Careers in Australia

How To Get A Job In Australia

Looking for work in Australia? There are a number of ways to land that job in the land down under.

Applying for a job in Australia can sometimes be a complicated process. We’ve developed a guide for you to steer you in the right direction.

The good news is that Australia is a multi-cultural society. One in four Australians was born outside of Australia. This means the pathways for international recruitment in Australia are well established. While job hunting in Australia may feel new to you, take some comfort from the fact that Australia is a migrant nation and many people have made the same transition for both short term jobs and long term residency and onto citizenship.

The chances of you landing that job in Australia depend on a number of factors, including:

  • what skills you have, and
  • the demand for those skills in Australia.

The benefits of working in Australia are that you will experience great working environments and employment conditions in the workplace. Your Australian working experiences can very well be a career highlight. The language skills and relationships that you may bring into your roles can help provide you with an advantage in securing employment. Added to that, Australia has a shortage of people for some professions and skills.

Our job hunting in Australia tips are shown below. Also see our How To Get A Job In Australia video.

What kind of jobs can I apply for in Australia?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Get Work In Australia

Many jobs in Australia require formal qualifications and also registration with relevant industry and professional bodies. Your international qualifications may be recognised, partially recognised or may not be recognised. You will need to check with the relevant professional association for most positions - even very basic jobs. Just because your qualification is not recognised does not mean that you cannot find work in that field.

For example, if you are an accountant, you may be unable to immediately commence work as an accountant in Australia. However an accounts payable/receivable officer or book-keeper role may be available as initial roles while you progress your professional standing and undertake Australian bridging courses.

It is possible that your qualifications are not recognised in Australia. The professional association will advise what bridging courses and other requirements are necessary to work in your chosen field. Many people have been successful in the past by taking their experience in a new direction.

Some English language ability in both spoken and written will be required for almost any job you are looking for in Australia. If English isn’t your first language then it is a great asset to have a formal statement of your English language ability. For many jobs, a basic understanding of English is a satisfactory starting point – but you will need to prove some ability for most employers.

Once you are immersed in the English language on a daily basis in Australia, your proficiency will develop. If the job you seek requires advanced English then there are many bridging courses and language colleges that can help you develop your skills and provide certification of achievement. Language colleges are often great places to network and secure new work opportunities.

How Do I Apply For A Job In Australia?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Job Hunting In Australia

Searching for the perfect job is exciting, but it can be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. These tips will get you on the right track.

1. Express your interest in a visa

The first step in the visa application process is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in ‘SkillSelect’ which is the Department of Home Affairs’ online visa application system. After your EOI has been submitted, you may be invited to apply for a skilled migration visa. The EOI is not a visa application but will put you before potential Australian employers, which may lead to them supporting your visa application.

You will also need to meet the health and language requirements for a work visa. When you submit a visa application, your doctor will need to provide you with documentation of a completed health examination. You’ll also need to demonstrate your English proficiency by undertaking a number of recognised tests, and you need to check if your qualifications are valid in Australia. If they are not recognised, you may be required to undertake a bridging course or more studies.

Some of the temporary work visas that are granted by the Australian Government include the following:

See more at our Work Visas in Australia page. For more information about specific work visas, please visit the Department of Home Affairs Website.

2. Job search websites

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Job Search Websites In Australia

In Australia, jobs are advertised in the national and local papers and online. Below are some places to get you started on your path to finding that dream job!

Job search sites like seek.com.au, mycareer.com.au, jobs.com.au, jobsearch.gov.au and careerone.com.au are a fantastic starting point. Take advantage of the automated email updates these sites offer, so jobs you might be interested in arrive regularly in your inbox, keeping you informed.

Keep your resume up to date and make it relevant for Australian employers. This includes any cover letters you may submit. When you reach the interview process, make sure you have the appropriate technology available such as Skype.

3. Social networking websites

Social networking websites, in particular LinkedIn and Twitter, are an amazing way to hear about roles in your industry and field of expertise. You can also do your own research on these types of websites to find out what current and past employees are saying about your potential new employer.

Let your social media networks on Facebook and LinkedIn, family and friends, all know that you are planning to go to Australia. If they are aware that you are looking for a job in Australia, they can use their networks to help you. Post a question on the sites asking for advice on the type of work you would like to do in Australia and their recommendations.

4. Word of mouth

Ask your family and friends to keep an eye out for you. Many medium to large businesses circulate an internal ‘positions vacant’ newsletter – this is a great way to hear about jobs you might not otherwise find.

Make contact with any friends or family that you already know in Australia, or those who have been in Australia recently. Being in another country often strengthens the support network that relative strangers or very distant relatives may reach out to someone from their home town, region or country.

5. Career Days

Don't forget your school or university career days. On career days employers come out to campus looking for staff. They're a great opportunity to get in front of potential employers. Talk to your career counsellor to find out when the next career day is.

6. Professional Associations

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If you belong to a professional association, see if they have any relationships with their Australian counterparts. Some professions such as accounting have two peak bodies in Australia: Chartered Accountants (CA) and the Society of Certified Practising Accountants (CPA).It is worth researching the profession or trade that you are interested in working in to see what pathways to membership and job vacancies they can advise you on. Other bodies include Engineers Australia and the Australian Medical Association.

7. Go after that job - don’t wait for it to come to you

Rather than waiting for a vacancy to open up at your dream company, submit a general job application to organisations you’re interested in, outlining your skills and experience. Submit your job application via their website or email it directly to the recruitment manager or the manager of the department you’re interested in working in. If they like what they see, you’ll be first in line if something suitable comes up.

You can view more information at our Working Visas in Australia and Immigration To Australia pages for more ways to gain work in Australia.

Other Ways To Get A Job In Australia

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Getting a job in Australia after University

There are other pathways to find a job in Australia, listed below:

Student Pathway

If you are studying in Australia, you may be eligible for a 485 Temporary Graduate visa. This visa is available for eligible international students who graduate from an Australian university with qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

You may be eligible to apply for the 485 visa if you:

  • are younger than 50 years of age
  • are in Australia
  • hold an eligible visa
  • meet the Australian study requirement
  • meet the English language requirement, and
  • have recently graduated with either an eligible qualification or with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the SOL.

Your university’s careers counsellor will be able to guide you regarding who to talk to, who to apply to and where to look for the kind of job you want. They will also likely have connections with previous students or with employers who have expressed interest in hearing from your University’s students.

The Careers Counsellor could be a wealth of hot leads so start there.

Also see our article on ‘How To Get Your First Job out of University’.

Working Holiday Visa Pathway

You may be already in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa if you are a citizen of an eligible country. The Working Holiday program allows people aged between 18 and 30 years to travel within Australia, as well as supplementing their funds via casual employment. You may spend a maximum of 6 months with any one employer; however your employer may wish to sponsor you for a working visa after this period.

See more at our Working Holiday Visas in Australia page.

Business and Investment Pathway

If you are a business person, business and investor visas available for people who wish to establish or develop existing businesses, providing certain criteria are met. Potential applicants must also be nominated by a state or territory government agency and be invited to apply by the relevant government Minister.

Family Pathway

If you are a skilled worker and also have relatives in Australia, your relatives may be able to sponsor you for a general skilled visa which can lead to a position.

Other Resources

Do I Need Health Cover while working in Australia?

Once your job and visa has been finalised, depending on the type of working visa, the Department of Home Affairs will specify whether health cover is required or recommended. While you are in Australia on your working visa, you will be responsible for all your health costs. Your health costs will not be covered by Medicare, Australia's national health system, unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

Australia has reciprocal health agreements with a number of other countries, which you can view at the Department of Human Services website.

If your country is not covered by a reciprocal health agreement, Allianz Global Assistance provides Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC), which meets the relevant Government health insurance requirements in relation to visas which are subject to condition 8501.

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