Australia has gained the title of 'one of the premier educational destinations globally, housing the 3rd largest student population worldwide after the USA and UK. The cost of education may be cheap when compared to places like the USA and UK. Still, the cost of living in Australia is quite high, which is why taking up a part-time job in Australia for international students makes sense while studying there.

For Indian students especially, there may be a plethora of reasons as to why they might want to take up part-time work while studying in Australia; such as paying off student loans, gaining local experience in Australia and setting up future work opportunities, or simply earning extra money in hand to meet the living expenses. Whatever the reasons may be, there are plenty of opportunities for international students to find part-time work in Australia. Read on to know more about part-time jobs in Australia for international students, the opportunities available, the pay scale and taxes, and the regulations governing part-time work for international students in Australia.

Table of Content

Part-Time Job Options/ Profiles for Students

Some of the part-time jobs for Indian students in Australia are as follows:

  • Private Tutor: This job is available for students who have expertise in a particular subject and are willing and able to teach it. The role of a private tutor is highly respectable and pays pretty well depending on the level of expertise. The salary of a private tutor in Australia will range from between AUD 20 and AUD 40 per hour.
  • Food Chain Industry: Depending on their skill and experience level, students can take up work in the food chain industry. There are many roles to fill in the industry with job profiles such as cashier, waiter/ waitress, delivery executive, assistant chef, etc. The salary varies on the student's type of job and will range from between AUD 25 and AUD 30 per hour.
  • Admin Executive: Those with good management and communication skills can opt for the role of an admin executive. This job profile involves working at the front office or executive offices. Depending on the role opted for, the salary will range from AUD 25 or AUD 30 per hour.
  • Bartender: Australia has many nightclubs, bars and lounges that constantly require the services of a bartender. This type of job is convenient for students as bartenders in Australia work in shifts. On average, bartenders in Australia get between AUD 22 and AUD 25 per hour.
  • Customer Care Executive: Every organization has a dedicated customer care centre, so these jobs are available in plenty. However, students should note that since these jobs are based on shifts, their demand is also quite high. Customer care executives get paid between AUD 25 and AUD 30 per hour.

Pay Scale and Taxes

International students working part-time in Australia are considered Australian residents for tax purposes. Students that earn up to AUD 1516 a month, or AUD 18,200 a year, are exempted from paying taxes on their income. Students should make sure that they file their tax returns by June 30 every year.

The pay scale for the various part-time jobs in Australia are as follows:

Job Profile Salary
Private Tutor AUD 20 to AUD 40
Cashier AUD 21 to AUD 25
Waiter/ Waitress AUD 21 to AUD 25
Deliver Executive AUD 8 to AUD 12
Admin Executive AUD 25 to AUD 30
Bartender AUD 22 to AUD 25
Customer Care Executive AUD 25 to AUD 30

Part-Time Job Regulations for International Students in Australia

Australia has a minimum wage of AUD 18.93 per hour, regardless of an individual's skill level or experience. International students must have their student visas permit them to work part-time while studying in Australia. The Australian government reserves the right to suspend any student's visas who violate the part-time job regulations for international students in Australia. The regulations are mentioned below:

  • International students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during the academic session. During university breaks or holidays, they can choose to work full time.
  • To take up a part-time job, a student must be enrolled in a full-time program approved by the Australian government.
  • International students must have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to be eligible to work part-time in Australia.

Let us now explore the work permissions on student visa and the laws that are applicable to international students for working while studying in Australia.

Work Permissions on Student Visa

Australia has changed its student visa policy with effect from July 1, 2016. Former Subclasses 571 - 576 have been merged under Subclass 500. As part of the new rules, students going to Australia under Visa Subclass 500 are eligible to work for 40 hours in a fortnight during a course's period of session, and to work unlimited hours during breaks (when the course is not in session). The only condition is that the student cannot begin working until the course has begun.

A fortnight refers to a period of 14 days that begins on a Monday and ends on a Sunday of the following week. Hours can be divided according to the student's convenience. An example might be that a student works 10 hours in week one and 30 hours in week two, or 15 and 25 hours in week one and two, respectively. In the above example, a student who works 30 hours in the second week may only work 10 hours the next week, or else the condition of 40 hours in a fortnight may be breached, leading to the cancellation of their visas. If a student is seeking continuous part-time work, they should limit their work to 20 hours per week.

A few important points to take note of:

  • It is not possible for students to work before the commencement of the course. If, for example, your course begins in January 2021 and you arrive in Australia by December 2020, you will be unable to work until your course has started.
  • This limit does not apply if casework is a regular part of the curriculum of the course you are enrolled in. 
  • Additionally, students who fall under the PostGraduate Research Sector are permitted to work for unlimited hours in order to complete their research work or doctoral thesis. Also, in case there are any preliminary courses that the student has enrolled in, the student is eligible to work as per the 40 hours per fortnight rule mentioned above.
  • For those who have completed the Australian study requirements, a Post Study Work Permit can be obtained under the Graduate Stream. A student enrolled in an ELICOS program can, however, not apply for an Australia Post Study Work Permit.

What Laws Apply to International Students for Working while Studying in Australia?

The Australian government provides the same privileges to all students when it comes to working while studying. In this regard, you have the right to:

  • Under the Fair Work Act 2009, there is a minimum wage for all workers
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Rest periods and breaks
  • Safe and healthy work environment

How to Find a Part-Time Job in Australia?

Australia has plenty of part-time job profiles open to international students, which they can take up based on their level of expertise and the job requirement. To take up a part-time job, students must prepare a CV before applying, so it makes sense for students to work on a CV should they work part-time. In addition, having good communication skills can increase the chances of students finding part-time work in Australia.

International students often run into the problem of where to start looking for a part-time job. However, there are plenty of ways in which students can look for part-time work in Australia:

  • On-campus Jobs: Students can opt to work within the campus, but these roles are only available to deserving students. These jobs are also limited in number, so the competition for these jobs can be quite high. Students can work as library assistants, lab assistants, and assistant coaches in the gyms and swimming pools, to name a few. Students can contact their respective departments to take up on-campus jobs.
  • Careers Centre: Students can approach their university career centres for help with finding part-time jobs. The career centres usually have job postings on the university bulletin boards, so students can directly contact the employers through the listed contact details.
  • Local Newspapers: Local newspapers and classifieds usually have plenty of part-time job postings that students should look up.
  • Online Portals: When all else fails, students can always use the power of the internet to look for part-time jobs. There are numerous online portals for job seekers, and many of the jobs are listed as part-time jobs available to students.

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