Student Careers: Work While You Study in Australia
As an international student in Australia, it is smart to have funds available in a bank account for books, food, housing and transportation. You can also supplement your existing funds by working a part-time job in Australia, earning a little extra money for entertainment, impulse purchases and unexpected bills.
Under the conditions of your student visa, you will be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. Limiting your work hours to 20 or less weekly will not only keep you legal under Australia’s immigration policies, it will also help you maintain a balance between work, school and free time, allowing you to enjoy the full experience of being an international student.
What Australia Jobs Are Available to Students?
The market for Australia careers is much like that of any industrialized nation, both for professionals and student workers. Across the globe, students often work as retail clerks, in restaurants or hotels, as tutors or in administrative positions that might require filing, customer service or data entry. Australia is no exception.
In addition, some students look for part-time, entry-level jobs in the industry they are studying. A student enrolled in a science program may seek work as a laboratory assistant; a student who plans a future in academia may seek work as a research assistant.
How Do Students Find Australia Jobs?
There are many ways to find part-time jobs in Australia. Many employers advertise open positions in newspapers or on Internet job boards. The Australian government maintains one such job board at its Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website (www.deewr.gov.au).
The place best to start looking for a part-time student job, however, may be your host university’s job placement services office. Its staff members have experience placing students in appropriate jobs, and they may know of employers who have hired international students in the past.
What Is the Hiring Process for Australia Student Jobs?
Native and international students in Australia usually respond to help wanted advertisements by mailing or e-mailing resumes that list work history, job skills and education to the hiring employer. Sometimes employers will also require references or letters of recommendation.
It is a good idea to get your resume in order prior to leaving your home country for Australia. You are likely to have easier access to dates of employment, references’ contact information and former workplaces’ addresses at home than you will in Australia.
Straightforward, neatly presented one- or two-page resumes that include the experiences an employer deems necessary for an open position will usually result in a job interview. Australians value punctuality and appropriate business attire, so dress smartly even if you’re interviewing for a casual job, and make certain that you arrive on time. Answer the job interviewer’s questions honestly and enthusiastically, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question, especially if English is not your first language.
How Much Do Student Jobs Pay in Australia?
The hourly rate for student workers in Australia can vary according to city, season, industry and a student’s qualifications, in addition to his or her English-speaking abilities. Generally, students earn anywhere from $10 to $20 AUD per hour, with weekend and holiday shifts a bit higher. Student workers are paid either weekly or every other week.
One requirement across all Australia careers is that workers who earn more than a certain amount monthly must have retirement savings, or superannuation, deducted from their payments, regardless of citizenship. However, if as an international student you have retirement funds deducted from your cheques, you may be eligible for a refund called the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment. Consult with your host university’s department of job placement services or its office of international student programs for assistance applying for your refund at the end of your stay in Australia.
While working part-time Australia jobs, many international students gain an even greater appreciation and understanding of the Australian lifestyle. Part-time employment will take you out of the classroom and into the real Australia, engaging with Australians of all walks of life, while at the same time putting a little extra spending money in your pocket.