Unemployed? Become a Chinese Plumber in the Antarctic

If you are a Chinese citizen and looking for a job, consider plumbing in the Antarctic.

  • Share
  • Read Later

Relatives and friends of researchers and crew members wave as Xue Long (Snow Dragon) leaves the port on an Antarctica research mission in Shanghai, November 12, 2007.

If you are a Chinese citizen and looking for a job, consider plumbing in the Antarctic.

The Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration is hiring twenty staff, including two plumbers and two carpenters, for the 30th expedition to two of its three antarctic stations. The deadline for applications is next month, and the one-year postings start next winter after training on the Sino-Siberian border in Heilongjiang province.

(PHOTOSVintage Photos of Polar Exploration)

Salaries range between between $650 and $925 a month. That’s hovering around the average salary in the capital Beijing of $750 according to government figures, but with little opportunity to spend it, except perhaps on postage. You’ll have insurance and warm clothing will be provided, according to the job posting.

The two research stations, Great Wall and Zhongshan, were built in the 1980s; they are reachable by sea and are inhabited by researchers year round. Each is composed of 15 buildings, including gyms. Temperatures at the Zhongshan Station reach 29 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Since 2009, China has been working on a third station, Kunlun, farther inland.

Even if you’re a non-Chinese plumber yearning for cooler climes, there are 28 other countries operating around 40 research stations in the Antarctic. The continent, half as big as China, has no indigenous population, but up to 4,500 research staff live there during peak season, December to February.

MORE: Does China Have an Eye on the Arctic?