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Agricultural Plant Operators

British Antarctic Survey
Antarctica/South Georgia Islands
£26,279 per annum
Closing date
17 Mar 2024

Job Details

Job Title:  Agricultural Plant Operators
Salary: £26,279 per annum
Contract Type:  Full Time
Duration:  Fixed Term Contract up to 6 months for Austral summer roles and up to 18 months for wintering roles
Team:  Antarctic Employment Pool (AEP)
Location:  Antarctica/South Georgia Islands
Closing Date: Sunday 17th March 2024

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is looking for an exceptional Agricultural Plant Operator to join our 100 strong team based in Antarctica.  BAS delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe!

Our skilled science, operational and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through our extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs.  British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation

Working at BAS is rewarding.  The UK’s polar research effort is critically important for understanding environmental issues that affect everyone.  This is an opportunity to do what may seem like an ordinary job in the most extraordinary place on Earth.

As a valued member of our team, you’ll be eligible for:

  • an end of contract bonus of up to 12% (depending on band) upon completion of a successful assignment in Antarctica.
  • excellent annual leave entitlement including the accrual of 2.5 days per month for time spent in the UK prior to departure to be eligible for 10 days “embarkation leave” prior to deployment.
  • defined benefit pension scheme with NEST. 
  • pre-deployment training and accommodation costs (away from Cambridge) to be covered.
  • an additional accommodation allowance if significant pre deployment attendance required at Cambridge.
  • all food, accommodation and polar clothing during Antarctic deployment provided.
  • comprehensive sick pay coverage and access to 24 hours/365 days per year employee assistance programme.


You’ll be joining our busy vehicles team where you will drive and operate a number of different types of construction plant and associated equipment. Your role will take you to either Rothera or Halley station both of which come with their own challenges and equipment, more details of which can be seen in this roles job description. You will also deliver some minor mechanical servicing while assisting the agricultural plant mechanics with their daily tasks.

Within the role, there will be an opportunity to develop your knowledge of different machinery while adapting to an entirely unique work environment. There will also be standard training provided for anyone that will be living and working in the extreme polar environment.

You’ll be joining a world-leading interdisciplinary research organisation, that is committed to recruiting talented people like you giving you the support, you need to thrive at BAS.  Antarctica is one of the most exhilarating and spectacular workplaces you could imagine.  BAS operates five sites from smaller domestic size sites such as Bird Island to more complex stations such as Halley VI with CHP systems and BMS controls.

Your main responsibilities will include:

  • Operation of mobile plant including articulated loading shovels, forklift trucks, tele-handlers, bulldozers, excavators and agricultural type vehicles to load/unload materials, stockpile materials and any other tasks required.
  • Operate mobile plant for snow clearance and general station snow management.
  • Maintain and improve vehicles section profile.
  • Keep garage and workshops in a safe and tidy condition.
  • Help maintain detailed spare parts inventory.
  • Work with, and follow the lead of the mobile plant mechanic.
  • Assist with other station duties as directed by line management.

For the role of agricultural plant operator we are looking for somebody who:

  • Has a C.T.A or equivalent
  • Has a wide range of relevant experience in operating construction plant / farm machinery / bulldozers, lorry loader cranes, excavators etc.
  • Will be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions
  • Has a flexible attitude to their daily tasks which may change at short notice
  • Is able to work well in a team by being understanding and respectful of peers and colleagues


If we’ve just described you, we’d love to hear from you.  Apply now at

What experiences can we offer you?

At BAS we believe everyone plays a vital role, is unique and valued, therefore, we embrace diversity as well as equality of opportunity and are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming working environment where everyone’s unique perspectives are valued.

Different perspectives and collaborative working help us achieve our best work and come together to form a high performing team which makes positive changes in the business. That’s the power of every individual.  Our cultural values are built on mutual respect, inclusion, commitment and excellence.

If you are looking for an opportunity to work with world class and amazing people in one of the most unique places in the world, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you.


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