As should be apparent, this profession does not require a specific education or diploma, rather it is tailored to an adventurous mind with, however, a sense of responsibility. Some of the important characteristics of a potential candidate are:
– the ability to swim, which includes scuba diving and snorkling
– a positive attitude towards nature and animals
– an ability to speak English
– an open attitude to new things
– a passion for the outdoors
– basic skills in fields such as carpentry and plumbing – to be able to maintain the property
– management skills
– first aid skills and good health
Accommodation can be either on the island itself, if the job requires a daily routine, or on the neighbouring mainland, where usually the accommodation is provided for free, as are air tickets and food expenses.
Whom are you going to work for?
That can be, for example, a tourism business or other organisation managing certain properties. It can also be a privately owned island, which serves as a kind of holiday resort for the owners. In that case the position often requires the caretaker to be present, managing the island and the property and also being on hand for the arrival of the family to help them to settle in. A caretaker in the last example will be expected to do general maintanance.
The famous, 2009 campaign: The Best Job in the World – Island Caretaker Great Barrier Reef was very promising, offering a six-month contract at a salary of AUD $150,000.
But, it’s good not to expect such a deal considering the winner ofthat competition was Ben Southall.
Also there is the option of making a list of tropical or other islands in the area you are interested in and contacting the relevant authorities.
It is a different story if one takes caretaking as a life mission as Caio Rodrigues Rego did. He changed his life in the eighties when he took over Ilha dos Gatos, a small island three miles off the coast of southeastern Brazil. He in reality is not being paid, and the position is not official, but he wouldn’t change his life for anything, surprisingly even for his family – a wife and three children – who were not so excited about the new lifestyle and after spending some time on the island with Caio, decided to leave. Caio has been there for more than 30 years, often visited by his family, however.