Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Antarctic job market heating up

A line of Gentoo penguins in Antarctica
The BAS hopes to encourage tradespeople to leave the rat race behind.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has launched a recruitment drive to find tradespeople to work at its research centre in Antarctica.

The organisation is looking for around 40 carpenters, electricians, plumbers, chefs and technicians.

"It's an opportunity of a lifetime. As well as the scenery you are supporting science," said Athena Dinar of the BAS.

Successful applicants will earn around 23,000 with free travel, accommodation, food and clothing.

'More money'

Engineer William Ray spends two months each summer working at the base.

He told the BBC's Breakfast programme: "It's fantastic: beautiful scenery, great wildlife, it's everything you'd imagine."

The contracts range from four to 18 months

The salaries offered may not compare favourably to wages for similar jobs in the UK, but with a distinct lack of opportunities to spend their income, new recruits could well end up better off.

"We know that probably can't compete with what tradespeople can get in the UK," said personnel officer James Miller.

"But, of course, your accommodation is included, all your food's included and all your clothing's included. So, you get to see a lot more of that money when you get back."

Up to 100 people operate from the base in Antarctica at any one time, conducting research into climate change and biodiversity - work which recruits will support.

Contracts will run from four to 18 months.

With the UK's employment market distinctly chilly, the BAS hopes that even the -30C Antarctic conditions will prove attractive.

Print Sponsor

New evidence on Antarctic warming
21 Jan 09 |  Science & Environment
Ancient Antarctic eruption noted
20 Jan 08 |  Science & Environment
Design wanted for Antarctic base
29 Jun 04 |  Science & Environment
Sea creatures of the Antarctic
01 Dec 08 |  Science & Environment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific