The Australian Antarctic Division engages Watercraft Operators each season to operate jet barges, Uniflotes, workboats, Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo vessels (LARC), Inflatable Rubber Boats (IRBs), and Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) on resupply voyages to Australia’s 3 Antarctic continental stations, sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and other remote Southern Ocean locations. Their primary responsibilities are to skipper/crew watercraft to deploy, monitor and retrieve ship to shore fuel lines, and undertake ship to shore transfers of passengers and cargo.

The typical employment period for Watercraft Operators varies between approximately 2 to 8 weeks.

Suitable applicants may be included in a candidate pool from which vacancies may be filled over the next three Antarctic seasons.

The Australian Antarctic Program’s (AAP) vision is to ensure Antarctica is valued, protected and understood. Working with the AAP provides a unique opportunity to experience Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, while supporting world-leading science.

The AAP aims to support expeditioner growth, professionally and personally, with a focus on wellbeing. We strive to employ versatile, proactive and community minded people. Expeditioners will need to contribute to a small team and be resilient as they face the challenges of living in an isolated environment.

Employment conditions

  • The annual base salary (while in Australia) is $83,375 per annum ($3196 per fortnight before tax).
  • Additional allowances totalling $63,437 per annum are payable while working in Antarctica.
  • A generous employer superannuation contribution of up to 15.4% will be paid in addition to salary and allowances.
  • You will accrue recreation leave at the equivalent of 20 days per annum pro rata. Please note that recreation leave is not available in Antarctica, but will be paid out on return to Australia.


For general enquiries, please use our contact form to speak to the Recruitment team.


You must be an Australian citizen, Australian resident with work rights in Australia, or a New Zealand citizen. Please note: Jobs requiring a security clearance are only open to Australian citizens. Applications from persons who are not Australian citizens will usually only be considered where there are no suitable Australian applicants.

This position is not currently open for recruitment. If you would like to be notified when applications open, please register your details.

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