Tradies needed for the coolest office on earth

Tradies often get to travel around the world thanks to their skills, even to Antarctica. The Australian Antarctic Division is currently on the lookout for tradespeople to fill positions at its Antarctic stations. 

Redefining the notion of a 'cool' job, plumbers, electricians, diesel mechanics, carpenters and chefs are needed to work with scientists in this unique workplace.

For example, support from the mechanical trades is essential to the day-to-day running of the stations - Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island - as well as the success of many field programmes.

Mike Clements first wanted to go to Antarctica when he saw an ad for a senior diesel mechanic in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1978.

He completed an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic, and now 20 years later after pursuing work in areas like Papua New Guinea, northern Australia and Africa he is about to realise his dream, heading on a voyage to the Casey station in Antarctica.

"This year will fulfil a long-held interest to visit Antarctica," he explains.

"Professionally I have always got a kick from making something from nothing, so the prospect of remote work and 'making do' with limited resources is appealing."

"I am also looking forward to the community aspects. In the normal work world, you are just lumped together because of your professional skills, but in Antarctica, people are selected for their social skills as well."

While the working conditions in Antarctica can be challenging the rewards are described as 'scond to none'.

Peter Mccabe is a carpenter from the North Coast NSW and has already spent 14 months living on Antarctica and described the job as the experience of a lifetime.

"You need a broad range of skills and you need to be able to think outside the square. Apart from being there for your trade, I was also there as a member of a search and rescue team, a fire response team and even a guide." 

And while not working, Peter says the opportunites to pass the time are incredible.

"In the summer cross-country skiing is very popular and of course the chance to go and look at all the wildlife - the nearby penguin and seal colonies."