How To Get A Job Working In Antarctica

Jobs in Antarctica are some of the most demanding both in terms of the physical nature of working in the world’s most extreme environment and mentally, due to the isolation from the rest of the world. Regardless, working in Antarctica, the last frontier, is a calling that many gladly heed.

What Kind Of Jobs Are There In Antarctica?

As of yet there are no commercial oil drilling or mining operations on the continent of Antarctica. An international treaty, which is observed by most nations, restricts activities in Antarctica to research and science based missions. More than half a dozen countries have reserved the right to claim territory in Antarctica, including the U.S.  Fishing is the number one economic activity, though most work is done on offshore factory boats. Next, in terms of commercial enterprise is tourism. There are a number of tour companies that offer Antarctic excursions. Most are members of the informal IAATO or Internationa Association Of Antarctica Tour Operators.  Antarctica jobs in tourism include cooks and housekeeping on tour ships, tour leaders, captains and shore boat crew, ship mechanics, navigators, radiomen and able bodied sailors.

Those with prior maritime employment history may apply to any of the above jobs with Antarctic tour operators but those with many hours of sea time plus endorsements and licenses are favored.

Private Enterprise In Antarctica

There are numerous jobs in Antarctica supporting the various countries research stations. Companies like Raytheon Polar Services operate logistics support facilities that provide power, food, housing, transportation and communications services at polar research stations across the continent.

McMurdo Station is one of several U.S. research stations in Antarctica

As you can see it is a mini-city with fuel storage tanks, living quarters, satellite dishes, radio towers and other equipment that must be maintained. Many of these jobs are done by contractors.  If you wish to work in Antarctica but do not have a PhD then working for a logistics company such as Raytheon may be a good way to go.  Those with backgrounds in mechanics, engineering, communications, logistics, aviation and other fields associated with providing vital services, including maintenance workers, cooks and medics may find jobs in Antarctica.

Where To Look For Jobs In Antarctica

Job openings for Antarctic positions are often filled very fast due to a waiting list of those driven to work at the end of the world. Check sites like

Very often these jobs are filled fast from within and not openly posted. If you know of any jobs in Antarctica please post them in the comments section below.

Job Requirements to Work In Antarctica

You wouldn’t think a psychological exam would be necessary to work as an aviation fuel specialist but many firms that hire workers for the South Pole require some type of mental exam to prove that employees are fit for service. Employees who work at the South Pole (loosely used to refer to Antarctica) must get along well with others and be able to function for long periods of time in harmony with a small diverse group of people.  A rigorous physical exam, that involves a full examination plus a fitness test, is required of all polar job applicants. If you don’t pass either the mental or physical exam you will not be hired, no exceptions.  Following the physical exam a full round of travel immunizations is required.

Lonely Days and Lonely Nights

The allure of working in the most isolated place this side of space may wear off and many workers in Antarctic jobs begin to suffer from depression. Here it is dark for over half the year and during that time polar employees find depression at an all time high. There are activities, both personal and community sponsored to fight depression and boredom. Crafts, computer games, TV and other pursuits help fend off polar loneliness.

If you think you have what it takes for a job working at the South Pole use the resources in this article to locate those companies hiring or Antarctic work.  It may be the adventure of a lifetime and a good way to make some good income.