Finding an Job as an Overseas Contractor
Mosque, photo by Charles Buchanan
Economic times are tough in the US and many skilled workers find it hard to get a good paying job. There are opertunities for experienced workers in Overseas Contracting on US Government projects. Most of these jobs are on a US Government Military Support Contracts. While most of these jobs require certifications or specific job experience, some require little experience, as long as you meet some basic requirements.
US Government contract positions typically pay two to three times what the same position pays in the states. Be aware you are being paid for your knowledge, seperation from your family, the dangerous work environment and for living in normaly austere conditions. Most of these contracts also require that you work six or seven days a week, and twelve hours a day. But you get paid for all the time you work and they pay all your expenses overseas: food, board, medical, laundry and transportation. You will have no expenses except what you spend at the Post Exchange.
Now before you begin to send your resume to the companies that hire for these jobs, you must be aware of some other facts. Most positions require that you pass a criminal background check and screening for outstanding wants and warrents. You will need to be finger printed by your local police department. You must not have any pending criminal actions. The Federal Government is serious about not hiring security risks or people trying to evade prosecution or arrest.
You will also have to disclose any bankruptcies pending, or initiated in the last seven years. You must not have any garnishments to your wages, or actions against you for missed or late payments. You can not owe back child support payments. You can not have drug or alchahol problems. You must also be a US Citizen or legal resident.
Keep in mind many of these jobs are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, other Middle Eastern countries, much fewer are in South America and Africa. The chances of getting a contracting job in Europe are pretty slim. Besides, the real contracting money is in support of military operations, primarily in Afghanistan.
This means there is some risk in overseas contracting. You will probably live in a war zone. You will be restricted in your travel. You may be subject to mortar attacks and have to wear body armor. You might get killed. You may live in a tent. But the pay is good and steady.
I have been contracting on seven contracts in six countries, most of them in places you normally wouldn't be. I find it lucrative, challenging, interesting and the best financial option for someone over 40 like me! If you are still interested in overseas contracting, keep reading.Determining Your Seriousness:
The hardest part of applying for these Expat jobs (expatriate) overseas is finding the companies that are hiring. Most have job listings on their web sites once you can find who is who in the industry. I have provided some web addresses below to make this easier for you.
Make sure you sign your contract in the US and fall under the Longshoremen's Act, this gives you protection under US labor laws.
Check on if you need a passport or the company will get you one (need an "ORIGINAL" copy of your birth certificate.
You will need a bank account for direct deposit.
Have good records of your medications and if possible get a 90 day refill before going overseas
If possible have a Master Card or Visa for emergencies when overseas.
Contractors normally fall under local laws when in a foreign country, do not take drugs without a prescription and DEFINITELY do not have illegal drugs or use them overseas!
Ask lots of questions! Don't go overseas and find there are unacceptable clauses in your contract.
Many of these positions are on military bases, you will be subject to searches of vehicles and personal items on a daily basis, be prepared for this! (you get used to it!)
File your taxes, overseas employment, although often tax free, requires filing yearly with the IRS.