Top 10 tips for backpacker jobs in Australia
Your Working Holiday in Australia is an excellent opportunity to gain new experiences and international work experience. But how should you start working in Australia? What are the possibilities to get a job as a backpacker in Australia?
Finding a job for backpacker in Australia is not always easy, depending on the region and season. In this article we will give you tips for your job search in Australia. This way you can quickly find a job as a backpacker in Australia.
- Tip 1: What documents do you need for your Australian job application?
- Tip 2: How important is existing work experience in Australia?
- Tip 3: What job opportunities are there?
- Tip 4: The minimum wage in Australia
- Tip 5: How do you get a job in Australia?
- Tip 6: Work in a hostel?
- Tip 7: Working on a farm?
- Tip 8: Working in the oil and gas industry in Australia
- Tip 9: Working in Australia's mines
- Tip 10: Working in the outback of Australia
- Bonus Tip: Be realistic with your expectations
- Share your experience about your backpacker jobs in Australia with us!
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Tip 1: What documents do you need for your Australian job application?
The most important document for a job in Australia is the CV, also called resume. A bit shorter than a classic UK resume, it is used to highlight your work experience and education in a tabular form.
If you already have skills that are useful for this job, we recommend that you highlight these skills.
If you want to make sure that your desired job is valid for the second and third Working Holiday Visa, make sure that your company has the correct industry and post code. In this way you can make sure that you will be able to work for your 88 or 179 days.
▷ All details regarding the Second Working oliday in Australia can be found in tour blog post here.
You might need these documents for your job application in Australia:
- Cover Letter: Written specific for the job you are applying for. In our experience, you only need your cover letter for the fewest jobs. If you can introduce yourself in person on site, you only need a resume. Especially for office jobs and applications where you can't make a good impression in person, you should include a nice cover letter.
- Curriculum vitae (usually called resume or CV): in which you emphasize your previous knowledge. Also briefly explain each company mentioned, because your Australian employer does not necessarily know every German company by name. Sort your resume so that your most recent job experience is at the top. You don't need more than one page of resume for farm and restaurant jobs.
Tip about your australian CV: You don't need a photo in your Australian CV. The only personal information on your Australian CV is your name, address (if available) and contact information in the form of phone number and email. All contact information should be at the top of the CV.
Additional for hospitality work: If you want to work in the hospitality industry and alcohol is served there, you need a so-called RSA certificate. This certifies that you have attended a day course in which you learn how to serve alcohol responsibly.
Additional for construction work: If you want a job in the construction industry, you need a so-called white card. You will receive this white card after attending a course in which the risks and legal requirements for construction sites are explained. The whitecard is slightly different depending on the state and your employer in the construction industry will ask you for your whitecard.
▷ Here you can find everything else about the requirements for a good CV in Australia.
All documents must be in English:
Of course your Australian resume must also be in English. Additionally, if you are applying for higher level jobs in Australia, you can also attach certificates and references in English to your application. For most jobs you do not need certificates. All you have to do is write your resume below:
“references and certificates available upon request”
▷ For the translation of your documents (resume, CV, references, certificates of good conduct…) we recommend “lingoking“:
Tip 2: How important is existing work experience in Australia?
For many jobs, previous experience is required. But this is not necessarily required to submit an application. For example, if you have waited tables before, you can also call this experience.
Overall, for many jobs, you learn a lot in the first few days and don't have to hide if you don't have any experience. Show yourself motivated and willing to learn, then you will get a chance with or without previous experience.
Especially in the gastronomy and on farms you can get a job quickly even without previous experience.
And even if your boss resigns you during the trial period, you'll have real experience to show for your next attempt.
Tip: If you want to prepare for a job with real experience, there are often courses where you can get a quick overview of the basics for the job. For example, barista courses are extremely helpful for working in a cafe behind the counter. This way you can learn everything you need to know about coffee in 1-3 days.
The same is also available for other jobs such as bartending. Because there you can see directly if you have ever stood behind a bar.
Overall, applying for a job in Australia is much less formal than in Germany. So feel free to try out a new job. You will get experiences you would never have dared to make in Germany. Many companies are especially happy about motivated and punctual backpackers.
Tip 3: What job opportunities are there?
With the Working Holiday Visa in Australia, you have a work permit with which you can work up to 6 months for the same employer.
Only for professions in the health care or childcare sector do you need an additional health check and an extract from the police clearance certificate. You will need to provide this when you apply for a visa to Australia.
The job opportunities in Australia as a backpacker are otherwise almost endless. The less afraid you are to get your hands dirty, the easier it will be to find a job.
More about this in the rest of the article, there you will find some ideas for possible backpacker jobs in Australia.
▷ Here you can find our Ultimate guide to your Working Holiday in Australia.
Tip 4: The minimum wage in Australia
Australia offers one of the highest minimum wages in the world. Therefore, with the right job and attitude, you can earn a lot of money in a short time in Australia.
Note that many employers in the farm sector like to try to get around the regular minimum wage. But the laws are very clear about this. Since the minimum wage is a very extensive topic in Australia, we have written a complete and detailed article on this topic.
▷ Here you can find everything about the minimum wage in Australia.
Tip 5: How do you get a job in Australia?
Let's get to the most interesting tip of the whole article: how can you get a job as a backpacker in Australia? We would like to give you 7 possibilities that are worth a look:
Option 1: Visit in person
Print out your resume and walk the streets around you. It is easy to get a job in Australia if you come in person and hand in your resume. Unlike in Germany, you don't need a cover letter or an application folder. Especially for smaller stores it is even common that a note with “Looking for staff” or “now hiring” is usually shown in the businesses window.
Our tip: If you are on site, ask for the person responsible for personnel. So you can see directly how the boss is doing and he has a chance to get to know you. So to speak a kind of mini job interview from a standing start. If the job was interesting for you, show initiative and go back after 2-3 days and ask how it looks like. That way you will get a direct feedback.
Option 2: Apply online
In Australia there is a huge choice of platforms for job search. Besides local city specific websites and Facebook groups there are also big portals for jobs that operate all over Australia.
Popular websites for your job search in Australia are:
Option 3: Job fairs
In many cities in Australia there are also regular job fairs. There you can choose from a larger selection of employers, get inspired and attracted and find your next employer. Depending on the city, the regularity of these job fairs varies greatly. Sometimes a specific industry organizes a job fair to find their workers for the next season. Use this opportunity to get a great overview within a short time.
The easiest way to find a job fair on Google is to enter the name of your city + “Job Fair”.
Option 4: Local message boards and local newspaper ads
Durch die schiere Größe Australiens haben wir gute Erfahrungen mit lokalen Anzeigen und dem schwarzen Brett gemacht. Viele Unterkünfte und Supermärkte bieten ein schwarzes Brett, dort kannst du unter anderem auch lokale Jobangebote finden. Idealerweise rufst du kurz an um zu hören ob der Job noch zu haben ist. So kannst du auch kleinere Arbeitgeber finden, die nicht auf den großen Webseiten eine Anzeige schalten.
Option 5: Networking
With the right contact, you can quickly find a job in Australia. If you meet other backpackers, it often helps if you mention that you are looking for a job. Some of them are still in contact with their last employers and might be able to recommend you. This is a quick and common value in Australia to get you into work. At the same time you will only hear about jobs that are recommendable, because no backpacker will recommend his boss if he was bad.
Option 6: Help from your organization
Did you come to Australia with an organization? Then maybe they even offer a job market. It's also worth taking a look, because sometimes you can find a job there as well.
However, in our experience, most of these job platforms of Working Holiday agencies are rather outdated or the selection of existing jobs is very limited. So if your agency does not offer anything suitable, check out our other recommended options.
Option 7: Job recruitment through a temporary employment agency
You can also quickly find a job in Australia with an Employment Agency. Popular temp agencies can place you on construction sites or farm work. You will be hired out to work at another company for a limited period of time. You will get your money from the temporary employment agency if they were able to find work for you at another company. There are many local agencies in Australia, you can find them quickly on Google if you enter the city name + “Employment Agency”.
Tip: These agencies should not charge you any money to be included in their employee pool. If an agency wants to charge you a handling fee, just use another agency. In the end, the agency earns its money by hiring you, meaning they only make money when they put you to work. Everything else is extremely dubious and you should keep your distance.
Tip 6: Work in a hostel?
A nice way to make your stay in Australia cheap is to work in a hostel. That way you get to know many other travellers at the same time and have a nice home.
In hostels there are usually several opportunities for work.
- Work for Accomodation: Here you work a pre-defined number of hours per day and in return you get your accommodation free of charge. Usually 2 hours per day are usual here, but you can usually do these hours in one go. This way you save money and in return you help at the reception, cleaning or making beds. You can also combine this with another part time job to save money for your further trip to Australia.
- Work as employe: There are also accommodations that would like to hire you. This way you get a normal salary and can also get a bed in the accommodation. You will also get to know many other travelers and can even earn money.
- Work for accomodation and money: This variant is, so to speak, a mixture of the previous two. Some hostels offer you a number of hours of work for your accommodation, everything else will be paid by salary. This is also a nice option and can be used to save money. Which of the three options is the right one for you, you have to decide for yourself.
- Working Hostels: A Working Hostel is another alternative to your independent job search in Australia. The so called working hostels, refer you to surrounding farms and other employers. They usually offer cheaper accomodation rates, charged on a weekly basis. Many of these Working Hostels have a bad reputation, so it is important to check what others say about your Working Hostel before you move in.
Also make sure that the prices for a bed are not too expensive, otherwise you won't have much left over from your weekly wage. Also don't make a deal just for the promise that you will get a job soon. Ask before you arrive how soon you can start working. Some hostels fill their empty spots with the promise to make you work soon and then don't follow this promise after you arrived.
The most common jobs are found at working hostels in the surrounding farms.
Tip 7: Working on a farm?
There are several possibilities for working on a farm in Australia. If you are unsure what is the right option for you, talk to other backpackers. This will help you decide how other backpackers did their jobs.
1. Work for Accomodation and Food: This type is often called Wwoofing. Here you work about 4 hours per day and in return you get free board and lodging. In this way you get a good insight into the Australian everyday life in a family. Popular portals for Wwoofing are Wwoof Australia*, Workaway*, HelpX* or similar portals. The registration usually costs a small fee, but it is worth it as soon as you accept at least 1x offer.
2. Work employed: Especially larger farms sometimes employ hundreds of backpackers at once. So you can earn money quickly and plan ahead. If you are provided with accommodation, your employer can deduct a small amount for it. You can find out exactly how much this is in the respective award of the exact industry in which you work.
▷ Here you can find all awards for Australia.
3. Work as Casual: As a casual you are employed, but you have no fixed and recurring working hours. Your employer usually gives you spontaneously a time to work, on farms often depending on the weather. You can work when you want to. Since you are casual and do not have to pay any taxes on the part of your employer, there is a wage supplement. This is 25% on the minimum wage, which makes this kind of work even more attractive for you.
4. Work as contractor (self employed): To avoid high costs, some farmers use the possibility to hire you as a contractor. As a contractor you are responsible for your own taxes, insurance and other fees and work on your own ABN (Australian Business Number). To round it all off, you are paid only for the work you do. If possible, do not accept such offers, because in the end you bear the full risk and have bad cards if you do not reach the minimum wage per hour.
Tip 8: Working in the oil and gas industry in Australia
Australia offers a large number of oil mines and gas fields, especially in the more remote areas of the outback. In these industries, new employees are actually always being sought. However, the working hours here are distributed differently, so you often work several weeks at a stretch and then have several weeks off. Not untypical are 2 weeks of work and 4 days off. The remoteness of the jobs is good for saving money, because you can't spend money in the supermarket. Whether a job in the oil and gas industry is something for you, you have to decide yourself. They are often looking for cooks or cleaners, so you can also get a job with other qualifications.
Popular websites to find a job in the oil or gas industry:
Tip: The pay in this industry is above average, a good choice to quickly save a lot of money.
Tip 9: Working in Australia's mines
In addition to the oil and gas industry, Australia also offers many jobs in the mining sector. So there is also the possibility to drive big trucks and excavators with the appropriate driver's license. Additionally there are perfect job opportunities for mechanics and other technical professions. Because most mines work around the clock. The shift rhythm is adapted here and also amounts to several weeks of work to have a longer period of free time.
Popular websites to find a job in mining in Australia:
PS: Again, the pay is above average, but the burden for you is also high.
Tip 10: Working in the outback of Australia
In the outback of Australia there are many possibilities to find a job. Therefore we list a few examples here with which you can earn good money in the outback.
- Service staff in a roadhouse
- Work on solar farms
- Farm work (sowing, harvesting, driving a tractor)
- Mining (mechanic, cook, cleaning, truck driver)
- Gas & Oil Industry
The best story for a backpacker job in Australia that we have heard so far:
The coolest story of another backpacker we have heard is the following job.
She lived and worked as a cook in a camp with 15 cowboys. Every 14 days we went by helicopter to the supermarket, because the next supermarket was several hundred kilometers away.
As a cook, she had to conjure up delicious meals for the cowboys with the purchased food, supplemented by freshly hunted food from the outback. A good payment and many hours of work enabled her to finance 12 months of Australia with 2 months of work.
Our job tip for Australia:
As extreme as in the example above, you may not have to work, but you can see that there are things possible that are not necessarily in your head. Let your imagination run wild, what would you enjoy working in Australia?
Just try it, you can travel fast if it is not for you.
Bonus Tip: Be realistic with your expectations
Australia is the country where you can arrange your Working Holiday time according to your wishes. Nevertheless, you should question your own expectations, because we have often read about disappointment.
Jobs in Australia are usually well paid, but they also demand commitment from you. Few find a top paid, super relaxed Instagram suitable job with many hours and little effort.
For most backpackers it means gaining experience, earning good money, but also sweating, calluses on the fingers or boredom because the job is monotonous.
Don't let yourself be unsettled and always remember that you are the maker of your Working Holiday Trip! Enjoy your time in Australia, you will remember it for a long time and laugh about many things afterwards.
You are or have been in Australia? What did you work? What did you earn? Would you recommend others to start a job in the same industry or with the same employer? We look forward to your comment here under our articles. Thanks for being part of our community.
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