Temp Jobs

Secretarial and Office Admin Jobs

Not so keen on late night shifts behind the bar? Want a job with freedom to move on when the travel bug starts itching?

About half of all large companies in Australia regularly hire temporary workers in all kinds of positions, meaning there are always plenty of flexible jobs!

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Register with recruitment agencies AND Apply to specific positions

Note on Timeframes: Register with Agencies up to two years in advance. You will need a work visa.


Why are temp jobs good for backpackers?

Provided you packed a few smart work outfits, temp jobs are suitable if you’re backpacking because you will normally be contracted on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. Unless you sign a contract for a set period of time (for example 3-6 months), you’ll be free to take off when and where you like without too much prior warning – the way it should be when you’re travelling!

While there isn't a labour shortage in this industry in Australia, travellers with knowledge of basic computer applications, a bit of office experience and good communication skills should have no troubles finding work. Accounts, legal and medical experience is beneficial, however, most secretarial and office admin temp jobs don’t require any specific experience.

If you haven’t already applied for your visa see our Working Visa section.

What types of temp jobs are available?

The scope for job variation in the temporary secretarial and office admin sector is as enormous as Australia itself! Working as a temp, you could find yourself on the 50th floor of a skyscraper in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and behind the front desk of a suburban medical centre in Melbourne the following week.

Remember: The best way to get the most out of temping is to be flexible and versatile. A tip is to tell your recruitment agent that you’re willing to do a range of temp jobs and that you adapt well to changing environments.

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General office admin jobs

Some common general office admin jobs:

For more information on standard wages and job requirements for temp jobs in Australia see Temp jobs – general office admin jobs.

Secretarial jobs

While secretarial jobs still fall within the broad category of office administration, many require more specialised knowledge and/ or experience. Temp jobs that may appeal to working travellers with slightly more experience (or experience in a specific field) include:

For more information on standard wages and job requirements for temp jobs in Australia see Temp jobs – secretarial jobs.

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How do I find temp jobs?

In order to find temp jobs in Australia you will need to register with a recruitment agency that places temporary (or causal) workers. There are many temporary job agencies in Australia, many of which specialise in the secretarial and office admin sectors.

Once in Australia, your recruitment agency will ask you to come in for a screening interview. At these interviews you are normally asked to specify your preferred length of assignment and the kind of temp jobs you are looking for, your work experience, education, skills and interests. For office admin jobs and secretarial jobs you may be asked to sit a typing, MS Office or similar computing skills test; you may also be asked to provide references.

What hours do secretarial and office admin temps work?

As a temp in Australia you could expect to work an eight-hour day during standard office hours; this would normally include a 30 minute or 1 hour unpaid lunch break. Standard office hours in Australia are 8.30am to 5.30pm, but this can vary between workplaces, especially if you find a job as a legal or medical secretary.

Note: Working Holiday Makers are entitled to receive the same salary and are obliged to pay the same income tax that an Australian citizen in their position would. All public and private sector employers are obliged to adhere to this law.

What is the usual length of assignment?

The great thing about temp jobs in Australia is that there is no standard length of assignment – they can range from 1 day to a few months. You could be covering for a full-time employee on sick leave for 2 days, or filling a vacant position for 4-6 weeks while the company recruits for a permanent employee. It’s up to you to decide!

Remember: On your first Australian Working Holiday Visa you are only allowed to work for a total of 12 months and for the same employer for up to 6 months.

Where are temporary secretarial and office admin jobs located?

The most likely places to find temp jobs in Australia are the nation’s State and Territory capitals – particularly Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Large companies and corporations most likely to employ temporary staff normally have their headquarters in these cities, meaning bigger offices with greater administrative needs and higher rates of staff turnover.

Business hubs like Wollongong and Newcastle (in New South Wales), the Gold Coast (in Queensland), Geelong (in Victoria) and Hobart (in Tasmania) are slightly more laid back, but still offer lots of opportunities for temping.

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