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the police force. It was the sort of thing you read about in detective novels and quite
different from the normal run of police work .
25 Awesome holiday jobs
When we ran our backpacker we got to hear about lots of different ways to earn
money on holiday. Most were ordinary but others were extraordinary. There are
some unusual and exciting jobs for those who are prepared to find them. The
pay is not always the greatest but they can lead to some interesting experiences
and take you to places you wouldn't otherwise see.
Geologist's assistant: Over the years, we had a dozen or so guests who managed
to land this one. They stayed at our hostel when they were on leave. I don't know
what they were paid but they always booked into private rooms. Some had
qualifications in geology. Most didn't. All were physically fit, outward-going and (with
one memorable exception) male. They were flown all over northern Australia. A
typical assignment would be a helicopter-drop in a creek bed. They collected samples
and waited to be picked up. Jobs like this come and go. My contacts tell me they still
exist. If you think you can find one, devote the time and energy to hunt around .
Explore the web pages of Australian exploration and mining companies. Think about
what you have to offer and present yourself clearly when you contact them. Don't lie:
the mining and exploration people have an eagle eye for crap artists.
Marine scientist's dive buddy: Divers need buddies for safety reasons. Marine
scientists are no exception and volunteers sometimes pro vide that service. I know
nothing about pay. I do know that a dedicated diver will have opportunities that money
can't buy. There was a time when all you needed was an Open Water Diving Licence.
Those days have long since gone in Australia and you will require far higher
qualifications now. See my remarks about geologists.
Biologist's assistant: Biologists go on field trips and need company for various
reasons. One is security. It's not always safe to wander around the Australian bush
by yourself, particularly if you are female. There is safety in numbers. We had
frequent requests from universities for suitable people to accompany research staff on
expeditions. Students usually perform that function but are not available during term
time. That provides opportunities for those of you who live in the Northern
Hemisphere. Your academic year is out of phase with ours . If you want to be a
biologist's assistant (or archaeologist's, geologist's etc) during your long vacation, do a
bit of research. Find out which universities and research institutes are engaged in your
field of study. Contact the relevant department and be prepared to follow up with a
testimonial from your uni/college. It's unlikely that you will be paid but you should be
able to save money through free tucker (Aussie for grub) and accommodation.
Working on a dive boat: Quite a lot of my guests got jobs on dive boats taking
tourists to the Great Barrier Reef. Some were instructors, others were divemasters.
Many had no diving qualifications beyond the basic open water certificate. Dive boats
need auxiliary staff. Someone has to fill scuba tanks, cook and clean while qualified
staff supervise diving and skipper the boat. Qualified staff are paid. Auxiliaries usually
work for a chance to go diving between shifts. You won't make much money (if any)
as a volunteer crew member but you should save money and have a lot of fun. One
way to get a job is to front up at a dive shop. If you've already had crewing