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getting a job
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working in Australia

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Gap Year Australia :: working holiday

Getting a Job & types of work

Finding work in Australia can take a little effort but with the right approach you should have no worries, mate! Be prepared to hit the streets and hand out CVs to shops, restaurants, cafes, recruitment agencies, bars, clubs and pubs. Ask at backpacker hostels as sometimes employers use them to find workers that they need for a day or two, with the added bonus of paying in cash. One of the best ways to find a job is to talk to people – find out where they work and how they got the job.

Hostel managers often give accommodation to backpackers in exchange for a few days work, ranging from cleaning rooms to looking after reception. Working in a hostel is a great way to meet many more fellow travellers. Some hostels even have a job centre where they’ll find you a job around town, possibly for a small fee.

Fruit picking and other seasonal work is a popular choice, as it means getting off the beaten track and working out in the country. It is hard physical work, but you’ll get used to it after a few days. Again, this is a cool job for meeting loads of other travellers and getting a tan at the same time! These jobs are available all over the country and there are usually working hostels that arrange the jobs for you. The pay is pretty decent too!

Resort work is another good option as you usually get some good perks. Try the Whitsunday island resorts in Queensland and other major tourist hotspots. You can also apply for jobs during the ski season. Yes, Australia does have ski season! It runs from June to September and is centred on the resorts in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales. Applying before the end of March is recommended. There are usually loads of jobs, from cleaning to ski/snowboard instructing, from sales assistants to ski lift operators. Either way you’re most likely to earn yourself free (or very cheap) lifts pass, as well as accommodation and pay. For information on working in the ski season, visit:

WWOOFing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is another popular choice amongst backpackers. WWOOFing is basically going to live with a family that needs help on their farm. In exchange for your 4-6 hours physical work a day, you will get meals and accommodation. There are over 1600 participating farms in Australia, so you’ll have no trouble WWOOFing round the country. For more information go to WWOOF Australia at As for other farmstays around the country, check hostel notice boards and local backpacker magazines/guides.

Agencies are another good way of getting jobs as they generally pay weekly and have a huge range of jobs available, especially for office temps in the bigger cities. There are a lot of hospitality agencies in the cities that can offer you flexible hours working at sporting events including football, rugby, cricket and tennis. The Aussies love their sport!

Being in a city for major events (E.g. Australian open, Grand Prix etc.) can be very handy as there will be a lot of hospitality and steward work available and you may be able to attend the event for free, although you may need to apply a month or so in advance.

If you already have a trade or profession then there should be no problem with you finding a job in the cities. Australia is crying out for people with skills and you could even make mega bucks by just doing what you do already at home. Applying to recruitment agencies that specialise in your skills is recommended.

If you are a qualified Nurse then there are a plenty of agencies that will find you a job with good pay and flexible hours. Teaching staff are in demand all over the country and these positions often come with perks, such as accommodation. If you have experience working as Au Pair or in childcare then there are many agencies that will secure you a job if you’ve got the right qualifications.

A great idea for temporary, flexible work is working for a fast food chain. Australia has lots of fast food available including McDonalds, Subway, Hungry Jacks / Burger King and KFC. These jobs have very flexible hours, decent pay and they are available in practically every town in the country. These companies are always hiring staff and backpackers are more than welcome in the company. McDonalds even offer a discount card for backpackers that work for them.

Regularly check hostel notice boards around town for potential jobs. Most of the adverts will be filled with promotions work and telemarketing; although jobs like these aren’t for everyone they can pay really well and usually offer good working hours. Another common job is collecting signatures and money for charities. Here you’ll be out on the streets talking to the public at large. These jobs can sometimes pay well, however, some are purely commission based so check first.



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