Work in Australia 

Learn how to find part time and graduate work, and why it is important to understand your work rights in Australia.

How to get a job in Australia

  • Write a resume
  • 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

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.

Work while studying in Australia

How many hours can a student 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. Check out Immigration's website for more details on the 40 hours per fortnight rule

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

How to find a part time job?

Once you have arranged a Tax File Number (TFN), set up a bank account and finished your résumé, you are ready to start your job search. The hospitality and retail industries are traditionally the biggest employers of students due to their varying hours and need for casual employees. Another option to consider is tutoring, see for more information on finding a tutoring role related to your studies. CSU's online job board, and the Career Development Managers at each centre may also have several roles specifically for you.

Writing a resume

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 resume:

  1. Name & address (don’t include your date of birth or your picture)
  2. Visa status
  3. Education history
  4. Employment history
  5. Information about your extra curricular activities and achievements
  6. Days & hours you are available to work
  7. A reference letter from any past employers
  8. Can also include a personal referee

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 (30th June every year). Get your TFN at:


Volunteering will provide you with a vast range of soft skills, improve your communication skills, allow you to make new friends and integrate more with your new community. You can seek help from the Career Development Manager at your centre. Off-campus volunteering may take you further into the local community and allow you to learn about Australian culture and customs. The experience you develop through volunteering can be of great advantage when you apply for a professional role.

The most common jobs for international students

  1. Pick packer
  2. Retail sales assistant
  3. Administrative assistant
  4. Warehouse all rounder
  5. Barista
  6. General hospitality staff
  7. Cleaner
  8. Event staff
  9. Sales representative
  10. Receptionist

This list is based on data provided by oneshift and skilld and you can use their websites to search for a job.