Who wouldn't want to work in Jasper National Park.

First things first, you need a J-O-B. Yeah, I know, reality sucks, but that’s the way it is. Once you’ve accepted that, all there is to do is find work. Here you’ll find a quick, handy guide to some places to find jobs in Jasper National Park.

As it turns out, there are some really great places to work when you base yourself in the middle of one of the world’s most awesome national parks. Marmot Basin ski resort, Jasper National Park, and many great restaurants, hotels and other small businesses in the town of Jasper. Below you’ll find the basic info you need to get started on your Jasper job search.

Tourism is the main source of employment in Jasper, almost half of all jobs are related to this industry.

Jobs in Jasper are seasonal to a degree, and tend to peak between mid-May to mid-October, although many recreational activities are offered year-round, and hard workers can often find something.

Some employers here only stay open in the summer months, such as backcountry lodges, restaurants, and tour guides, so employment with these sometimes lasts from May to October. Job opportunities during winter, November to April (technically, although it’s been known to snow just about any time of year here), are often found with guiding and tour compaines, hotels, as well as restaurants and retail stores that stay open year round, and of course Marmot Basin Ski Hill.

The Job Hunt

The best time to find jobs in Jasper is from May to October.

Job seekers heading to Jasper before they have secured work should be aware that it could take weeks to find something and another couple of weeks before they will receive their first pay cheque. There’s also the issue of housing (see more on that below). It is a good idea to arrive with sufficient funds to cover expenses for up to a month. Better yet, do some planning, call around to employers, send them your resume, or maybe come for a visit/job hunt. It could save you from heading home with your tail between your legs.

Jasper Jobs and Skill Requirements

Being able to speak a language, and particularly French, can often help with getting a job in Japser. Many, but not all Parks Canada jobs actually require that you speak both French and English. German and Japanese are also useful.

Naturally, in a tourism based economy, you’ll find lots of hospitality jobs. These include food and beverage servers, cooks, kitchen help, hotel/motel front desk clerks, retail associates and room cleaners. Wages in these jobs range from $8.80 to $10 per hour.

Tourism jobs include tour guides, trail guides and rafting guides. Wages in these occupations range from $8.80 to $14. per hour.

Due to the seasonal nature of some local businesses, an end of contract bonus may be offered if you are willing to commit to finishing the season with the company. These bonuses are usually in the form of an amount of money being paid for each hour worked, paid on you last cheque. For example, you may earn $1 for every hour you work for a company, which would be paid out at the end of the season.

Lodging

It is very difficult to find lodging from April to October. Some employers offer staff lodging. These are often shared with other staff. Accommodation costs are usually deducted from employee paycheque/wages.

  • Buddy Storm

    Nice article. I have recently moved to Ontario from the Sierra Nevada’s and have been having depression living away from the mountains. I do not want to leave Canada & have been wondering what to do next. Your article has giving me the push i needed to get out of here and make arrangements to head west! Jasper bound !!

    Thank you

Alberta Adventure Guide