Australian workers needed to fill 180 jobs on research stations in Antarctica

Looking for a ‘cool’ new job? Here’s your chance.

The Australian Antarctic Division is looking for skilled workers to fill a variety of roles to keep its four research stations running for the 2021-22 season.

Around 180 roles, which are mainly trades-based, are available for four to 18-month stints on the icy southern continent.

“We’re looking for mechanics, plant operators, carpenters, electricians and plumbers as well as broader station support roles such as chefs, communication specialists and station leaders,” Australian Antarctic Division HR Manager Maree Riley said on Sunrise.

Rent and board is free for staff - who are called “expeditioners” - and all meals are prepared by chefs.

More than one hundred Australians are needed to work in Antarctica.
More than one hundred Australians are needed to work in Antarctica. Credit: Australian Antarctic Division

Workers on Antarctica are also paid a special allowance of around $60,000 per year, on top of their base wage, to “recognise the demands of living and working in this isolated environment”.

“The salaries on offer really do differ according to the position somebody is taking up, but the main range is about $60,000 to $100,000.”

Australia maintains three year-round research stations, Mawson, Casey, Davis and one on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Remote field bases operate during the summer research season, supporting coastal, inland and traverse operations.

The population at each station ranges between 40 and 100 expeditioners over summer, and 15 to 20 over the winter months.

There is a strict vetting process for new recruits, given that once workers arrive in Antarctica it’s unlikely they would be able to return home until the stint complete.

“We need to ensure they have the technical skillset to do the job that they’ll be doing in Antarctica,” Riley said.

“We also need to make sure that they are medically fit, psychologically fit and have the personal qualities that we require of somebody living in a small, isolated and remote community.”

People with a “good work ethic” who can “work well in a small environment” and “are aware of how their behaviour can have an impact on other people” are said to be the ideal candidates.

A full list of jobs will be advertised via the Australian Antarctic Program website on December 9.

 

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