Job Guide - Living and Working in Australia
Find a Job in Australia armed with your essential guide to Australian Job Opportunities.
Working in Australia:
- Top 5 Highest Paid Jobs!
- Genuine Experiences of Backpackers in Australia
- Tips on finding work
Working holiday makers are well-received by Australian employers and have a great reputation for being motivated and flexible workers.
While you should have no problem finding work, keep in mind the Australian labour market is a competitive one and your success in finding a job quickly will depend on a few factors:
- experience is very helpful in a particular industries
- the type of work you are looking for
- the part of the country you'd like to work in
- and the seasonality and skills in demand in that location.
Links to related information
- Decide your best option to get a Work Visa
- Before you apply for a work visa, get travel insurance
- Bring your qualifications (with your CV)
- Bar and restaurant work requires an RSA certificate
- Work and travel companies help many backpackers with employment and other things
- Before you leave home don't forget to grab yourself a prepaid travel card.
- If you need to transfer money to Australia when you arrive or from Australia when you go home, check out our page on how to send money overseas.
- Do research and have a plan by reading our jobs guides for your industry
- You can get sponsorship if an employer is willing to sponsor you
- Prepare for an interview by watching this video
Working holiday makers have some key advantages over local job-hunters that you can use to your advantage. Australian employers find that working travellers:
- are more flexible
- have a great work ethic
- are more available for work than Aussie counterparts
- are willing to relocate for employment
Job opportunities in Australia are incredibly diverse and working holiday makers should be able to find a variety of job vacancies to suit their skills.
Thanks to a strong economy and many years of record low unemployment levels the employment prospects in Australia are very good, but that does not always mean instant employment.
According to Forbes magazine, the industries expecting the most growth are health care services, retailing, construction, hospitality and hairdressing.
There are also jobs in certain industries with skills shortages that are classed as 'Occupations in Demand'. These shortages are across a range of industries including:
Skilled professionals from overseas are in a great position to find employment in those industries with a shortage of skilled labour. The Australian Government even refers to this list as the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL)
Better still if, you are a skilled professional in one of these areas you will also find it easier to Migrate to Australia
Other areas of high demand include:
- Fruit picking, farm work and seasonal work
- Architecture, planning and construction Jobs
- Hospitality and food service jobs
- Retail jobs
- Temporary administration and secretarial jobs
Backpackers who come to Australia to live and work for a year (or two) are welcomed with open arms!
The kind of work you will be able to find will of course depend on the conditions of your visa.
Most working holiday makers will have a working holiday visa, which allows the holder to work in Australia for a total of 12 months.
These 12 months must be broken up by periods of holiday or travel, meaning you can only work for one employer for six months at a time. This may seem prohibitive for work in certain industries but can be very advantageous for those looking for flexible employment to supplement their travels while also gaining experience in the dynamic Australian job market.
There is also the option of taking advantage of the recently introduced second working holiday visa if you can prove you have worked for a minimum of three months as a seasonal worker (e.g. fruit picking, harvest or farm work) in regional Australia.
Whether you're aiming to work in Australia to pay for your partying and travel adventures or looking to secure long term employment, the industries that are most accessible to working holiday makers are:
- Building and Construction/ Labouring and Trades
- Town Planning/Architecture
- Temporary Administration and Secretarial work
- Fruit Picking, Farm Work and Seasonal work
As a working holiday maker your main goal will be earning enough money to make the most of your time in Australia. How much you earn in your job will depend on many factors such as the industry you are working in, your qualifications and experience in that field and when and where you are working.
Wages in Australia are generally quite competitive, particularly when it comes to casual employment.
In Australia each industry is covered by an 'award' - the lowest rate of pay that can lawfully be paid to an adult wage earner - which is referred to as a minimum wage. Some examples of average wages are:
|Bartending/waiting tables:||$15 - $25 per hour (casual)|
|Chef:||$700 - $800 per week (full time)|
|Retail sales assistant:||$15 - $25 per hour (casual)|
|Check out operators and cashiers:||$500 - $700 per week (full time)|
|Building/labouring:||$650 - $850 per week (full time)|
|Engineering:||$800 - $1500 per week (full time)|
|Hairdressing:||$530 - $650 per week (full time)|
|Secretarial/administration:||$600 - $700 per week (full time)|
|Child care:||$18 - $20 per hour (casual)|
Already know the industry you want to work in? Check out our job search.