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Australia: Study and Work

Australia: Study and Work

If you are a student who is also looking to work on the sides to make some amount of money then you can work in Australia. The vocational education and training provided by Australian educational institutions provides its students with practical skills needed it work place. Since, the training provided is the best worldwide, students can develop the work skills in a stimulated environment. This gives you an edge over other graduates from other countries.

Can you work in Australia while studying?

Yes, international students are allowed to work while studying if you have been granted permission to work. As international students, there are certain restrictions laid on the number of hours you can work.

What are the conditions for working while studying?

If you were granted a Student visa on or after 26 April 2008, you and your dependent family members will already have Permission to Work automatically included with your visa.

If you were granted a Student visa before 26 April 2008 and have not yet applied for Permission to Work, you and your family members may only apply for Permission to Work after you have started your course in Australia.

You cannot undertake work until you have commenced your course in Australia. When your course has commenced you can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during the term and unlimited hours when your course is not in session. Work that is a formal registered part of your course is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight.

If you are doing voluntary, unpaid work, it is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight if it:

· is of benefit to the community.

· is for a non-profit organization.

· would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident (that is, it is a designated volunteer position)

· is genuinely voluntary (that is, no remuneration, either in cash or kind is received—board and lodging acceptable).

· If you are a subclass 574 (Postgraduate research sector) student visa holder and you have commenced your masters by research or doctoral degree in Australia, there is no limit on the number of hours you may work.

· You can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during any preliminary courses you undertake on a subclass 574 (Postgraduate research sector) student visa.

An example of how 40 hours a fortnight is calculated: After their course has commenced, a student visa holder works the following numbers of hours over a four week period:

Week 1 - 15 hours work

Week 2 - 25 hours work

Week 3 - 25 hours work

Week 4 - 10 hours work.

In the fortnight comprising weeks 1 and 2 above (40 hours worked in that 14 day period) or in the fortnight comprising weeks 3 and 4 above (35 hours worked in that 14 day period), the work condition is not breached. However, the student visa holder has breached their work condition in the fortnight comprising weeks 2 and 3 above (50 hours worked in that 14 day period). Students found to have breached their work conditions may be subject to cancellation of their visa.

How can you find jobs?

Students can find jobs through various newspapers, job advertisements and websites. One could also contact the student centre or the institution's careers office for jobs. Keep an eye for vacancies in local business outlets and notice boards. 

There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:

· Newspapers and online job sites.

· Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.

· Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.

Types of work for international students:

Administration, retail and hospitality are few sectors in which international students often find jobs. The pay depends on the type of job you choose. You will also be paid for working on holidays and Sundays. Being a tutor for younger students will also a way to earn in Australia.

Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities, including:

· Retail - supermarkets, department and clothing stores.

· Hospitality - cafes, bars and restaurants.

· Tourism - hotels and motels.

· Agricultural - farming and fruit-picking.

· Sales and telemarketing.

· Administration or Clerical roles.

· Tutoring.

If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field.

Work entitlements:

As an international student, it is very important for you to understand the duties you are expected to fulfill. Also make sure to ask your new employer about details on the work hours, wages, holidays, breaks and training. It is very important for a student to take up a job that allows you enough time to study.

What is the pay?

As per the job classification and your age, you will be entitled to receive the minimum wages. However, some employers may even pay you more than the basic wages you are entitled to receive. The current federal minimum wage is $16.87 per hour before tax.


If you work in Australia as an international student and are paid $450 or more in a calendar month, you may be entitled to superannuation. You must also comply with the State and Territory laws of Australia. Under all State and Territory laws, you cannot work during school hours if you are under the school leaving age, which in most states is 15 years of age.

Student worker’s rights:

Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:

· A minimum wage.

· Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job

· 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 given field of work or industry. You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. 

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