Jan Schmid was born and raised in Trondheim, Norway, but has two nationalities because of his Swiss parents. From the age of 16 onwards, he competed in the World Cup, first for the Swiss national team but in 2006, he decided to switch to the Norwegian team. At that point, the Swiss Federation refused to let him go without a transfer payment which was covered by Norwegian sponsors in the end. At the World Championships in Liberec in 2009, he managed to win his first medals for Norway, a silver medal in die Individual Gundersen competition and a bronze medal with the team.
Together with his brother Tommy, who is also a Nordic Combined athlete, Jan likes to take part in national and international orienteeting competitions during the summer time. In addition to that, he likes computers and music. After completing a degree in pedagogy, Jan is currently studying German and plans to work as a teacher in school should his athletic carreer no longer work out.