Want to work while you’re in Australia? Here’s how

Working part-time while can be a great way to help with the cost of living in Australia and also gain work experience in your field of study. You might like to consider:

  • Paid work: opportunities include working in cafés, bars, restaurants and hotels, farming or fruit picking, or sales and administration roles
  • Tutoring: if you have existing qualifications or professional work experience, you might be able to get casual or part-time work in your field
  • Internships: paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to professional, financial and creative industries
  • Volunteering: there are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia and they always need volunteers to help out. It can be a great way to meet friends, get some hands-on work experience and give back to the community

Most student visas let you work for up to 40 hours every two weeks during your course, and as many hours as you like during course breaks. You should double-check your visa before starting any paid work.

Remember: You will need to get a Tax File Number (TFN) to work in Australia. You can visit the Australian Taxation Office website to find out more information on getting a TFN, as well as what tax you may need to pay.

Your rights at work

Everyone working in Australia, including international students, has basic rights at work.

These rights ensure you:

  • Are paid a minimum wage
  • Can challenge if you are unfairly dismissed from a job
  • Receive appropriate breaks and rest periods
  • Enjoy a healthy and safe work environment

To find out more about work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Workwebsite. To find out more about work health and safety, visit the Safe Work Australia website.

Working while you study

To find work, you can:

  • Look for job ads in newspapers and online job sites such as SEEK
  • Check if your institution has any job notice-boards on campus or online
  • Register your interest with a recruitment firm

Working after you graduate

If you want to stay and work in Australia after you finish your studies, you’ll need to get a new visa first.

If you have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degree, you may be eligible for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

In some cases, your new employer may be able to sponsor you for a new visa. You should speak with someone from your work’s Human Resources or Recruitment team to find out if this possible.

If you don’t have an employer to sponsor you, and want to stay in Australia longer-term to develop your professional career, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

A friendly advice – Don’t jump at the first opportunity, research well before you accept any job offer after graduation. It’s always helpful to talk to fellow students who already have jobs and find out what their experiences were like. You can also seek advice from your seniors and faculty as to the best course of action. Investigate into the kind of jobs you can get, wages you can expect and number of hours you are expected to work, and most importantly, where to look for these jobs.

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