Study and Work in Australia for International Students
Working while you study in Australia can help complement your study and living experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to undertake part time work while studying in Australia, including assisting with living expenses and gaining work experience in your study area.
Most student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks while your course is in session, and unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break, but before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work. Find out more at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection(opens in a new window) website.
Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities, including:
- Retail – supermarkets, department and clothing stores.
- Hospitality – cafes, bars and restaurants.
- Tourism – hotels and motels.
- Agricultural – farming and fruit-picking.
- Sales and telemarketing.
- Administration or Clerical roles.
If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field.
Paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries. Learn more about getting an internship on the Internships page in the Education System section of this website.
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. To find out more about volunteering, start your search at: http://www.govolunteer.com.au/(opens in a new window)
Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:
- A minimum wage.
- Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
- Leave, breaks and rest periods.
- A healthy and safe work environment.
Most employers in Australia are covered by an ‘award’, which sets minimum wages and conditions for a type of job or industry. To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s website(opens in a new window)or call them on 13 13 94.
In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).
The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.
This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia(opens in a new window) for more information or to download(opens in a new window) the latest checklist.
You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office(opens in a new window) website to find out more information on getting a tax file number, as well as information about paying taxes in Australia.
There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:
- Newspapers and online job sites.
- Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.
- Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.