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Sep 13

Make money in a winter wonderland

Reading Time: 6 mins

Ever wanted to work for Santa? No need to answer that, of course you do. Read on to discover how to make money in a winter wonderland.


Capture the job of a lifetime: be a photography guide

winter photographer

Finland is one of the most beautiful countries of the North, with snow-laden forests, far-reaching lakes, majestic mountains, the midnight sun and the Northern lights. It’s a goldmine of beauty for photographers, and so Finnish company Beyond Arctic offer specialised photography tours for guests seeking to immortalise the freezing beauty of this winter wonderland.

How do you become a photography guide?

Beyond Arctic is based in Rovaniemi, Finland, just on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Their tours are small and exclusive, highly unique and authentic, and, conveniently, currently in need of more photography tour guides.

CEO Juho Uutela says, “The dream would be to find reputed photographers, who are ready to share their passion with our clients. […] We can offer [an] innovative and adventurous working environment in our growing company with a competitive salary.”

Beyond Arctic are looking for someone with:

  • Knowledge of photography
  • Experience in guiding
  • Fluent English skills
  • A B-driving license

Also appreciated is:

  • A warm, sociable personality
  • Hygiene certificate
  • Knowledge of other languages, particularly Dutch, Spanish or German
  • First-aid skills

Want to live the dream of any aspiring landscape photographer? Email your application to with ‘Photography guide’ in the subject line.


Santa’s elf

Adults in Christmas elf costumes

Santa is looking for helpers!

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, shopping-centre-promoting, fake-white-beard Father Christmas – this is the real deal.

For anyone who loves Christmas, what could be better than giving a hand to Santa Claus in his home country?

You will be living and working in Finnish Lapland in the character of one of Santa’s elves. As you’ll be in costume during working hours, you’ll need to layer up beneath. Make sure you remember your thermal underwear and a few pairs of socks fit for Dumbledore!

What do you need?

  • Ability to work with a constant smile in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment
  • A happy, amiable personality
  • Experience in drama or working with children (preferably both)
  • Fluency in English
  • Knowledge of other languages would once again be beneficial


Husky or reindeer carer


Ho Dasher, ho Dancer, ho Prancer and Vixen… Santa’s reliable friends need constant care to be in tip-top condition for their annual round-the-world jaunt.

Similarly, dogsleds pulled by huskies are becoming ever more popular, and just like the reindeer, they need plenty of attention.

Husky and reindeer farms all round Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle require help for many things, including:

  • Feeding the animals
  • Preparing dogsleds or sleighs for tourists
  • Repairing and cleaning equipment

An interest in agriculture and a love of animals are the only prerequisites for most of these roles, as any training is usually done on the job.

These can often be quite far from the nearest towns, so some employers offer payment through full bed and board and the opportunity to take part in their various activities for free.


Lapland ranger

Winter reindeer sleigh

Are you full to bursting with Christmas cheer? Are you the type to turn into a festive maniac from the first day of November?

Those with an exceptional amount of enthusiasm for Christmas will be perfect for this job. You will be leading guests in all kinds of snowy activities:

  • Ice fishing
  • Husky sled driving
  • Tandem skiing
  • Sledging
  • And, of course, snowman-building!

You need to be outgoing, approachable, great with kids and not afraid to start a good sing-a-long whenever the need arises. Check out more details at this link here.


Build a snow village

Man building an igloo

Okay, so you got snowmen and snow angels down. An igloo? Might take a while to figure it out, but you reckon you could build one.

So here’s a challenge: why not build an entire hotel, including bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, entirely from snow and ice?

Every year in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Lapland, the enormous SnowVillage is erected from scratch in around a month. Janne Pasma and his construction team from the four corners of the globe start hiring for workers in the summer, at which point they also begin planning the theme of the hotel.

This year, the SnowVillage is a Game of Thrones masterpiece, complete with the Eye of the Night King’s Dragon on the Ice Bar’s wall.

Maybe you’re excited, but you’re thinking you can barely put in a lightbulb, let alone build a hotel. Not to worry! The hotel will also be needing receptionists, cleaners, security, waitresses, bartenders and chefs… These roles are all open as well for anyone wanting to make money in a winter wonderland.

You can read more about this year’s SnowVillage here.


Cabin host

Log cabin the in the snow

Luxury catered log cabins are all the rage for holidaymakers in Lapland, and the guests need someone to look after them. Responsibilities vary, but may consist of:

  • Housekeeping duties
  • Breakfast preparation
  • Three- or four-course evening meal preparation
  • Snow clearing
  • Assisting with luggage
  • Basic administration

Requirements typically include:

  • Significant experience in hospitality
  • Catering qualification or experience
  • Experience in customer service
  • Fluency in English (you’ve managed to read this, so that’s one to tick off!)

This may be done in the role of a Christmas elf, in which case you will also need to stay in character whenever around your guest family. This is a highly coveted position by those in the business, and the pay reflects this – so that’s something else to look forward to.

Two possible application routes lie here and here.


Aurora borealis watch

Aurora Borealis

Many head to Lapland and the Arctic Circle for a chance to see the Northern lights. The mesmerising display of coloured light is created by the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field and gas particles in the atmosphere.

Alaska, northern Canada, Sweden, Finland and Iceland are the most popular locations for those hunting the Northern lights, although they have been known to come as far south as Scotland during times of heightened solar activity.

The problem for tourists is that the lights are an extremely unpredictable phenomenon. They are most likely to appear September-October and March-April but are (relatively) common throughout the winter. The darker sky and clearer air of winter also makes spotting them an easier matter.

However, this is never a certain business. The most common hours of appearance are between 9pm and 2am, but guests (unsurprisingly) find that they are grumpy the next morning when they exchanged a good night’s sleep for nothing in return.

Hotels have attempted to rectify this by setting up an aurora borealis watch as an additional option, allowing them to go to bed and be awoken by the watcher through an alarm if the lights do appear.

Could this be you? You would need to stay awake and alert all night long, watching the skies. If you’d like to make money in a winter wonderland, then this has got to be one of the most beautiful, spiritually satisfying jobs out there.


don’t feel like you need to go it alone

Group of friends in the snow

Realised that your dream job lies in the list above? Excellent.

For those who feel that what they can see still isn’t quite perfect, try making use of the European Job Days portal. This connects you to employers displaying vacancies all around Europe, with specific days for certain locations. Get online here and you can be interviewed and even hired on the same day!

Of course, just upping sticks and leaving home, friends and family is still a daunting prospect. Fortunately, House of Lapland, the official marketing and communications website of Lapland, explains the answer to every question you might have. Learn how to make money in a winter wonderland with this link here.

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2 years ago

Some good ideas for working in the winter.

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