Pursue a Career in Ski Area Management with a CMC Ski Area Operations Degree

Learn specialized technical and management skills to launch your career at a ski resort

Put your passion to work with a degree in Ski Area Operations at Colorado Mountain College — our program the most comprehensive training program of its kind in the nation, and the only one in the heart of Rocky Mountain ski country. Choose between our residential program in Leadville, or our low-residency program for working professionals available at all CMC campuses.

CMC Ski Area Operations graduates are distinguished by their blend of technical and hands-on training.

Prepare for a job in:

  • Ski area management and design
  • Lift maintenance
  • Mountain operations
  • Ski area risk management

SAO Residential Track

Based at CMC’s Leadville Campus, the Ski Area Operations Residential Track is the classic residential college experience, with five major mountain resorts, including Copper, Ski Cooper and Vail, about an hour from campus.

SAO Residential Track

SAO Low Residency Track

This hybrid program allows working professionals to take the program from their home community while working and learning at their local ski mountain. Students will travel to Leadville for brief, intensive residential sessions to use the campus’s state of the art equipment.

SAO Low Residency Track

Program News

'Snowboarding forever' with the Ski Area Ops program

At twenty-seven years old, Colin Whitaker’s resume is impressive; Four years of ski patrol, a degree in Ski Area Operations with a certificate in Slope and Trail Maintenance, and exposure to all aspects of mountain operations at various resorts around Colorado. Read more: ‘Snowboarding forever’ with the Ski Area Ops program

Ski Ops Grad Lands Job at Hometown Mountain

Dallas Zamora is returning to the mountains he grew up on, and bringing his career with him.  Thanks to his degree in Ski Area Operations and three years of professional experience on his resume, Dallas landed a job as a Terrain Park Cat Operator at Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah—just 40 minutes from his hometown. Read more: Ski Ops Grad Lands Job at Hometown Mountain

Ski area operations education launched emergency medical career

Reed Clawson had his mind set on being a professional ski patroller. He never expected to be working as a flight paramedic with a helicopter team.

“I wanted to make ski patrolling as viable a career as I could. But all these doors opened because of the training and schooling, and led me in the direction I went,” said Clawson, 34, of New Castle, a 2012 graduate of Colorado Mountain College. Read more: Ski area operations education launched emergency medical career