The majority of backpackers travelling throughout Australia make use of the working holiday visa - a great opportunity to combine travel and being able to work and earn money at the same time. Here are some handy tips for backpacker jobs in Australia, and rules you should follow to make the most of this exciting experience.
1. Finding a job that fits
First of all it’s important that you find a job that suits you so you feel comfortable doing it for a long time. Not everyone can or wants to do construction or work in a restaurant. Think about some options that suit your personality and individual abilities.
To find a placement there are many portals like seek or gumtree that can help you to find an open position. You can also check out multiple Facebook groups or simply trust the word of mouth. Get in touch with the locals and talk to people you meet throughout your journey! Often the easiest way is to apply personally, handing in your resume and your availabilities on site.
2. 2nd year working holiday visa
If you want to stay longer than on year, you can extend your working holiday visa by applying for a second year extension. To do so you will need to complete 88 days of paid seasonal work, which basically means farm jobs. Make sure you check if the job you want to apply for is eligible to for the second year visa application before you start your work!
3. Common requirements to prepare for
Inform yourself what you will need to do certain jobs. If you are looking to work at a bar or a fully licensed restaurant where alcohol is served you will need to pass RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) training, which you can easily do online before you start to apply for any jobs. If that place also has any form of gambling, you’ll also need an RSG (Responsible Service of Gambling).
For doing labour work or working on a construction site you will need a white card including a day of safety training. You might also have to buy appropriate clothing and protection in advance.
Organising all this before handing in your applications will help you to get the job, because your boss will not have to worry about getting everything done for you.
4. Get paid by the hour, not by the workload
Some employers, especially in the agricultural sector, will try to pay you based on something like the amount of fruit you picked, rather than pay you a standard, fixed hourly rate. This might look like you have the potential to earn more, but it’s always best to stick to an hourly rate to be sure you get an appropriate income from your work.
5. Fix things first
When you arrive in Australia you will have to spend some time looking for jobs and get through the application process. Therefore make sure your budget lasts for a few weeks without any extra income. You should also not transfer any money to pay rent or pay for any transfers to your workplace until you have signed a contract or got a written guarantee of your employment. This might sound over the top but you will avoid losing a ton of money.
6. Get all your agreements in written form
You should receive important agreements like your hourly wage, minimum hours per week, etc. in written form before you start your employment! This is the only way to ensure the employer will stick to all the promises he made and is also a necessary formality to apply for any visa extensions.
7. Trust your gut feeling
Aside from being a instant noodle filled wasteland, your gut can give you some pretty good advice - trust it! If it doesn’t feel good, get outta there.
8. Typical types of work
There are some branches that many backpackers have worked in and probably always will, because finding work within these is kind of easy.
Barista - easy to access, just pop into your local coffee shop and ask for a job. Make sure you’re happy with the pay as some cafés are notorious for underpaying staff.
Bar work - hourly wage plus tips and an awesome social life. Sounds just about right.
Hospitality - get a glimpse into the important tourism sector of Australia and earn some extra money working casually for event companies.
Shop work - benefit from pretty good stuff discounts and get in touch with the locals shopping at your store.
Office work - if you have some experience you can easily earn up to $30 per hour.
Labour and farming - farm work can vary from classical fruit picking to more technical work like installing solar panels, mining coal, heavy and civil engineering construction etc.
9. Never give up!
There’s lots of work available throughout Australia but also lots of people just like you looking for work. You never know when it will be your lucky day. Your chances to find a job improve if you are flexible to travel to work in place other than where you currently stay. Be open for something new!
10. Enjoy your time Down Under
Of course your working holiday visa is a great opportunity to make some money but you should also enjoy your time in this beautiful country! Make sure you get around and see as much as you can in your free time. It’s also worth taking some longer breaks to travel to new places - Australia has so much to offer and time outs will help you to stay motivated.
About The Author:
Lena is a Tourism Management student from Germany and wants to travel every country in the world before turning 80. For her, travelling is more than just holidays on the beach, it’s about exploring the local life and get to know different cultures and traditions.