Career Development - Lift Operations


Lift operations is a critical function for every ski area, as properly maintaining chair lifts is crucial to guest and employee safety. Lift mechanics possess a mix of skills that range from general electrical knowledge, mechanical knowledge, knowledge of PLC and industrial controls, ability to work at heights, to the ability to work in a variety of outdoor mountain weather conditions. 

Check our our My Office: Lift Operations video above to get a sense of a day in the life of a lift mechanic. This career will have you working outside in all weather conditions, as well as in control rooms, in lift terminals, and at times climbing towers. If you love the outdoors, enjoy winter, and are mechanically inclined, the lift mechanic career could be just the thing you’re looking for.

How to Get Started

Interested in learning more about this career path? We recommend speaking with some of folks who already do this for a living to get a sense of what’s involved and what kind of skills and education you’ll need to get started. Ski NH can connect you with someone email us at Info@SkiNH.com or call 603-745-9396.

Below we’ve also listed local and national educational resources for lift mechanics and those who are interested in becoming a lift mechanic. We suggest you click around and explore these links to get a sense of what the job entails, what education is available and the kinds of continuing education that exist (this is a job where you can start small and grow to big heights!).

College Programs

Colorado Mountain College Lift Maintenance Online Education Program 

Please note: Courses are only available to employees of current NSAA members. Interested in joining? Click here to learn more.

NSAA and Colorado Mountain College (CMC) are delivering online education for lift mechanics at NSAA member resorts across the country. This new online curriculum is being offered free of charge to help increase the lift maintenance knowledge at your ski area and supplement existing educational opportunities. Ten online learning modules are available to all NSAA members and their employees. Each class is designed to be completed by individual lift mechanics, allowing them to learn at their own pace and select topics that they need the most. Courses can be completed on the mechanic's preferred device — a desktop computer, tablet, or phone. Upon successful completion of each module, the learner will receive a certificate validating what was learned, with documentation for the mechanic and their employer.

Click the button below to learn more about the NSAA/CMC Lift Maintenance Program. 

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Gogebic Community College

Gogebic Community College (GCC) in Ironwood Michigan offers the opportunity for ski lift maintenance employees to develop the skills necessary for the successful completion of their job responsibilities. The Ski Area Management program at GCC offers an intense three week course in Lift Maintenance. Check out the video below to learn about working in the ski industry.

If you like what you saw in the video click the button below to learn more about the Summer Ski Lift Program at GCC!

National Programs

NSAA Lift Maintenance Series

NSAA knows how valuable the education events like LMS and RLMA are to ski area operation, so they offer the same important and timely content virtually. Find live webinar recordings   with industry and ropeway experts on the NSAA website. These online courses are open to all employees of NSAA member ski areas.

Topics Include:

  • Reading Electrical Schematics - The "How To"
  • Documentation and Record Keeping Best Practices
  • Basics of Electricity
  • Troubleshooting Comm Lines and Deropement Switches
  • Lift Maintenance Resource Guide - Creating Procedures
  • Bearing Maintenance with Emerson
  • Gearbox Maintenance and Inspection with Artec
  • What to Expect from the Inspector
  • Maze Design, Load & Unload Ramp Setup
  • September 1: Using Google Docs & Office 365 to Create Forms, Schedules and Procedures
NSAA Lift Maint. Series

Lift Maintenance Seminar (LMS)

For more than 40 years LMS has offered a wide variety of ski lift related educational sessions and has trained countless numbers of lift maintenance personnel. Over the past several years seminar topics have expanded to include slope maintenance, snowmaking and grooming. Typically, this in-person event attracts more than 350 attendees from 80 +/- ski areas and supplier companies from across the US. 

The 46th Lift Maintenance Seminar will be held April 10-13, 2023 at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, MA. For more information click the button below.

New Hampshire Programs

Ski New Hampshire Lift Maintenance Seminar

Great news! Ski NH is developing a hands on Lift maintenance Seminar that will take place annually during the spring. We are working with a team of experienced lift mechanics, schematics experts, and electricians to develop a well rounded program to help those who are new to the field and have never held a meter to those who are experts. So stay tuned for more information as our program develops.


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