Most overseas jobs are not ideal places to work. Nobody applies so the companies have to pay ridiculoulsly high salaries to attract workers. Not so in the Antarctic Program. There are hundreds of people who will do anything just to be a janitor.
The payscales tend to be just under what you would be paid in the states.
What makes it attractive to most down here are the hidden benefits. Food is free. Think of everything you spend at home for food. You won’t be paying that here and it’s more money that stays in your savings account. The old saying is if you want a pay raise eat more.
Housing is free as well. The smart ones don’t keep an apartment at home and another one here. The one here is free (in the summer you get a roommate so it’s not the same) and it’s more money that stays in your savings.
No money for electric, fuel, water, insurance, etc etc etc. You make less money per hour than at home, but you end up with far more money in the bank at the end of the season. If you do keep a house back in the states it’s still comparable to if you took a contract job in Florida for example. You would be paying for a house in both places. Here the second is still free.
The last hidden benefit is travel and medical. The physical is paid for and it’s a pretty extensive one. Even if you get turned down for medical reasons, you may be glad that you got the physical. The program is full of stories of people with very serious conditions who didn’t even know about them until they got turned down.
Travel is another. They fly you from your home airport to here and at the end of your contract, they drop you in New Zealand with a free airplane ticket home to use whenever you want. New Zealand is one of the best places in the world for Americans to visit. It’s beautiful, the people are nice and there are lots of things to do and see.
Bottom line when thinking about pay, figure out what you make now. Then figure out how much less you would need if your present company paid your living expenses.