Work while you study

Working while you study in Australia can help complement your overall experience.

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Finding work

There are many options for finding part-time work as an international student in Australia

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Your work rights explained

As an international student working in Australia, you have the same protections as any Australian in the workplace.

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Employee protection laws

Australia has a strong system of laws and regulations which protect the rights of all workers - including international students who work part-time.

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Role of the Fair Work Ombudsman

The office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent government agency. It helps employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws.

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Are your work rights at risk?

Australia is a great place to study and work. But, sometimes you might notice something at work that feels wrong. It may be a sign that your work rights are at risk.

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A great place to work

Australia is a great place to work as an international student. You may choose to work while you are studying. This can be an option to earn extra spending and get a taste of the local culture. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Work hours: You can work up to 40 hours every two weeks while you are studying, and unlimited hours during holiday breaks.
  • Workplace protections: You have the same protections at work as anyone else working in Australia.
  • Minimum wage: You will get at least a minimum rate of pay per hour no matter what job you do.
  • Strong support: You will find support every step of your journey as a student worker. Help is always available from government and private organisations as well as your education provider.
  • Workplace protections: You have the same protections at work as anyone else working in Australia.

Ideal work for students

The flexible hours and large number of opportunities in these industries make these ideal for students:

  • Retail - including supermarkets, department stores, boutiques
  • Hospitality - cafes, bars, restaurants, delivery
  • Farming and fruit-picking - seasonal work
  • Services – childcare, aged care and cleaning
  • Administration and clerical work
  • Tutoring

Expand your work experience through volunteer work

There are also charities and non-government organisations which offer volunteer work for students - a great way to meet people, gain hands-on work experience and contribute to the community. For more information, start here: www.govolunteer.com.au.

Holiday work in Australia

Australia offers several different types of visas for international students which allow you to work while you are holidaying or studying here. The Department of Home Affairs website has more information on working holiday visas.

Working in Australia after you graduate

If you're interested in staying in Australia to work after you graduate, you'll need to get a new working visa before your student visa expires. As a graduated international student you may be eligible for:

  • the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) if you have completed a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree.
  • to submit an Expression of Interest through the Australian Government's SkillSelect, seeking approval to stay in Australia as a professional worker.
  • state and territory government nomination for skilled and business migration.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs for more information

More resources

Scholarships to study in Australia

There are many grants, scholarships and bursaries available to assist you financially with your studies in Australia.

Australian education system

The Australian education system offers primary, secondary and tertiary education linked across the country and across the world.

Vocational education

Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) is based on partnership between governments and industry. Learn more about your choices here.