Work While You Study
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 Home Affairs 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/
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 and superannuation.
- Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
- Leave, breaks and rest periods.
- A healthy and safe work environment.
To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or call them on 13 13 94. You can also read about (PDF 68.6KB) some common myths about being paid and working in Australia as an international student.
If you’re a temporary resident working in Australia your employer has to pay super for you if you are eligible.
When you leave Australia, you can claim your super as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) if you meet all the requirements. To find out more about super for temporary residents visit the Australian Taxation Office website.
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.
You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office 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.