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Working while Studying

Working in Australia while Studying is a smart decision because it will add that much-needed extra money in your bank account and will also provide a unique experience at the same time.

But you won’t wake up one day of your life and realize that you have found a good part-time job in Australia that fits perfectly with your daily schedule and satisfies your monetary needs.

Unfortunately, the information is vague, resources are limited and support is low. You need to carry out diligent research on your own to navigate your student job options and see what do you need in order to get one. For an international student like you who knows little about Australia, this is surely not an easy task.

Here’s everything you need to know about student jobs in Australia, how to find one and how much you can expect to earn:

Conditions for student visa holders in Australia

First of all, you must be aware of what restrictions apply to your working rights as a student in Australia because if you don’t meet them your student visa will be cancelled and other additional consequences may follow.

These conditions are set by the national Government and sometimes may be subject to change. So it is always recommended you check them carefully when you’re planning to work in Australia as an international student.

Given that working over certain limits may cause international students to lose focus in their studies the main purpose of these rules is to help students earn some money while being fully concentrated on their studies.

According to current official rules, you’re allowed to work at a maximum of 40 hours per two weeks during term times. On the other hand, during break time the rules state that you can work over this limit.

In the past international students had to get work permission separately from their student visa to be allowed to work while studying in Australia. Nowadays, you’re immediately eligible to seek work once your student visa is granted.  However, you will still need to obtain a Tax File Number from the Australia Tax Office.

You can start working in Australia as an international student only after your regular course has commenced. Note that if a work you’re engaged in is part of your university course the 40-hour rule doesn’t apply anymore, therefore you can work for more hours.

You can also participate in voluntary work above the 40-hour rule if the following conditions are met:

  • Your degree remains a priority
  • The work you’re doing wouldn’t be taken by an Australian resident
  • You work for a non-profit organization and you don’t get paid in cash for your job

If your voluntary job doesn’t comply with the above conditions then you won’t be allowed to work more than 40 hours per two weeks.

How to find a student job in Australia?

There are a lot of job opportunities for international students in Australia. That in mind, the question as what job you’re going to get in Australia depends more on your personal choices and strengths than available jobs.

While it is all upon your personal choice, the following jobs are the most popular for international students, to give you an idea of what would suit you:

  • Retail Sales Assistant
  • Waiter
  • Client Adviser
  • Bartender
  • Barista
  • Cleaner
  • Personal Tutor
  • Receptionist
  • Food Delivery
  • Administrative Assistant at University
  • Campus Tour Guide
  • Graphic Designer
  • Library Assistant
  • Photographer
  • Babysitter
  • Pet care

Finding a student job in Australia can be difficult without help. If you decide to get to the town and enter each place to ask if there is a job vacancy it can be devastating.

Instead, you need to rely on some useful resources. Your university in Australia must be your first port to call about this issue.

Universities in Australia value the benefits of working as a student, therefore, they make sure students get proper support to achieve it. The international student office or any other office for career advice is always there to let you know your job options.

They maintain close partnerships with many local employers to provide their students with various job opportunities. In addition, they offer several other jobs within the campus like an admission assistant officer or anything similar.

Another good resource of information about vacant student jobs in Australia are local magazines and online job sites which will keep you updated at any time if there’s a job that might interest you. Also, there are student job agencies, but that may not be a good option since it can come at a certain price.

Most international students in Australia work and even if you possess all financial means a student part-time job can be very beneficial to you. You get to meet different people and enrich your studying experience.

If possible, we recommend you to find a job which is closely related to your university course. As such, you will have an amazing opportunity to put your knowledge in practice and gain a set of skills demanded in your future job career.

How much can I earn?

Always keep in mind that a student part-time job is meant to help you add some extra coins in your budget and not be your primary financial resource. As such, don’t expect to earn a high amount of money by working as a student in Australia. However, it will alleviate a lot of costs you have while studying abroad.

In 2018, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) increased the base minimum wage in Australia by 3.5%. This meant that the minimum national wage was set at $18.93 per hour and $23.66 per casual workers. As the FWC announcement explained these changes were also applied to international students working in Australia.

Salaries can change largely depending on the type of job, the company and location. In big cities like Sydney and Melbourne, you can expect to earn more than in smaller towns. Leading positions are usually paid higher, but is unlikely that a part-time employee will get any.

For example, if you work as a waiter in Australia you will earn A$15 hourly, on average. If you work as a receptionist you will be paid around A$17 per hour on average. However, there are other jobs which are paid less, for example, if you work as a pizza delivery you can earn around A$200 in two weeks.

All that said, you can expect to earn on average A$500 in two weeks while working in Australia as a student.

Can My Family Members Work on Student Visa in Australia?

Your family dependents are also eligible to work in Australia on your student visa. However, similar to you they must also comply with certain rules and conditions.

Under current law, your family members can work in Australia on your student visa if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • They cannot start working until your university course commences
  • They can work for up to 40 hours in two weeks. If you’re a doctoral or postgraduate research student in Australia than this time limit will not apply.

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