Working in Australia
Learn how to find part-time and graduate work, and why it is important to understand your work rights in Australia. You can also work for a short time in Australia after you graduate.
Study and work in Australia
While on a student visa you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during semester breaks. A fortnight means 14 days. Visit the Australian Government's Immigration website for more details on visa conditions.
Australia has laws guaranteeing basic workplace rights, including minimum pay and conditions. You should always be paid for work that you do, including training and trial shifts and be paid at least once a month, receiving a payslip within one working day of being paid. Employers are not allowed to give you goods or services (including food) instead of pay. For more information on your work rights, please visit Fair Work Ombudsman's website.
Develop a network while studying
Building relationships and contacts that can lead to future opportunities are important skills to develop while studying. Your classmates, tutors and lecturers can play an important role in establishing a network of your own. Attending events relevant to your studies is a great starting point, as is starting work on your own ‘personal brand’ by creating a portfolio or a personal website. LinkedIn is an ideal platform for keeping track of your network. Find out more about how the Study Centres can support your career development.
How to get a job in Australia
- Write a résumé.
- Apply for a tax file number.
- Open an Australian bank account.
- Speak to your institution’s career centre.
- Use online resources.
- Write targeted cover letters.
How to write your résumé
The basics of a résumé include your contact details, previous work history and, for students and recent graduates, details about your education. Keep it as concise as possible and get somebody to proofread it. Include at least one reference; this should be a previous employer or someone who knows your work or study ethic.
Speak to a friendly tutor if you need someone to be a referee for you. Your résumé and cover letter should be targeted for a particular role; don’t use the same generic versions for all jobs.
What to include on your résumé:
- name and address (don’t include your date of birth or your picture)
- visa status
- education history
- employment history
- information about your extra curricular activities and achievements
- days and hours you are available to work
- reference letter from any past employers
- personal referee (optional).
Apply for a Tax File Number
Before working in Australia it is important that you obtain a tax file number (TFN). Your TFN will ensure that you get taxed at the correct rate for the amount of work you are doing. Australia has a tax-free threshold of $18,200 (as of 2017), it means you will pay no tax if you earn less than this amount in one year. If you have any tax taken from your pay, then you will need to complete a tax return at the end of the financial year (30 June every year). Apply for a TFN.
Popular part-time jobs
The most common jobs for international students looking for part-time work (up to 40 hours per fortnight) are:
- pick packer
- retail sales assistant
- administrative assistant
- warehouse all rounder
- general hospitality staff
- event staff
- sales representative
This list is based on data provided by oneshift, you can use their website to search for a job.
Why choose to volunteer?
Experience volunteering can be of great advantage when you apply for a professional role. Volunteering can help you:
- develop soft skills
- improve communication
- make new friends
- integrate with the community and culture.
Excellent graduate employability
Charles Sturt University is the university with the highest graduate employment rate in Australia (QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019). By studying in Australia you will be perfectly placed to progress from education into the working world. After your degree with Charles Sturt University Study Centres, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) which allows you to work in Australia for a short time.
For the latest information and recent announcements by the Australian government regarding student visas and post study work rights refer to immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.