Hospitality jobs in Australia for working holiday makers
The hospitality industry, now accounts for one in twenty jobs in Australia. There are opportunities for part-time and casual employment, which means there are many jobs highly suitable for foreigners from overseas. This page contains everything you need to know.
The big cities do have lots of employment but it is more competitive for the cool jobs. Experience will go a long way, but not always required.
Note: In the big cities September to January are the best times of year. For more information below click here.
Outside of the cities many opportunites exist for those who want to get exposed to 'real' Aussie culture and the country - so if you like the idea of working in the outback or in a small country town in rural Australia this can be a great way to do it. Experience is always handy, but if you do not have any rural Australia is a great option.
CLICK Links to discover information below.
- Top 3 Ways to get a job in hospitality
- Where should I go if I want to work in hospitality in Australia?
- When is there hospitality work available?
- What do hospitality and bar/waiting jobs in Australia pay?
- Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate
- Responsible Service of Gambling and Responsible Conduct of Gambling certificates
- How can I get a bar/waitressing job in Australia?
What types of hospitality jobs in Australia are there?
There is a huge range of jobs in the Australian hospitality industry in venues ranging from bars, restaurants and boutique hotels to multi-national hotels and entertainment venues like stadiums and theatres. Most backpackers work as bartenders or waitstaff, but there are is a wide range of hospitality jobs available in casual, permanent part-time, or full-time roles, such as:
- Bartenders and bar jobs in Australia in hotels, bars, café’s and nightclubs
- Waiter/waitress jobs in restaurants and hotels
- Food preparation and service staff
- Function and corporate boardroom waitstaff
- Chef jobs — head chefs, sous chefs, chefs de partie etc
- Butlers, concierge, valet, and customer service roles
A lot of hospitality jobs, especially casual jobs, require you to work shifts ranging from three hours to seven or eight hours (or more). If you are a casual employee, you will work for an hourly rate. This can be a great way to earn money quickly because you can do plenty of hours/week and the hourly rate paid is higher then full time work.
Top 3 ways to get a job:
- Use a Traveller Company (Click to discover how these can reduce stress and time)
- Find a job from our Free Listings
- Just travel - Signs in the window of a businesses requiring staff is still a way to find work. This works far better outside of the big cities. If you are going to do this, dress well, have you resume ready and a copy of your RSA certificate (links to information below) Also do not be afraid to just go in and ask even if there is no sign. Hostels and other backpackers are also a great way to find jobs so try there as well.
Where should I go if I want to work in hospitality in Australia?
Bars, cafes, hotels and restaurants
The majority of hospitality jobs are in the capital cities with Sydney and Melbourne being the biggest hospitality centres. This is primarily because these cities are where most of the bar jobs, restaurants, hotels and venues are located and the cities with the biggest populations. The State of Queensland also has an abundance of hospitality employment from Cairns to the Gold Coast.
Sports and entertainment venues
Sydney and Melbourne also have a lot of major sport and entertainment venues which often require food and beverage staff for sporting events like Australian football, rugby league, cricket or rugby union matches and events like concerts and festivals. Working at these venues means that you get free entry and can sometimes watch some of the events or sporting matches.
Major sport and entertainment venues in Sydney:
- Sydney Football Stadium
- Sydney Cricket Ground
- Telstra Stadium (in Sydney Olympic Park)
- Sydney Entertainment Centre
Major sport and entertainment venues in Melbourne:
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Vodafone Arena
- Telstra Dome
- Waverley Park
There are also large sporting and entertainment venues requiring hospitality staff in other capital cities such as Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Generally, the recruitment of staff for these venues is outsourced to recruitment agencies.
There is also a large gaming industry in Australia and jobs are available in betting centres, casinos and member clubs.
Hospitality work on Australian islands/holiday resorts
There are island and coastal holiday resorts in Australia, such as the Whitsundays off the coast of Queensland, that constantly require workers in tourism and hospitality. Travellers looking for work on the islands will find that wait persons, bar jobs, cleaners, chef jobs, dive instructors, kitchen staff, sailing hosts, lifeguards and tour operators are always in demand. Although holding a hospitality operations or retail certificate helps, there are a number of specific island jobs that don't need qualifications.
Employment rates on the Whitsunday mainland are high, and there is a good chance that travellers holding a current working holiday visa will either find full-time, part-time or casual work quite easily.
When is there hospitality work available?
Although hospitality work is steadily available all year round (particularly in the capital cities), casual job opportunities definitely increase from September/October until January, mainly due to the Christmas/New Year period and summer holidays. During this busier time of year, casual workers usually operate on a rostered or ‘on-call’ basis.
What do hospitality jobs in Australia pay?
Unlike some countries, casual hospitality jobs in Australia pay a good base wage and sometimes include tips on top of this.
If you are a casual you will be paid an hourly rate that will obviously vary between employers. Hourly hospitality base rates for adult casuals are usually $15-$20 per hour. You will normally get paid extra for working overtime/late nights and possibly ‘time-and-a-half’ or ‘double time’ on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
There is no compulsory tipping or built-in service charges in Australia, although tipping for good service is becoming more common in restaurants in the bigger cities. Satisfied customers will leave around 10% of the bill, or more. In bars, tipping is less common but customers will often leave small change. Tips are often pooled amongst staff.
Some jobs are offered on a permanent part-time basis, which means that you work regular hours and shifts but still get paid an hourly rate. Permanent part-time staff are entitled to holiday and sick pay, so their hourly rate is slightly reduced.
These ranges are estimates of average yearly salaries and should only be used as a guide.
|Food and beverage attendant||$15,000-$30,000|
|Food and beverage supervisor||$25,000-$40,000|
|Hotel Duty Manager||$40,000-$50,000+|
|Qualified head chef/cook||$49,000-$60,000+|
Getting your RSA — Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate
The RSA certificate is a course that is required by law for most States - NSW, QLD, WA, SA and NT can be done online. VIC and Tasmania need to be done in a classroom. Basically, if you intend to work in a job in Australia that involves serving alcohol (including in a bottleshop) you should get one before you start looking for work. Fortunately most can be done online so its a good thing to do before you go.
What does the course involve and what does it cost?
The RSA course teaches you the skills and knowledge required to responsibly serve alcohol in licensed premises. It involves training and testing either online or in person. It costs between AU$60 (most States) - $129 (NSW). We have a whole page of information about Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) courses including how to save $5.
Choosing an RSA course provider
Each state has it's own liquor legislation and it's own RSA accreditation particular to that state. This means you may need to get more than one certificate if you hope to work in different states. Learn more about getting your RSA course.
Getting your RSG/RCG — Responsible Service of Gambling and Responsible Conduct of Gambling certificates
The RCG certificate is attained through a classroom course in New South Wales.
The RSG certificate is attained through an online course for Queensland.
It is required by law to have these certificates before you start work in Bars and Hotels where there are poker machines in Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW) - most of them. While it is not compulsory in other states, it can also be an advantage. In QLD and NSW it could harm your chances of getting a job if you do not have it and you want to work in a hotel or bar. We highly recommend you get a certificate and put it on your CV before applying to jobs.
What does the RSG/RCG course involve and what does it cost? The RSG online and RCG training teaches you to detect, and if necessary assist, a problem gambler. It involves training and testing either online or in person. It costs around AU$60-$75. Find more information about (RSG/RCG) courses online. Fortunately some training companies offer Gambling and Alcohol training together and give you a discount. Combined the online courses cost around $100.
Choosing an RSG/RCG course provider
Each state has it's own gambling requirements. Only two states require that you get training before starting work - Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW) Learn more about getting your (RSG/RCG) certificate online (QLD) or in person (NSW).
How do I get a hospitality job in Australia?
- Apply to jobs on Jobaroo within a month of your arrival in Australia
- It’s best to get your visa sorted ASAP
- Register with hospitality recruitment agencies within a couple of months of your arrival.
Ensure your latest CV is uploaded to your Jobaroo profile!