Watercraft Operator

Applications for all positions supporting the 2018–19 Australian Antarctic Program have now closed. Apply now for the role of Antarctic Medical Practitioner for the 2019-20 season.

If you would like to be notified when applications for Jobs in Antarctica open, please register your details.

Overview of the role

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, subantarctic 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 application kit below. You might also like to read more about working as a Watercraft Operator in Antarctica.

Employment conditions

Salary and allowances

The annual base salary (while in Australia) is $76,263 per annum ($2,924 per fortnight before tax).

Additional allowances totalling $58,026 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.

Recreation leave

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.


To discuss your application, please ring 1800 030 755 for general information or contact Nicki Wicks on (03) 6232 3282 for position specific matters.

Application kit

The following documents contain important information you need to know about employment and related issues – please read them carefully.

Please note that if you do not demonstrate that you meet the required skills, knowledge and attributes for the role your application will not be considered further.

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