Here are 12 jobs you can suggest for a working holiday maker in Australia.
Australia is full of unforgettable destinations and incredible landscapes. If on a working holiday, your customer may want to earn some cash to fund their travels.
There's a cafe on almost every corner in many of Australia’s major cities. With the love of coffee alive and well across the country, being a barista means it's possible to find a job anywhere they travel. Brew at a beachfront cafe in Perth or create the deconstructed drinks on offer in Melbourne’s many hipster coffee shops. Australians take their coffee seriously, so most cafes will require a barista training course to be completed before being hired. The length of these courses range from 3-hour espresso basics to a 5-day master barista class. While they certainly don’t have to be a master to be hired as a barista, learning the basics (or more) will improve their chances of being hired.
Australia’s drink scene is thriving in cities all over the country, which is why bartending is a promising option for working holiday makers. Beyond earning a great starting wage (upwards of AUD $19 per hour for beginners), it offers a chance to mingle with the locals, score discounts on food and have the daytime free. There are small pubs, craft breweries, distilleries, wine bars and even posh rooftop bars across the country that offer jobs year-round. Anyone responsible for serving alcohol in Australia, like bartenders, are required to complete Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training, so be sure they research RSA courses in the state they plan to work.
From quiet cafes to sought-after restaurants, Australia has an endless amount of establishments that need waiters to keep their dining room running smoothly. Luckily, there's no experience needed to start, and they can find a schedule that fits with their lifestyle. Advise them to check popular job boards like Seek and Indeed, or simply stop into a few eateries and ask about open opportunities. If they have previous experience, they can aim for a job at one of Australia’s fine dining venues, which boast exceptional service and offer even higher wages. Like bartending, they’ll need an RSA certificate if the restaurant serves alcohol.
With so many stunning aquatic destinations, employment as a deckhand is a popular choice for working holiday makers in Australia. After all, the office will be the open ocean, and it's an opportunity to meet other like-minded travellers. Look for open positions on a yacht or catamaran in some of Australia’s most popular boating areas, such as the Whitsundays and Cairns, where cruises operate year-round.
If keen for a job on the water, there are often jobs available on fishing vessels along the coast of almost every Australian state, as well as on pearling vessels in Western Australia and Queensland. While casual pearling jobs can be round year-round, pearling companies tend to double their staff during harvest season, which runs from April to October.
Many roles on fishing and pearling boats even qualify as ‘specified work,’ which is required if they want to apply for a second year on the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) or Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417). Ensure they secure the job early enough to complete the required three months of specified work during the first year of their visa.
Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for the most up to date information regarding working holiday visas and specified work.
General labour work is common among visitors on Work and Holiday Visas (subclass 462) and Working Holiday Visas (subclass 417) because it offers high wages and often requires no previous experience. As a general labourer, they can earn upwards of AUD $230 per day depending on skills. Tasks may include anything from gardening to simple construction, and expertise in plumbing, carpentry and welding are a plus.
Those with previous experience can look for a range of construction jobs, which are readily available across the country.
If looking for a job in the city that offers a good wage and great schedule, then reception might be ideal. Administrative assistants and receptionists can make around AUD $24 an hour in Australia, and typically don’t have to work on evenings and weekends. Receptionist work doesn’t necessarily require previous experience, but good organisational skills and administration knowledge will help your customer excel at the job. As they're only permitted to work for one employer for six months while on a working holiday, suggest they look for temp roles that are offering short-term contracts.
Many Australian families are looking for a responsible young adult to help care for their children. If interested in becoming an au pair in Australia, an au pair placement agency can help find the right fit. Often, parents will require a Working With Children Check and current first aid qualification. These vary by state, so research the options in the state they plan to work. As an au pair, they may be responsible for tasks like school pick-up and drop-off, doing the children’s laundry and of course, caring for and entertaining the children. Being an au pair allows them to join a typical Australian family and settle into the Aussie way of life. They might even get to travel with the family and discover more incredible destinations.
Australia is full of farms growing everything from avocados to apples. Farms are often short on fruit pickers and harvesters, offering a fantastic opportunity for working holiday makers to earn a wage, receive free accommodation and complete the three months of specified work required to stay an additional year.
While harvesting jobs are available all year-round, certain crops have shorter seasons than others. If wanting to pick grapes in one of Australia’s beautiful wine regions, work in the harvest season is between February and April. They could also settle down in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, to pick mangos from November to February. For farm work during the winter months (June to August), recommend heading to South Australia to pick oranges, Western Australia to pick bananas or the Northern Territory to pick wildflowers and citrus.
Although many harvesting jobs are located away from the city, fruit picking provides an opportunity for them to experience the country beyond well-known destinations and really immerse themselves in the Australian countryside. Besides fruit picking, there's other types of farm work like planting crops and caring for horses.
Sales is an excellent career option for working holiday makers who want to gain real-world experience in commerce, customer service, and of course, sales. They'll gain valuable skills in communication, persuasion and prioritisation, which they can use to enhance their CV. A sales position might also offer benefits like in-store discounts and daytime hours. There are many large shopping centres in Australia where they can start their search. From fashion to electronics to homewares, they'll be able to find retail opportunities that pique their interest. Shops generally look for help year-round, and put on extra staff just before the Christmas holidays.
A job in a call centre might be perfect for those with a talent in customer service. As a call centre operator, they’ll be responsible for handling enquiries, recording customer information and referring calls to the appropriate team. A job in a call centre will equip them with skills that apply to a huge range of careers, like organisation, data handling and multitasking.
Housekeeping is a popular job among backpackers and working holiday makers because it often offers free accommodation in some of Australia’s most stunning destinations, from the lush rainforest of the Daintree to the picturesque waters of Margaret River. Housekeepers for hostels, hotels and boutique homestays are paid a wage for working hours, and in some cases, can volunteer a few hours a week to receive their accommodation for free. This allows them to explore both seaside towns like Queensland’s Airlie Beach and big, bustling cities like Sydney more affordably.
While it’s not a paid job, volunteering offers valuable skills as well as the opportunity to get involved with a cause they're passionate about. Plus, volunteering can take them to places they’d never expect. Help rehabilitate Australian wildlife at a sanctuary in Queensland, conserve diverse ecosystems in Western Australia or volunteer on an organic farm in exchange for free room and board. No matter which opportunity they choose, they’ll leave not only with marketable skills but also deeper insight into the people, places and wildlife that make Australia so unique.