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How to Get a Job and Work in Antarctica

Antarctica: The coolest job in the world

Every Year about three thousand people are hired to work in Antarctica. Many are scientists but even more hold support positions to maintain the three year round stations, various camps and hundreds of weather stations. This is in collaboration with other countries such as Australia, Germany, and Britain, to name a few.

The United States Antarctic Program has been operating since 1956, sending people to study the southernmost continent and understand the region. For an interesting view of life in Antarctica, check out the Movie Encounters at the End of the World by Werner Herzog.

As for getting a job in Antarctica, here is a quick look at what they offer.

Employment in Antarctica

About 3,000 people are hired each year to venture down to work in Antarctica. Of that about 600 are there to perform scientific studies while the rest provide support to the researchers.

If you have never been a very good scientist, then consider one of the many support positions. There are about 2,500 of these available and they are often similar to positions found back on the mainland.

Positions include cooks, IT support staff, firefighters, mechanics of all types and more. For these positions, pay is comparable to what you might make back in the US. Remember there are a lot more people trying for these jobs, then there are jobs available.

Another way to get into Antarctica is through the Artist & Writer program. The National Science Foundation has an Artist & Writers program in which qualified writers, historians, artists or others in the liberal arts are allowed to live in Antarctica to perform their work. This is unpaid but you would be provided support on the venture. To qualify you must be full time in your field and have a way to present the materials after your work is completed. Currently this program has been put on hold, with the intention of bringing it back in the coming years so check back next year if you qualify.

Lifestyle in Antarctica

Life in antarctica is the most unique living experience you can have. If you're there during North Americas Winter, it is actually Antarctica's summer. You will have one long period of 24 hour sunlight, and thus in winter, you will have a period of complete darkness.

At the main sub stations, you will find a small community of people there to work, each for their own personal reason. Some love to travel others go to get away from something back home. This lifestyle attracts a unique blend of people from around the world.

The population at the largest research station, McMurdo, is just over 100 people during their winter. This is only seasonal however, as in summer that population jumps to about 1,100.

Housing in Antarctica is college dorm style with people having roommates and sharing rooms. On your limited time off you can take part in some of the recreational activities. At McMurdo there are even being people who organize activities for the workers to take part in. Other comforts of home include weight room, library, sauna, TV and a bar.

Meals are provided for the crews on a fixed schedule being served cafeteria style everyday. Each of the three stations has its own cooking personnel to provide for the rest of the crew.

Working in Antarctica

Working in Antarctica, can be an amazing experience for the person looking for an extreme lifestyle as you get to see a part of the world that very few are able to experience. For more information, check out the staffing company who hires Antarctica jobs.

Raytheon - The Hiring Company for workers in Antarctica
Office of Polar Programs - Provides other information and hiring options for Antarctica
Mike In AlaskaAbout the Author
Mike has been working and traveling abroad since 2005. Recent trips include 12 months in Australia, a month in China and another in Europe followed by a six week USA road trip. Mike isn't rich, just resourceful in finding work abroad. In additon to providing free information on working abroad, and travel photography for sale online, Mike is also available for speaking engagements on the benefits of world travel.

The world is too amazing not to share.


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