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Ups and downs of working as a contractor overseas

The downsides of working in Iraq for the U.S. government are many and significant. They include the dangers of nearly daily violence, absence from friends and family, blistering heat, restrictions on travel and for most U.S. contractors, barriers in language and culture.

But upsides exist as well for government contractors, including good pay, and the opening of career opportunities.

That is the assessment of current and former employees who have spent time in Iraq, according to a recent article.

Evidence of good potential compensation is found in a recent State Department job listing for a "monitoring and evaluation advisor." The job involves oversight of training of Iraqi police personnel. The pay: $100,000 per year, with the usual federal employee benefits that include annual leave, 10 holidays, paid vacation, and federal health insurance.

In addition, because the job is in Iraq, the person filling the position can expect two bonuses of 35 percent each of base salary (one for working in a dangerous area, the other for working overseas). Add it all up and the person will get an annual salary of $170,000 plus benefits. 

Of course, those figures are for a State Department employee serving in a particular job in Iraq. As the article notes, not all contractors and employees should expect the same compensation.

Those considering overseas contract work should be aware that if they are injured while working for the government or for a company contracting the federal government, they can expect coverage for medical expenses and wage replacement. If your claim is denied, you can speak with a Houston attorney experienced in fighting for benefits.

If you have any questions about the Defense Base Act and how this can affect you or a loved one, please contact the Barnes Law Firm at 713-652-4002 for a confidential consultation.

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