Jobs for international students in Australia. Ideas and need-to-knows.

Roberto Efflandrin

If you're about to come to Australia to study, choosing to work as an international student can be a great way to make some extra cash to cover your living expenses, pay off your tuition or allow you to explore more of this vast country in your down time. But what jobs can you do? This article will take you through some popular job choices for international students coming to Australia, what the pay is like and what you might need to land a role.

We’ll also introduce you to the Wise multi-currency account, a great alternative to receive your salary or as a way to easily send some of your hard earned cash home.

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Requirements to be able to work as an International student in Australia

Before we jump into the kind of roles that you can do as an international student, let’s go through some of the things you need to know when coming to Australia as an International student.

Conditions around student visas

If you are coming to Australia to study, your student visa will fall under one of the eight Subclass 500 student visas.¹ There are some common conditions shared across all student visas that individuals must follow to keep their visa valid. These conditions include²:

  • You can only legally work up to 40 hours a fortnight*
  • All course requirements must be met
  • Students must maintain adequate health insurance

You can check what conditions are attached with your visa on your official visa grant letter or accessed via the VEVO platform.

*Note: The Australian Government has temporarily removed work hour limits for anyone on any student or training visa.²

Read more: Student visa for Australia

What is it like working as an international student in Australia?

Apart from the obvious perk of making some money alongside your studies, what you might not know is that Australian labour laws provide some pretty cool rights and protections that extend to international students. Here are some of your rights as a part time employee.³

  • Mandated to receive at least a minimum wage
  • Same working protections as any legal resident or citizen
  • Strong support system provided by the government and private entities
  • Workplace insurance provided by your employer for if you fall sick or get injured at work⁴

Job ideas for International students in Australia

Now that the formal stuff has been covered, here are 6 great job ideas for international students to work alongside their studies in Australia.


Becoming a bartender is a great job if you like to socialise and want to make some money doing just that. The hours also rarely clash with university schedules, so is a great part-time job option to work alongside your studies. A caveat though, working hours can be late and be on weekends, not much of a problem if you like being paid to be out amongst your fellow students.

  • Pay rates:. The average pay range for a bartender is between $20 to $35 an hour. Pay rates can vary though, due to tipping and award rates due to late night hours.
  • What you need to land a job: There is the option to take a quick course to learn how to make certain drinks if you want to give yourself an edge. It's not mandatory though, and many bartenders have no formal training before applying to a role.


Australia has an incredibly vibrant and bustling bar, restaurant and cafe scene across its major cities and towns. This means that there are plenty of waiter or waitress positions looking to be filled at any one time.

  • **Pay rates: **As a part time waiter or waitress, the base average sits at around $19 to $28 an hour, but rates can vary widely between cities and venues. Pay rate can also increase if shift time falls in the late night hours or on public holidays, as these times attract award rates.
  • What you need to land a job: This role is great for international students as in most cases, you don’t need any past experience to land a job, just a good grasp of English and the willingness to work.
Read more: Bank accounts for international student in Australia


Tutoring might be for you if you excel in a certain subject or want to use your foreign language skills to help other students in your own language or help others learn your native language.

  • Pay rates: The rate can vary widely, based on qualifications, but in most cases pay can sit between $20 to $30 an hour.
  • **What you need to land a job: **The formal route is with some form of teaching qualification, or by getting in touch with a foreign language institute to see if they are looking for native speakers in a particular language. Another way is by joining one of the many foreign language and tutor freelancing platforms and marketing your skills that way.


If you consider yourself somewhat of a coffee snob and are a bit of a morning person, then working as a barista may be the best part time job position for you. Working as a barista, you’ll be able to make money outside of usual university hours, as many cafes or boutique coffee shops open as early as 5am.

  • Pay rates: Baristas can make between $22-$27 an hour, depending on experience and skill.
  • **What you need to land a job: **The easiest way to land a role as a barista is to complete a short barista training course. However, it is possible to get a job without doing this, with many cafes offering on the job training.

Retail assistant

If you think you’d enjoy working in a customer focused role, the Australian retail sector will welcome you. Employers in the retail sector are always on the lookout to fill various entry to mid level part-time roles across supermarkets, clothing stores and other various goods stores.

  • Pay rates: The average pay for a part-time retail assistant starts at around $21 an hour. This rate will vary depending on which industry and role you work in.
  • What you need to land a job: For many entry-level roles in the retail sector, there are no formal requirements to get a job. All training is completed on the job.
Read more: International student working hours in Australia

Farm work/Harvesting jobs

Many Australian farms are seeking workers for harvesting work. This type of work is a great alternative option for international students looking for a job outside of term time. Although this type of work can be labour intensive with long hours, it can come with unique perks including relocation assistance.⁵ You’ll also get to live and work in some interestings destinations within Australia, while working alongside other foreign nationals.

  • Pay rates: A new floor rate of $25.41 an hour has replaced a per piece system for harvesting work. However, earning potential is uncapped during your shift and if you exceed minimum harvest amounts, you will be compensated for this.⁶
  • What you need to land a job: There are no formal requirements to be a fruit picker, however this type of work can be labour intensive and can require you to travel to regional locations.


Where to begin your job search?

Of course the options listed above aren’t the only jobs available for international students. What it really comes down to is what your skills are and what you want or like to do. The best way to find a job is just to start looking. Here are some popular job sites to get you started on your search.

You should also check if your university has their own students job board as this can be an awesome way to find a role on site at your university or even in a role that relates to your studies. If you like to keep it old school and ask an employer directly if they have any part time roles available.

The Wise account

Finding a student job in Australia will be a great adventure, but what about getting paid once you finally land one? Let’s make it easy for you by introducing to you the Wise multi-currency account.

The Wise multi-currency account lets you receive your salary directly into your own local AUD account, while making it easy to convert and send your money back home if you need to.

You can also order your own Wise debit card to be linked to your account, so you can spend your hard earned cash anywhere Visa is accepted.

Wise can also be used to send and be sent money internationally, at the real exchange rate and with low fees shown upfront.

Best of luck with your job search.

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  1. Australian Government student visas
  2. Australian Government visa conditions
  3. Australian Government study and work in Australia
  4. Australian Government employee protections
  5. Australian Government Harvest jobs
  6. Australian Government harvesting rates

Sources checked on: 31 May 2022

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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