The Best Jobs in Antarctica for the 2020/2021 Winter Season
Updated on: by Olivia
Do you want to get away for a while? Enjoy a nice change of scenery, perhaps?
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Well, how do you feel about the cold? If you start reaching for your heated blanket as soon as you hear, “Antarctica,” this may not be the best article for you. On the other hand, if you are already intrigued at what I could possibly have to say about jobs in Antarctica, carry on with your reading! You may be surprised!
Jobs in Antarctica
Are you thinking that it would be near impossible to find jobs on a freezing cold and desolate continent like Antarctica? While the jobs are considered sparse, compared to the amount of jobs elsewhere in the world, there are actually quite a few job opportunities, just waiting to be filled, on the frigid continent.
As for what kind of jobs you can find near the South Pole, well, there is actually quite a bit of variety. It isn’t strictly research, believe it or not! Though research is certainly a hot job in the region. This is mostly due to the fact that the extreme environment provides a magnificent lab, for a number of projects.
According to Leidos (you will learn more about the company further down), “The program goals include: understanding the region and how its ecosystems depend on the polar environment; understanding its effects on (and responses to) global processes such as climate; and using the region as a platform for fundamental research in every scientific discipline.”
US Antarctic Program
If you are seriously looking into what kind of work you can find on Antarctica, the United States Antarctic Program is a wonderful place to start! The program employees over 3,000 people each year. Many of these brave folks are in the research field, and gather all sorts of useful data. Others are deployed simply to maintain equipment and the properties.
Many of the jobs are outsourced through various contracting companies. Here are some of the larger companies that do a large portion of the hiring. These agencies hire folks to work on all three of the United States stations in Antarctica: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station, and Palmer Station.
The main contractor for the US Antarctic Program is Leidos.
While working for the National Science Foundation (NSF), employees of Leidos are able to help manage a variety of operations at the stations. This includes remote field camp support, science support, research vessels, work stations, construction projects, medical facilities, emergency response, environmental protection, communications, shipping, transportation, housing, and even food services.
Nearly every job contracted has a set time period, in which the employees must remain at their station, to complete their work.
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There are two different seasons in which people are contracted out for. The slower season, the Antarctic winter (February-October) seems to have fewer number of positions available. You will find that many of the positions are actually available during the austral summer (October-February).
Gana-A Yoo Service Corporation
Obviously, a lot of the jobs require degrees, and some heavy, prior schooling. But if you don’t quite have the skills needed to fulfill the research jobs, don’t fret! There is still a chance you can work on the South Pole, after all! In fact, there are plenty of job opportunities that only require a high school diploma or GED.
Gana- A’Yoo Service Corporation is the contractor that is used to fill these positions. They are currently hiring for the austral season of 2020/2021.
When skimming through their website you will see a variety of jobs that nearly anyone can do.
During certain parts of the year, there are thousands of people stuck in the Arctic for months at a time. These folks will need to have someone to cut their hair. Someone to run the retail stores they visit. A cook, to prepare and serve the meals they will be eating, multiple times a day. Someone to help keep the facilities clean. Even someone to oversee the distribution of the mail going in and out of the stations.
Although a good number of these jobs are suitable for those with minimal education, it appears as though just about all of them require you to have a current ServSafe Food Handler certificate. However, the course to get certified is fairly easy to pass.
There are also other licenses or certifications required for some of the jobs. For example, if you want to be a hair stylist on the continent, you will be required to have cosmetology or barber license. A postal clerk, on the other hand, needs only a valid driver’s license, in addition to to the food license.
Are you looking for a techie or engineering job in Antarctica? Head on over to GHG Corporation’s page.
There are currently over 30 jobs (some with multiple openings!) ranging from antenna rigger, to computer technician, and network engineer. Apply now. Some positions start as early as this August.
Pacific Architects and Engineers Inc.
Pae is another leading contractor who hires various skilled employees to work at the South Pole, McMurdo, and Palmer Stations.
Some of the jobs that you can apply for at Pae include, but are not limited to welders, firefighters, plumber, power plant mechanic
Pae has job postings in over 70 different countries on all seven continents! This simply means you will have to take a few extra steps to find a job on Antarctica. Just click on careers, international, and view career options. From there you will have to click on the other international link, and further narrow your search to Antarctica locations.
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As mentioned, there are a number of different agencies to go through when looking for jobs in the coldest, driest continent on Earth. The above agencies are the most popular, however, there are many others. If you still have not found just the right job to apply for, try your luck at any of the following agencies.
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- NSF Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
- PHI Inc.
- University of Texas Medical Branch – Polar Operations
McMurdo Station jobs
McMurdo Station is the largest station on Antarctica. The station itself is situated on the Hunt Point Peninsula of Ross Island. It just so happens to be the furthest point on the South, that is accessible by ship!
The station is home to about 85 different buildings, of various sizes, from small single story shacks, to a large 3-story tall building! Why so many buildings? Well, each building serves a purpose, from a safe place to sleep (dormitories), to extracurricular activities (shopping and clubs), to other essentials, such as a power plant, and even a fire station.
There are also landing strips, and even a helipad, to allow for air transport, in and out of McMurdo station.
As far as what kind of research that is done at McMurdo station, well there is quite the list. Data is collected from many different branches of science, including aeronomy and astrophysics, geology and geophysics, biology and medicine, ocean and climate systems, and even ocean and climate systems.
Perks for working in Antarctica
Many could never fathom working in a bitter cold climate. However, many of the jobs that you will find in Antarctica actually have some perks.
The experience of a lifetime
To begin with, how many people do you know who have ever traveled to Antarctica? Probably none, right? Or maybe just a few, at most?
Working in Antarctica gives you the chance to do something most people have never experienced. No matter where you go, once you return home, people will be eager to hear all about your experience near the South Pole. How cold was it, really? What did you eat? Did you have running water? The questions will be endless, because honestly, there isn’t much that is common information about living there.
Company issued warm weather gear
Second, if you are worried about staying warm, well, that is a legitimate question. But if you happen to land a job at Palmer Station, with the United States Antarctic Program, you will be issued warm weather gear.
You will provide your own long underwear, socks, and sunglasses (trust me, you will need them, to fight the glaring sun). As for some of the other gear, well, the USAP will provide you with three different jackets (rain, polar fleece, and wind). They also issue rain pants, polar fleece pants, and a pair of bib coveralls, to some. You will also be provided with various gear to protect your feet, hands, neck, and face. But at the end of your contract, everything issued by the USAP must be returned, before heading home.
Room and board
If you are looking to cut back on living costs at home, you can easily do so while working in Antarctica! Most, if not all of the jobs in Antarctica will provide you with a free, or cheap room and board. The housing is dormitory style, so it will be like living in college all over again. I bet you will even make a new group of friends to connect with, during your lengthy stay!
Are you worried about how you are going to pay to get from your hometown, all the way to Antarctica? And what about the return trip home?
Not to worry! Paid travel expenses are another perk that many of the jobs offer! So don’t let a sad bank account deter you from the opportunity to work in Antarctica.
Read More: 16 Best Traveling Jobs Around The World
Want a winter job, closer to home?
If you think still think you would love an opportunity to get away for a bit, but are not quite convinced that you are capable of spending months, stuck on Antarctica, there are other options that you may want to consider.
Did you forget there is a country just north of the US, that gets quite frosty in the wintertime?
Winter jobs in Canada are another great way to find a job in the cold, a little closer to home. Best of all, you will not necessarily have to sign a contract, holding you there, if you do not wish to be there any longer.
In Canada, the winter season begins in November. So in order to make sure you have a job secured, when the weather turns, be sure to start submitting your applications as early as June!
Ski resort jobs
Ski resort jobs are quite abundant in Canada. But you don’t necessarily have to know how to ski or snowboard in order to get a job at one. There are plenty of other opportunities for just about anyone. The jobs can include selling tickets, cooking for the cafeteria, keeping track of rental inventory, janitorial, bartending and of course teaching lessons.
Some ski resorts will offer perks, instead of pay, or in addition to pay. You may even be able to find somewhere that will cover your room and board, or even allow you to have unlimited access to the slopes! It is basically like getting paid to travel!
Check out this amazing ski resort that is hiring, globally!.
Last Frontier Heliskiing Canada is well known among many snow enthusiasts, due to the unique lodging, crazy amounts of snowfall, and the fact that they offer heliski tours from two locations.
While you have probably never considered finding a job in one of the coldest places in the world, you are probably pondering it now. And why shouldn’t you be?
The experience, alone, is enough to make anyone want to plan a year or two in advance, and possibly embark on a new and exciting adventure!
You don’t even have to be a genius to be employed in the Arctic. You just have to be willing to brave the cold, at the bare minimum.
Do you think you could handle a job in Antarctica?
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