Scott, We have a rather large heavy equipment shop. They also do light vehicle repairs there too, and we have a power plant that needs a mechanic, so there is definately a demand for mechanics. Pay down here is tricky. Most would say that you get less per hour here than you would back home. However there are a few hidden benefits that sweeten the pot. For starters all your cold weather gear is provided for you. Granted it is not new, but you have no need to buy parka’s or boots or gloves or anything, unless you have special preferences. I would imagine that to buy the gear they give us would run you close to a thousand dollars. At the end of your contract it goes back to the program, but still it’s money you never had to spend.
Next comes housing. Financially, many people give up their home payments when they come here. All of your living expences are covered here. No electric bill, no rent, meal are free(and good, too), no auto insurance, no nothing. The only thing you pay for is alcohol if you drink. There is a store here that sells souveniers and extra goodies like shampoo etc. You pay for that but the bulk of what you would pay at home for living expenses becomes money in your pocket here. Most people save far more here than they would at home making higher wages.
Finally there is transportation. Your ticket to Antarctica is completely paid for. They fly you at their expense from the airport nearest your home all the way to the ice and at the end of your contract back to your home airport. There also is no need to come right back. If you want to vacation in Fiji , New Zealand, Austrailia etc, lots of times these are free stopovers on your existing ticket home. Just trade in your ticket for one that suits you. Almost nobody goes right back to the states when your vacation starts in New Zealand, one of the most beautiful countries in the world.