Skip navigation

Salary and financial information for Antarctic based staff

Appointments will be made at the following scales (effective from 1st January 2010). Starting points take into account relevant qualifications and experience. Staff move to the next point on the scale after each year of continuous service.

Scientific Staff

Zoological Field Assistants / Terrestrial Field Assistants / Marine Biologists / Assistant Marine Biologists / Fisheries Scientists / Physicists / Meteorologists / Electronic Engineers / Data Managers.

Step Pay
Step 1 £21,037
Step 2 £22,003
Step 3 £22,972
Step 4 £23,938
Step 5 £24,905
Step 6 £25,872
Step 7 £26,840
Step 8 £27,969
Step 9 £28,934

Trades Staff

Fixed Plant Technicians / Mobile Plant Technicians / Electrical Services Technicians / Field Assistants / Steel Erectors / Carpenters / Builders / Mechanical Services Technicians / Chef Managers / Diving Officer / Boat-Handlers.

Step Pay
Step 1 £23,700
Step 2 £24,533
Step 3 £25,359
Step 4 £26,189
Step 5 £27,015

Communication officers

Step Pay
Step 1 £25,689
Step 2 £26,518
Step 3 £27,348
Step 4 £28,177
Step 5 £29,004

Other Benefits

You may also receive a ‘tour completed’ bonus (calculated as 10% of the total of salary) and you will be eligible to be nominated for a lump sum ‘Making a Positive Difference’ award. A ‘tour completed’ bonus of 12.5% is awarded after three complete tours.

Managing your finances

Everyone is concerned about their financial affairs whilst they are away for long periods. To prevent problems and minimize worries for yourself and your family, you should take every step to ensure that your financial arrangements are as well organized as possible before you leave for Antarctica.

You may wish to consider giving someone you trust Power of Attorney to enable them to act on your behalf and deal with all matters concerned with your affairs. You need to arrange this via a solicitor.

You should inform your bank that you are going to be away for a long time. You may also have to inform insurance companies, particularly with regard to health and home insurance policies.


If you are working abroad for a period of less than one year, you are liable for UK income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions in the same way as if you were working in the UK.

The tax situation for wintering staff is more complicated, and depends on whether you are out of the country for a complete tax year (April to April) or just a period of over 365 days.

  • If you are away for more then a whole tax year, then you are liable only for British Antarctic Territory (BAT) tax (about 7%) and not UK tax for the complete period for which you are abroad. To ensure that this is the case BAS will issue you with Inland Revenue form P85.
  • If you are away for less than a tax year, then Double Taxation rules apply. You will have to pay BAT tax and be liable for UK tax, but the total of the two should NOT exceed your UK tax liability. Essentially, you pay BAT tax plus sufficient UK tax to bring the total up to what you would have paid in the UK.

National Insurance (NI)

National Insurance Class 1 contributions must be paid for the first 52 weeks after you have left the UK. If you are overwintering and wish to maintain entitlement to benefits on return to the UK, you may wish to make voluntary payments beyond the 52-week period. To do this you must make your own arrangements as detailed in DSS leaflet NI38 (NI Guide for People Abroad).