You may be eligible to work in Australia while you study, depending on your visa. Students that study English at NCVE often choose to work in industries such as hospitality, retail or office cleaning whereas those studying vocational courses typically opt for office work to help advance their career.

How many hours can I work?

Student visa holders are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight (2 weeks) while studying in Australia.

Working holiday visa holders are able to work as often as they like for a maximum of 6 months with any one employer. Working holiday visa holders are only able to study for a maximum of 4 months.

What do I need to work in Australia?

If you hold a visa which permits you to work you will also need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) to work in Australia. You can apply for a TFN online using this TFN application form. You will need to apply for your TFN within 28 days of starting work and you must provide this number to your employer.

Where can I find work?

Many employers advertise their jobs online, however many jobs can be obtained by “door knocking”. Door knocking involves walking into a work place and speaking to the manager and leaving your resume with them. This enables you to introduce yourself and make an impression on the manager of the work place. For jobs advertised on the internet, the following website may be useful.

How much will I be paid?

The rate of pay differs depending on the job and the employer. However, in Australia everyone working, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect a workers entitlement to a minimum wage.

What other rights do I have?

Other rights to protect workers entitlements are:

  • A minimum wage.
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Leave, breaks and rest periods.
  • A healthy and safe work environment.

Most employers in Australia are covered by an ‘award’, which sets minimum wages and conditions for a type of job or industry. To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or call them on 13 13 94.

In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS).

The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.

This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia for more information.