If you are near a military base, there are never shortages of contract positions. Contract positions pay you a designated amount of money to work a job for a specified period of time. Contract positions offered with the United States government can mean working long hours without a set schedule. Satisfactory service on assignments guarantees you are called back for future assignments. Having contract positions listed on your resume make it stand out in a highly competitive job market.
One contract position available is Data Collector. Data collectors have at least one year of college and intermediate administrative skills. Data collectors record data for equipment used on test projects. One data collecting assignment involves observing and recording information on experimental weapons and gear for the United States Army. Data Collectors spend long hours on location with Army units as they simulate combat. The Data Collectors record item flaws and notate the opinions soldiers have about the equipment.
Data collecting is not an occupation for the faint of heart. Your work day is an 8-16 hour shift that doesn't include transit time to your test location. There is no consistent start time on this job. You may be off at 2300 (11 pm), back to your drop off point at 0000 (midnight) and have to report back to your pick-up location at 0400 (4 am). Fatigue and exhaustion are common enemies of Data Collectors. You are on location with army units and have the same amenities the soldiers do. Your bathroom is the nearest rock, cactus or bush. Climate control does not exist in the wilderness, so you freeze in the winter and burn in the summer. You experience everything the soldiers experience-no preferential treatment exists for Data Collectors.
So why do people bother coming back? Compensation. You are compensated hourly as a Data Collector. It is possible to work 75 hours in one week. There is holiday and overtime pay. Additional hourly benefits are paid because Data Collectors are not offered additional benefits like health insurance. This additional pay is called "in lieu of" pay. In lieu of your benefits. You stand to make a healthy paycheck during your testing period when you combine these two checks.
All things must end and tests range anywhere from two weeks to three months. As long as you perform well on your current test, you are called back for all future tests. Depending on your earnings and the length of the test, you are eligible for unemployment. Data collector positions are constantly posted on government websites and defense companies are always seeking qualified data collectors. The job is difficult and the conditions are not optimal. Your experiences as a Data Collector are unique. Data collecting also gives your resume something extra when being reviewed by future employers.