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5 part time jobs for international students in Australia

Studying in Australia is a dream for many students. The country is known for its long stretches of white sandy beaches, rugged outback, and charming people. 

It’s also home to more than 1,100 world-class institutions - earning Australia a reputation for being a top study abroad destination. And don’t just take our word for it: 90% of international students reported being happy studying and living in Australia, according to a 2018 government report.  

For many international students, working in-between studies to pay for living expenses is also part of life in Australia. So what kinds of jobs are popular for students in the country? And what is the pay like? Let’s take a look:   

1. Barista 

Coffee culture is huge in Australia. Because the country is famous for its “flat white” drinks and quality coffees, there are many different cafes for international students to apply at. After all, where there is a demand, there will always be jobs! 

Of course, working as a barista requires that you have strong customer service skills, are proficient in English, and are familiar with popular coffee orders and how to make them (although your workplace will likely also train you). Because cafe culture is so important to Australians, a job serving coffee is arguably one of the best ways to feel immersed in the local culture.  

2. Bartender  

For students, being a bartender has many perks. The hours you work rarely conflict with regular university class schedules. Being a bartender is a great way to meet new people. You could also earn tips. Tipping isn’t part of Australian culture per se, however it is becoming more common to tip service staff a small amount to thank them for good service.  

If you’re interested in serving drinks, you could also consider getting a job at an Australian winery. Because Australia has so many wineries (about 2,361 in total), wine culture is not only a prevalent part of life in Australia. It’s also always usually a thriving industry with lots of job opportunities. 

3. Server 

Keen on the hospitality industry? Serving is another great job. And, even better if you get to work at a beachside restaurant. The University of AdelaideThe University of the Sunshine Coast, and The University of Melbourne are all institutions located by the coast, where international students have the opportunity to earn a living part-time while also experiencing Australia’s beautiful beaches.  

4. Hotel and hostel jobs 

A bonus of studying in a place that happens to be an internationally-famous vacation spot is that there are many jobs in hospitality. Students studying at institutions like The University of Tasmania, for example, can benefit from the local tourism industry by applying for jobs cleaning in hotels or cooking in hotel kitchens.  

Australia’s hostels are also great spots to look for a job. Foreign students would be a great fit for hostel jobs like receptionists because of their international experience, age, and language skills. The bonus here is that you will find yourself working amongst like-minded and fun travelers.  

5. Fruit picking 

Australia has plenty of fruit picking jobs throughout the country. Strawberry, blueberry, and avocado picking jobs, for example, are all common jobs available to students in Australia. They’re also quite common to come across. Recently, the government also announced they’d allow students working in agriculture to work more hours every week - which is a big plus! We share more on that below.  

How many hours can I work? 

When studying in Australia, one of the main regulations for international student visa holders is that they can only work for up to 40 hours every two weeks (outside of holiday breaks).  

Recently though, the government changed those restrictions for students working in certain industries to support these sectors during the pandemic. Now, students can work unlimited hours in healthcare, disability care, aged care, agriculture, and tourism. 

What’s the minimum wage in Australia? 

Australia is known for its high minimum wage. Each year, the Australian Fair Work Commission reviews the national minimum wage. Right now in Australia, that wage is $20.33 per hour! This is a huge draw for many international students.  

Where should I look for work?  

Your institution in Australia should have a career center to help you look for work. They should provide you with resume and interview tips, as well as a job board that lists open positions. We always recommend visiting your institution’s career centre when beginning your job search.  

There are also job sites like IndeedSeek, and Jobactive from the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Skills, and Employment. All of these sites list thousands of part-time jobs for international students to consider.  

Ready to go? PTE can help you secure a spot at an Australian institution. Our test is fast, secure, unbiased, and accepted by all universities in Australia.  

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