This might be the most unexpected — yet delightful — job opening I’ve found to date.
I could even go as far as describing it as cool.
I told you it’s cool.
Sites are in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Stillwater, Minnesota; Lincoln, New Hampshire; and Midway, Utah.
So do you want to build a snowman — err, ice castle?
How Does One Build an Ice Castle?
Basically, the crew “grows” more than 20,000 icicles on special racks each night. In the morning, harvesters break them off one by one and place them in carrying bags. From there, the construction begins.
Ice Castles creator and founder Brent Christensen began this project back in 2009. He says the construction usually begins in October or November — hence the current call for build crews.
Christensen says castle construction generally takes about four weeks and requires roughly 1,000 hours of work.
The final product? It’s a 25-by-40-foot-tall castle (seriously) that covers about an acre of land.
“When walking and exploring an ice castle, it may feel a little like being inside a glacier or an ice cave,” Christensen describes.
When I asked if he could compare it to anything, Christensen responded: “You might compare it to the ice castle in Narnia — without the mean witch. But it’s hard to compare to anything, really.”
What Becoming Part of the Build Crew for an Ice Castle Is Like
Really, crew members don’t have “average days.”
“Unlike any other job in the world where you go to work, show up at 9 o’clock, leave at 5 o’clock, you punch in, you punch out, it’s different,” Jesse Stone, a site manager, says. “Everyday is different because different problems arise when you’re working with the weather.”
Christensen echoes Stone’s sentiment.
“Dancing with Mother Nature, performing a collaborative work that yields something so very far beyond the capability of humans,” is the most rewarding part of the job, Christensen says.
However, the work is physically demanding. And cold.
“How cold is it really?” I ask, like the native Floridian I am.
Of course, temperatures vary by location, but he says the crew often experiences heat waves of 40 degrees or so. Yes, that’s a heat wave. He says the coldest weather he’s had to work in was -30 degrees in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
How Can You Become an Ice Castle Builder?
Ice Castles is hiring right now for this season.
The work begins in October or November, and cleanup could run until June.
You’ll typically work 20-40 hours a week. Some locations provide housing, and pay varies by location.
Christensen says the best workers love being outside (even when it’s cold) and can work hard, solve problems and be flexible (in hours and duties).
You must be at least 18 years old and able to lift at least 50 pounds.
You can apply for any of the locations on IceCastles.com. It’s also hiring event staff (ticket sales and guest services) for each site — if you’re not into harvesting icicles or something equally chilly.
For more jobs — in less extreme temperatures — visit our Facebook Jobs page.
Your Turn: Could you work in temperatures this cold?
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.