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.

Top 3 Ways To Get Hospitality Jobs

  1. Dropping your resume to employers in busy areas of town actually still works
  2. Registering with agenices that deal with events at certain times of year
  3. Websites that are Aussie specific and unknown to many backpackers (We uncover the 7 best Aussie websites in our "Survival Guide eBook")

Get our free "Tips from Backpackers Living and Working in Australia" PDF 

includes the

- Top 5 Highest Paid Jobs!

- Genuine Experiences of Backpackers in Australia

- Tips on finding work

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

Register with recruitment agencies AND Apply to specific positions

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:

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:

  1. Use a Traveller Company (Click to discover how these can reduce stress and time)
  2. Find a job from our Free Listings
  3. 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:

Major sport and entertainment venues in Melbourne:

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?

Casual rates

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.

Permanent part-time

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.

Full-time wages

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+
Concierge from $35,000
Housekeeper $15,000-$25,000
Qualified head chef/cook $49,000-$60,000+
Sous chef $40,000-$45,000
Kitchen chef $30,000-$40,000

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?

Ensure your latest CV is uploaded to your Jobaroo profile!

Register with recruitment agencies AND Apply to specific positions
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