Oyster Worldwide is a specialist and well regarded Gap Year organisation sending volunteers and paid workers to 11 destinations worldwide.
Australia is a truly breath-taking country, expect a warm climate, beautiful beaches, modern cities, lots of jobs and competitive wages which all make Australia an appealing country to work in. This is most peoples number one choice to live and work abroad in with thousands of people migrating every year. On our guide to working in Australia you can search casual/temporary working holiday jobs like farm work, agriculture/harvest, picking, au-pair, hotels, hospitality, tourism, winter ski jobs and more. There year round and summer jobs in places like the Outback and major cities Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Cairns and Brisbane.
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People choose Australia for so many reasons, including wanting to experience the culture - you will never get bored in one location in this country because the work visa is flexible it means you can travel all around and find a place which like most to work. If you have ever watched the news around Christmas time you will see a lot of Aussies head to the beach, this might seem surreal but its a totally different lifestyle and one you can look forward to! Most cities have good nightlife, outdoor lifestyle and lots of international travelers. Working your way around the country is really enjoyable and there are lots of flexible jobs, from working in a city like Sydney to traveling deep into the outback and working on a farm or vineyard, you are sure to find a position for you.
Population - 19,915,000
Capital - Canberra
Area - 7,686,850 sq km
Dialing Code - 61 Currency: Australian Dollar Currency Converter
Languages - English + Local Aboriginal languages
Main Working Industries - Tourism, Agriculture, Farming, Mining, Wine Growing
Australia often tops the list of “best countries to live” or having the “highest quality of life,” what is it that makes Australia such a great place to live? It is hard to pin it down to just one or two things, but here are some of the common answers you will find after talking to Australians. You will love the outdoors lifestyle - Australians are relatively fit, and they can do so because they live in a country that affords them decent weather year-round. Whether it is a day at the beach, a morning hike or an afternoon gathered around the “barbie” (barbeque), Australians have plenty of fresh air in their lungs.
There is a very stable economy, there will always be someone without a job or having a rough time – but overall, the Australian economy has proven stable and resilient over the years. The unemployment rate in Australia is relatively low and Australia’s government is ever-mindful of keeping things in alignment. Working here is also a good way to meet people, Australians are social creatures – a look at a restaurant or backyard any month of the year will tell you. Several studies have asked centenarians (people who lived to be 100 years old) why they lived so long, and the answers are unanimous: they had good friends. Now, there’s no guarantee you’ll live to be 100 years old in Australia, but you’ll certainly have friends along the way. Fact: Australia’s average life expectancy is 82 years according to World Bank’s data.
According to UNESCO data, Australians tend to stay in school a bit longer than their American or British counterparts, and most would say the overall education system in Australia is top quality. This helps attract good employers as well as entrepreneurs and you will learn a lot from working here. In your spare time you will also get to explore the country, whether it’s the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, the Kimberleys, or the endless beaches found on the east and west coasts, Australians have landscapes that can cheer you up even on your worst day. That, combined with the aforementioned tendency to be outdoors anyway, means Australians are even more in touch with their surroundings. Now that you know more about Australia, read more information below about if you qualift to here here.
Established in 1975 the Australian visa provides people with the opportunity to live and gain employment in Australia. The visa restrictions have been relaxed in recent years to provide any past or present visa holder who has spent a minimum of three months working in Australia to apply for a second visa.
The visa must be validated within one year of being granted the visa and it allows people to stay up to 12 months from the date of first entry, you can even leave the country and return it will not affect the visa status. If you are in Australia on a work visa you will be entitled to the same pay and work conditions as Australian nationals. You also have the option of leaving the employer at any time and looking for fresh employment.
These visas are relatively quick to obtain, making them popular with young people travelling before moving on to the next stage of their working or educational lives. There is also a skilled migration visa. The General Skilled Migration (GSM) programme is the only way for skilled workers to emigrate to Australia, but in order to qualify for this visa applicants must first meet the basic requirements for GSM and pass the Australian immigration points test, which scrutinises skill, age, work experience, language and sponsorship requirements. Whilst skilled independent visas are for people who can offer an immediate skills boost to the country and is the most popular skilled immigration process. Skilled sponsored is another route; this is where a skilled worker has family residing in Australia or who is sponsored by an Australian state or territory. Skill shortages are a common way to gain entry into the country; jobs and skills that are in short supply can be filled by people from other countries including the UK.
Unfortunately, you can’t just arrive unannounced and expect a warm welcome and the purpose of a working holiday visa is to allow you to work to cover funds for your travel. You’ll need to get permission from Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship, they issue two different types of these visas, depending on your nationality. Most European nations and countries that are part of the British Commonwealth may apply for a subclass 417 visa, while Americans, some South American nationals, and a few Asian nationals may apply for a subclass 462 visa. It’s important to check the official lists on the department’s website so you do not apply for the incorrect visa. The application fee is $365 AUD (correct as of May-13) and is not refundable if your application is refused.
417 Visa - If you are eligible for a 417 visa, you may stay in Australia for up to 12 months, working up to six months with each employer you choose, and you are allowed to enter and exit the country freely. This visa can also be extended for a second working holiday visa, which adds another 12 months to your stay. 417 visa applicants must be 18-30 years old and will need to pass a medical examination, meet character requirements (no serious law violations in the past), and have proof of financial support. It is generally advised to have at least $5,000 AUD, if not more.
462 Visa - The 462 visa requirements are almost identical to the 417 visa requirements, although certain additional criteria are made depending on your country of citizenship. For example, American passport holders must have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.
Working holiday visas are processed quickly, typically within a week – though you may need to be interviewed or take a physical exam, which can extend the processing time. Do not make any nonrefundable arrangements until you have an approved visa! Once your visa has been approved, you’ll want to book your flight and start the planning process. You do not need to book a round-trip flight when you start your working holiday, but you must be able to prove – if asked – that you have the funds to buy your ticket home. The hardest part of your working holiday in Australia is ensuring that you meet all of the criteria for the application process, and following the instructions exactly. Remember, fees for denied application fees are not refundable. Once you’re approved? Then buy a new hat and some sun cream – you’re off to Australia!
While the bulk of Australia’s population lives in the southeast, near urban hubs like Sydney and Melbourne, you can also reside in a small town and work on a farm, a vineyard, a small hotel or get involved in the mining industry. While Australia is a long flight away from any other country, you don’t need to go anywhere as lifestyles of all kinds can be found here. A lot of people find work in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney - all large cosmopolitan cities with lots of places to apply. If you work in Sydney then you really need to get a picture by the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House to make all your friends back home jealous. Bondi Beach is a popular place in Sydney to base yourself, the beaches here are also really spectacular. Checking Sydney travel guides by Expedia before you start your trip is highly recommended. Australia has so many beautiful beaches be sure to travel down the East Coast working the route from Cairns to Sydney. Most farm and agriculture jobs are located in the Outback.
There are seasonal work opportunities all year round, summer is a great time to visit Australia due to the amount of tourists visiting which means more employment opportunities. A true adventure awaits Down Under - discover living and working today by reading our guide to seasonal jobs in Australia below...
Working in Australia is a brilliant way to really experience the true culture and finance your trip. Just be prepared for some red tape and a few hoops to jump through before winning that first job. Seasonal fruit-picking jobs in Australia are very influenced by the seasonal conditions for that particular crop. Weather and natural disasters like droughts, fires and floods can and do have a huge impact on the availability and length of employment for casual workers.
Many travellers have realized that landing jobs in major cities is much easier, especially in the hospitality sector. Plus it’s not your traditional 9-5 grind. You’ll get enough of that when you return home. Hospitality hours let you see the sights and soak up the sunshine while most other people are at work! However, securing work in places such as cafés, bars and restaurants is not just a matter of turning up at the door. Australian workers are required to undertake some training and gain certain qualifications to uphold service and safety standards. In regards to service of alcohol, it’s not just a matter of employer preference; it’s a government imposed and regularly policed legal requirement!
Here I will give some helpful tips on how to get a head start on your competition, find a job easily and concentrate on the fun stuff!
First things first…
Make sure you have the correct legal status for working in Australia. This means having applied and been granted a Working Holiday Visa. Yes, employers will ask. There are heavy penalties for employers found with illegal workers and most won’t take the risk.
Update your resume to target the type of job you are after. Hospitality employers will be looking for skills and experience in areas such as food preparation, mixing drinks, cleaning, cash handling, customer service, coffee making, ability to speak different languages and basic computer literacy. Include genuine references from your previous employers; these are all too easy to follow up. If there are restrictions on your time, be precise about the days and the hours you will be able to work.
If you want to work in any job serving, supplying or selling alcohol in Australia you will need to complete the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training. This certificate is mandatory across Australia but beware, each state has it’s own liquor legislation; you may need to complete training for each state you plan to work in. Prefer the heat of the kitchen? A technical training course like the Certificate II in Kitchen Operations can give you a terrific head start, especially if you are new to food preparation. Love coffee? Consider doing a barista course where you learn cutting edge tricks like etching and free pouring. Café work is a great option for those that do prefer to work in the daytime.
You will find job offers on general recruitment websites like Seek as well as those that target specific industry sectors like hotelcareersaustralia.com.au. It’s also worth contacting some major hotel and entertainment venues directly such as The Star in Sydney or any major convention and exhibition centre such as The National Convention Centre in Canberra or in the particular city you are visiting or living. These companies need a large and constant number of staff all year round. Whilst a working holiday can seem like the ideal way to fund your travels, it will go a lot smoother if you do your research and get somewhat prepared before you head Down Under. Then, a smile, neat presentation and a positive attitude should take you the rest of the way. Good luck!
Author Bio: Anna Johnson is a full blown Kiwi and has experienced first-hand some of the hurdles visitors must overcome before landing their first job in Oz.
Imagine waking up in Australia and getting paid to work at a farm in the outback, this is something totally different than you might of experienced before but it is something you might want to consider. There are lots of farm jobs in Australia and wages are really high compared to other countries, you don't need any previous experience. Positions can include working with cattle, going horse riding and rounding up cattle, preparing meals, amending trails and fixing fences, cooking food or generally helping out.
Full training will be provided and when you arrive you will be prepared for the type of work and you'll soon get in the hang of it, please note farm work can be hard, this isn't like a holiday sometimes you might be required to wake up early and work all day in hot sweaty conditions. Being in the wilderness of a farm in Australia can be the best thing about being Down Under, there will be little noise and light pollution so the sky at night will be spectacular. You will experience something totally different by working on a farm in Australia, you will also learn new skills and maybe thing about a career in this industry, who knows!
The Australian outback is everything you might have imagined, its huge and you could be working on a farm anywhere in this country. Sometimes farms are in remote locations so don't expect wild nightlife or a big town nearby. But it is also a cheap way to live as your living expenses will be low and you can save money to travel and see more of this country.
A popular options with many casual and temporary workers is to seek employment picking fruits and vegetables during harvest. These periods get very busy and sometimes there is a shortage of full time staff so temporary workers are hired. There are positions and availability all over Australia and the types of fruits you can pick include grapes, citrus fruits, garlic and potatoes. Usually staff are made up of locals and also internationals from all over the world, sometimes food and accommodation are provided for free at locals towns. Short term flexible contracts are usually offered, most jobs pay cash in hand every week. It is possible to work 12 months throughout the year doing this kind of work as long as you move around the country and if general picking is not for you, then there are other positions available too like working machinery, being a general assistant, maintenance etc.
Places to Seek Harvest Work & Times of the Year
February to April: New South Wales, South Australia, Southern & Northern Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria
April to June: Northern New South Wales, Southern & Northern Queensland
June to August: New South Wales, Southern & Northern Queensland
September to November: Northern Territory, North Western Australia, Southern & Northern Queensland
December to January: North Western Australia, South Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Southern & Northern Queensland
There are lots of au-pair agencies and childcare providers who we have listed on our website who offer year round and summer au-pair jobs in Australia. You can browse our website to apply, experience one of the worlds best countries which will be a life changing experience. You can apply now to work as an au pair in Australia, if this is something you have always dreamed about then why wait. Full training will be provided and so most of the time if you are lacking experience this will not be a problem. You might find work as an au pair in a city like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. If you apply through an international sending agency they will be able to review your application and accept you onto the program. They will also be able to assist you in finding a childcare job in Australia. Becoming an au-pair in Australia is a great way to see more of this country as there will be lots of free time to travel. Experience the land down under, live in a new culture and get paid to do it!
People in various industries like IT and in other professions have spotted the benefits of moving during this economical struggle to secure their jobs in the industry; Australia is a high performer in the western world, recording substantial growth in such turbulent times, only increasingly the attraction of starting your career over there rather than in your home country. You can find jobs in towns and cities throughout Australia doing an number of jobs, we highly recommend Melbourne as there are lots of cafes, bars, museums and shops. You might also want to consider popular tourist areas like the East Coast. These positions are available year round and there is no best time to apply, if you have any previous experience in the area of work in these industries you should be able to find employment quite easily. If you are looking for a different type of work, mining is a big business and in this industry you can get well paid employment.
Recruitment firms have discovered that Australia’s information technology sector remains the third most confident market in the country in terms of projected demand for hiring permanent staff over the course of the next three months. Great news if you’re planning on spending significant time Down Under and looking to work here! Australian recruitment agency Hudson found that almost half the country’s employers (48.1 per cent) have plans to increase their number of staff performing IT jobs. This upswing in confidence was only outdone in the professional services and resources sectors. Hudson’s review reflected the confident opinions of over 4,300 employers ranging across the whole of Australia. Of those surveyed, even those who didn’t plan to take on more staff were still in a stable position, as 43.6 per cent of respondents said that they anticipated the number computer jobs would remain steady over this quarterly period.
Hudson’s Asia Pacific chief financial officer Mark Leigh said: "Despite the current international uncertainty, and changing conditions at home, employment expectations in Australia on the whole remain positive, particularly in the resources, transport and construction and engineering sectors," "Furthermore, we expect high demand in certain roles, such as engineering, geology, health & safety executives and operational roles, as well as for customer facing IT specialists,’’ he said. Increased confidence in this sector is fast becoming a phenomenon felt all around the eastern part of the world. The increased short - and medium-term employment opportunities in Australia provided by many new projects, has meant that many IT workers are also willing to pursue IT contract jobs and enjoy the higher flexibility and pay. Maybe it’s time to start searching ahead for that lucrative role Down Under that will provide for a fantastic trip, with all of the perks paid for. You will find positions in all the major cities across the country.
Work a winter ski season in Australia? Really? Yes. This is a country of contrast, in summer you could work as a surf instructor and during the winter period from around June to October you could seek employment in places like the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. There are 4 different resorts operational here for beginners and more advanced levels and the close proximity to Sydney make both working or just going skiing / snowboarding. Jobs can be found on the slopes e.g. working as a ski lift operator or general assistant, or there are also lots of shops, restaurants and accommodation which hire winter seasonal staff. Mount Buller (as seen in the picture above) is another popular location for winter jobs, this area is just three hours north-east of Melbourne. The types of jobs available here are in operations, resort services, hospitality and leading lessons. You might also be able to work during summer or a few months before June getting everything ready for the busy ski season. Contracts, salaries and benefits can vary depending on the recruiter - usually when working for a resort they will also provide you with a free ski pass - perfect for your spare time.
If you are applying for employment independently then you should be able to arrange your own accommodation. Living conditions can be basic unless you spend a lot or rent your own place. You can stay cheaply in dorm rooms and this is a good opportunity to socialize and really get to know people. Other times you could get your own room, kitchen facilities and privacy. Local staff are very friendly and should be able to help you find something. You will need to decide how long to stay, a lot of people choose 3 months but others day over a year - this time really allows you to settle into a placement. Some jobs include free board and accommodation e.g. working on a farm.
One of the biggest deciding factors, and one of the main reasons for the large number of people making the move to Australia, is the appeal of avoiding Europe's and some other worldwide countries economic situation. Australia has really high wages, even for entry level or non-skilled jobs. The minimum wage is around $550 per week.
Search vacancies and recruiters on our directory above. If you are aged 18-30 and come from selected countries like the UK and Ireland you should be able to apply successfully. To enter Australia you will need a funds in your bank to support your stay.
If you apply for a visa through a sending agency they will usually make the process easier and help with accommodation. This can be the best option if you are traveling solo in Australia, its your first trip away and if you want to make your trip down under easier. They will arrange your flights, transfers and help with finding a job, they offer packages which include:
- A guaranteed job for the first several months
- Complete orientation
- Full access to job and accommodation listings
- Program handbook
- Visa documentation
- Advice and assistance throughout duration
- Assistance setting up a bank account and social security number
Or you can just apply for a working holiday visa by yourself and seek employment locally when in country. You might also like to view our seasonal jobs in New Zealand.