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working international student - overseas students australia


Your Work Guide in Australia

Doing a part-time job while studying can earn you some money and valuable work experience

👋 Work in Australia for International Students

Finding a job in Australia can be very exciting and challenging at the same time. As you know that you have landed in a new country with a different set of rules and different way of running a business, it can take a while for you to find a job on your own.

This guide will give you detailed information on everything you need to know when working in Australia as an international student. 

Benefits of Working in Australia

💵 High Wages

Australia has one of the highest wage rates in the world.

💼 Unemployment rate

Australia has observed one of the lowest uneployment rates in the world.

📊 Strong Economy

Australia’s economy is one of the strongest in the world with a rank of 

💪 Work Flexibility

Australian student visa allows international students to work while studying.

Requirements to Work in Australia

🏆 Valid Visa

You can only work legally in Australia if you have a valid student visa. Also, make sure to abide by the rules and conditions of the visa as set out by the Immigration department.


You must get a Tax File Number (TFN) before you start working. Some employers may require you to work as a contractor then you should get an Australian Business Number (ABN) for that.

📝 Resume

You will need an Australian style resume for applying for jobs. A Resume is a document that summaries your work experience, education, skills and achievement for your employer.

🗒 Cover Letter

Some jobs may require you to apply with a cover letter. A cover letter is a document that is sent to the employers along with a resume to provide additional information on your experience and skills.

🏦 Bank Account

Most of the employers will usually pay your salary in your bank account. You can check how to open a bank account in the banking section of this guide.

🔗 Superannuation Account

You have a right to get 10.5% Superannuation (it is a retirement fund which basically helps you when you retire) on top of your salary. It can’t be deducted from your salary or wages.

🤑 Common Student Question What happens if I work more than 48 hours per fortnight?

Working more than your visa limitation is illegal and can lead to visa cancellation and deportation by the Department of Home Affairs. You could also be banned to enter in to Australia for certain period of time.

Work Rights for Students in Australia

📒 Work Limitations

From 1st July 2023, when you are on a student visa, you are entitled to:

  • Up to 48 hours per fortnight while study is in session
  • Full-time work hours during scheduled holidays

If you are a Masters by research or PhD student, you can work full-time even during your course of study.

✍ Fairwork Australia

When it comes to working rights, international students have the same rights as local Australian. So if you feel that you have been exploited and not fairly treated at work, you can contact Fairwork Ombudsman to discuss your situation.

Fairwork is a governing body that looks after the workers in Australia. Below are some of the basic rights that you are entitled to working in Australia.

🏛 Your work rights

All employees in the national workplace relations system receive these 11 basic minimum entitlements known as the National Employment Standards (NES). The NES include:

Maximum weekly hours of work
Requests for flexible working arrangements
Parental leave and related entitlements
Annual leave
Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave and family and domestic violence leave
Community service leave
Long service leave
Public holidays
Notice of termination and redundancy pay
Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement and Casual Employment Information Statement
Casual Conversion

Minimum Wage in Australia

💵 Current Minimum Wages in Australia - $23.23 per hour

Fairwork Australia sets out the  minimum wage in Australia. Every year on 1st July, Fairwork increase the wage by certain percentage. 

As from 1st July 2023, the new minimum wage is $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per 38 hour week (before tax).

💇 Hairdresser


🖨 Cashier


🛒 Retail staff


🗑 Cleaner


👷 Labourer


🚚 Removalist


💰 How much money I can earn in Australia?

The money you earn will usually depend on the hours you work each week.

As an example, If you work 48 hours per fortnight at the minimum wage of $23.23 then your fortnight income will be $1115.04 (48 hours x $21.38) and your weekly income will be $557.52. Also, your yearly income based on similar calculations will be $28991.04 ($557.52x 52 weeks).

*Please note these numbers can vary based on ton of other factors. No financial advice.

Popular Jobs Among Students in Australia

💼 Some Popular Part-time Jobs Among Students

There are not many limitations on the type of work you can do as an international student in Australia. Here are some of the most popular jobs in Australia among international students:

Food delivery drivers
Kitchen assistants
Shop assistants
Event workers
General Labourer

🤑 Common Student Question Do I need to apply for work permit separately after arriving in Australia?

No, there is no need to apply for separate permit for work. Your student visa comes with work rights. But keep in mind, you can only start working once your course starts. 

How to Find Jobs in Australia

💁 Referrals

The best way to get your first job in Australia is through a reference from someone you already know, it can be a friend, teacher or your peers.

🤝 Networking

Networking can be another great way of finding a job in Australia. Networking is meeting new people in your industry or area of work and establishing a relationship with people that can be mutually beneficial for both parties

🚪 Door knocking

It is quite a traditional way of finding a job but it still works. Some students would take their resume and hand it to the businesses where they would like to work.

🏢 Recruitment agencies

There are some dedicated recruitment agencies like Spotless and Sidekicker that can help to find a job as well. You should always look for opportunities to approach them and make sure to send your updated resume for any possible positions.

💻 Job Websites

One of the most preferred ways of applying for jobs in Australia is via online as most of the businesses prefer candidates to apply that way. We recommend to look up job on these websites to find part-time work in your city.

Overseas Student applying for the job on computer

💻 How to apply for a Job in Australia?

Here are 5 simple steps to apply for a job in Australia

Step 1 – First thing you need to do is read the job carefully and pick the keywords from the job ad

Step 2 – Update your resume using the keywords in the job

Step 3 – Write a cover letter, even if it is not required for the job ad

Step 4 – Submit your job application as per the job ad

Step 5 – Once you are called for an interview. Attend the interview and impress the interviewer.

🗣 Preparing for the job interviews

So you have applied for the job and got the interview call? Great! Let’s get you prepared with our 8 steps to nail that Job Interview

Step 1: Research about the company you applied the job for

Step 2: Connect with the people from the company on LinkedIn

Step 3: Dress appropriate for the job you are applying for

Step 4: Always arrive before or on time for the interview

Step 5: Bring the copy of your resume and other relevant documents like certificates

Step 6: Smile and be confident.

Step 7: Be prepared to ask a couple of questions to the employers

Step 8: Follow up with the interviewer after a week

Other Important things to know

Resume for the Internship for the Overseas Students

🏛 Internships

Internships are temporary work placements in Australian workplaces either organised by your institution or by the private providers usually in your field of study. They are usually in the same or similar industry of your studies.

Some of the universities and institutions provide internship opportunities but there are private firms also that can provide internships but usually at a cost.

Internships can be paid or unpaid depending upon the agreements between the parties and length of the engagement.

💯 Volunteering

Volunteering is great way to get to know lots of things about Australia. You can learn about the culture, get to know the people, learn the local accent and possibly find paid job opportunities through the network. Students on visa with condition 8014 or 8105 can work as a volunteer outside 40 hours per week limit if:

  • their main purpose is to study in Australia and voluntary work remains secondary to this, and
  • the work involved would not otherwise be undertaken by an Australian resident, and
  • the work is genuinely voluntary for a non-profit organisation and no remuneration, in cash or kind, is received in return for the activity.

For exploring more volunteer opportunities, we recommend you to visit

Resume Tips for Overseas Students

🏛 Practical tips for getting jobs in Australia

In order to get some part-time and casual work in Australia, here are some important tips to take note of:

  • Prepare yourself even before you land in Australia.
  • Start searching on various job websites before coming to Australia
  • It’s ok if you don’t have perfect English.
  • Be proactive. Follow up. Your attitude matters a lot.
  • Don’t be shy and hide behind the walls. Go build your network.
  • Do some short courses that might help you land a job.
  • Actively look for a job in festive seasons and holiday seasons like Christmas, Easter and school holidays.

🖼 How to avoid Exploitation at work?

Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind to avoid exploitation at work:

  • International students have the same rights at work like everyone else.
  • Your employers should give you a pay slip within one day of getting paid.
  • You are entitled to get extra money known as penalty rates for working in the evenings, nights, early mornings and weekends due to inconvenience caused by working during those hours.
  • It is not illegal to get paid in Cash as long as your employer is reporting the taxes and paying your superannuation.
  • Your employers cannot deduct money from your salary if you break something or if there is a shortage in cash registers.
  • Always be wary of your work rights and check Fairwork Australia for more details.

If you believe you are not getting minimum wages, rights and conditions and getting exploited at work, please contact Fairwork Australia for free advice and information.

Want to learn more about working in Australia Check our more detailed articles

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CV and Cover Letter

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Taxes and Super

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