Watercraft Operator

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 three 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.

For more detailed information about the requirements of the role and the selection process, please see the ‘How to apply’ section below.

Employment conditions

  • The annual base salary (while in Australia) is $78,566 per annum ($3012 per fortnight before tax).
  • Additional allowances totalling $59,778 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.


This role is currently not open for applications. Please ring 1800 030 755 for general information.


To be eligible for consideration you must be either an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, or a resident of Australia with a valid visa granting appropriate work rights in Australia.

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

Barge with jets of whitewater at rear pushing against side of ship for resupply.
Three expeditioners in a small boat with white water at rear.
Expeditioners in small boat waving as they drive towards shore. Ship in background on a grey cloudy day.
Jet barge in turbulent water.