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Mike's Australia

13 Awesome jobs
When we had our backpacker hostel in Townsville, North Queensland, 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. There, 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 provide 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.
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