Getting a job in Antarctica is not as tough as you might think

Visiting Antarctica is one of those ambitions that not many of us manage to achieve. You could start saving now for that once-in-a-lifetime tour, but why not try a more exciting route?

Travel News - Scott Base
Scott Base, Antarctica. Photo courtesy of Laurel Morrison

All you need is it get skilled-up in one of the following occupations, and you could be paid to visit the white continent! What’s more, you’ll be contributing to science while spending your days and nights surrounded by some of the world’s most amazing wildlife in this dream destination.

As well as scientists, the Australian Antarctic Program is regularly looking for people with various trades including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, IT officers, doctors and chefs. There is a host of current job openings online, but opportunities arise regularly.

We chatted to Canadian, Laurel Morrison, who was secured for a gig in Antarctica as a field assistant for a researcher at the University of Otago in Dunedin a decade ago, an experience that clearly helped shape the course of her life since.

Travel News - ANTARCTICA-Blood Falls
An aerial view of Blood Falls and the Taylor Glacier near McMurdo Station. Image by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Not only did she have the time of her life in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Laurel also met the man of her life, New Zealander Mark Morrison, and together they have since set up Wild Wire Wanaka, the world’s highest waterfall via ferrata, on New Zealand’s South Island.

When asked to describe the experience living in Antarctica, Laurel told LP Travel News: “When I was offered that job, it was like being offered an opportunity to go to the moon.

“The area in which we worked, the Dry Valleys, is the largest ice-free area on the continent and it was absolutely beautiful. Because there is little to no water in the form or ‘water’ (it is all frozen as ice) the landscape is shaped by wind and the sun. The rocks in the Valleys are polished in the direction of the wind and everywhere you look each pebble was sculpted and smoothed in that direction.

Travel News - EMPEROR PENGUINS ON SEA ICE OFF ANTARCTIC DRY VALLEYS
Emperor penguins on sea ice at Dry Valleys Antarctica. Photo by Delphine AURES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

“The ice was melted on only the northern sides, making vertical cliffs on every northern face. I walked around with my mouth agape the whole time, just trying to take in the beauty of it all," said Laurel. “Mark was Antarctic Field Trainer and was in charge of making sure the Scientists didn't walk off any cliffs while out in the field. He went for six months, and then again for four months. “If you get offered the chance – go for it! It is amazing. But note: you need to be able to put up with living rugged, we had to clean ourselves with wet wipes – there were no showers in the Valleys. That first shower back, though…amazing!”

For more information on job opportunities in Antarctica see here.

If you want to see what this travel industry couple have built together in New Zealand from a dream to a exciting reality, head to Wanaka. It’s not Antarctica, but it’s pretty spectacular and a whole lot easier to get to.