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    Hey everyone!
    I was planning on going to the job fair in Denver as soon as they post the dates on the website. I really want to do a program there. The season I would like to go down for is the Anatarctica Summer. Starting next Oct/Nov I believe. I have been doing a lot of reading about this program. What determines wheter you do a 4 month or 6 month summer program? Do you get too choose, or does it depend on the job? What are the average weekly wages or pay per hour? Do you get paid by the hour or paid by the week no matter how many hours you work? I saw that you get a bonus at the end of the program, do you know how much or what it is? Is this a money saving opportunity, since housing and food is included? This looks like a really awesome experience, and I hope I get accepted into the program.
    Thanks in advance,
    Jeff-Dayton, Ohio


    Hi Jeff.
    Good luck with the Job Fair.
    4month 6 month– This is totally determined by the job. The majority of people in the summer work mainbody, which is from October to February. In August an early contingent of workers come down to help get things going for mainbody. They make the runways and help get the dorms and buildings set up. It’s a six to seven week season called Winfly. If you get a chance to come down at winfly I would jump on it. It’s the end of winter and cold. Up to 50 below zero and sometimes some of the worst storms in this part of antarctica. Mainbody starts in the 20 below zero range and gets to a balmy 35 to 40 above by New Years. No animals to see at winfly. Plenty to see at the end of mainbody, but only if the seaice melts.The ice has melted only once in the last 4 years.
    Average wages depend on the job. DA’s and GA’s are at the bottom end and are somewhere around the 325 to 350 dollars a week.
    got to go to work. will answer more later.


    Ok, here’s the remainder of the answer. The wages go from one extreme to the other. Mid 300 dollars a week on the low end to skys the limit on the upper end. If you are a licenced blaster or licenced technical person, the wages could be a lot higher. Mid range would be in the 500 dollar a week range. Some depts pay less your first year and more in subsequent years. In the trades you might get hired on as a GA for low wages, come back the next year as carp helper, come back the next as an apprentice and come back the next as a full carp. If you are already qualified you could come in at any point in the scale. Wages are weekly and are based on a six day workweek. Nine hours a day. Generally, you will only work the requiered hours, but your contract will state that if needed you will work whatever. Most Depts (but not all) give comp time off the next day if you work over hours
    On top of the pay all your food, local medical at the clinic, all your housing (rent, elec, etc) expences are free. During the summer months when the station is packed, you will have one roomate in the smaller rooms and up to 4 persons in the larger bunk rooms. During the winter months everyone gets a room to themselves.
    If you are new to the program you will be in a dorm with a community bathroom. After a few years you may qualify for the rooms with built in baths shared by only two rooms.
    At the end of your contract you will get a performance bonus that is a substantial percentage of your contract salary. It’s a sliding percentage and is based on your end of season evalution.
    In addition, some Depts give an extra bonus if you sign on for a summer and a winter. Stuck here for a year with no vacation. you know.
    You may not make as much here as at home but in the end most people will bank more because you don’t have to pay for much.
    At the end of the season you are given a free ticket home. You can trade it in for trips anywhere you want to go. If there is a difference in price, you pay the difference only.
    Most travel around NZ. Many go off to Fiji, Cook Islands,  Austrailia etc.
    This is a great place to work, but be realistic when you come here. If the ice in front of the station melts, there will more than likely be animals to see.No melting, no animals. Expect that that could happen. You are still expected to do the work you were hired for no matter what.  It’s also a dangerous place and there are safety rules to follow. It’s in everyones best interest that you don’t get hurt.
    Also once here, find the people who are getting out and about. It’s easy to sit in your room in your time off and do nothing. If you get involved, you will find that there is so much to see and do that you can’t figure out how  to do it all. Having a group of friends with common interests goes a long way toward making Antarctica someplace you will remember fondly forever.
    If you get hired. keep in touch and we’ll shepherd you through the rest of the process. The people who help me here do a great job of helping you understand the madness.
    Good luck


    Hey Mike,
    Sounds like an awesome experience. I’m going to go to the job fair in April…as soon as they post the dates I’m going to book a flight. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.


    I checked with HR and it looks like the Job Fair in Denver will be April 8th and 9th, 2005


    Thanks TZ for the update.
    Jeff Seidel

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