If you decide to work in Australia you'll be in good company - the country is the world's number one expat destination and it's not hard to see why with its economic growth, low unemployment, high salaries and laid-back lifestyle
With all these plus points why wouldn't you want to head Down Under to seek your fortune?
The country weathered the 2008 global recession better than most and unemployment is relatively low at 5.5%.
Australia is keen to attract skilled workers in a variety of sectors so graduates and qualified professionals can expect a wealth of opportunities and some of the best average salaries in the world.
It's not always easy to secure a visa but if you do you could be living in one of the world's most liveable cities. According to Mercers Quality of Living Index 2017 Melbourne and Sydney both feature in the top 20.
Use your free time wisely to visit some of the must-see Australian attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, the red rocks of the outback and Fraser Island.
A common language and an average of 240 days of sun per year are just added bonuses.
Jobs in Australia
The Australian economy is dominated by the services sector, which accounts for around 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs.
Some of the country’s major industries include:
- food processing
- industrial and transportation equipment
Graduates at all levels generally enjoy a low unemployment rate and have better labour market outcomes and salaries than non-graduates.
Recent growth areas include:
- education and training
- public administration.
For up-to-date labour market information see the Australian Government Department of Employment - Australian Labour Market Update.
The country lists its skill shortages on the Australian Government Department of Employment website. Current shortage occupations include:
- Automotive electricians
- Early childhood teachers
For more information see National, state and territory skill shortage information.
If you're backpacking your way around Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, work should be easy enough to find. However, if you're looking to make Australia your home you'll need to apply through SkillSelect for permanent positions, while you can also be sponsored by an employer through the Employer Nomination Scheme.
Popular job sites include:
National and local newspapers advertise jobs and recruitment agencies also handle vacancies.
How to get a job in Australia
You can apply for jobs in the country in the same way you'd apply for them in the UK. The recruitment processes and procedures are very similar in both countries.
Australian CVs also follow the same format as those in the UK and you typically apply for jobs by submitting a CV (resume) and cover letter or by completing an online application form.
Speculative applications can yield positive results, just be sure to tailor your application to each individual employer.
Once again the interview process closely resembles that in the UK and as such you could be interviewed over the phone or face-to-face before being offered a job.
It may be possible to secure a job in Australia if you work for an international company that has offices Down Under. If this is the case you can apply for jobs before heading to the country.
For graduate roles it's better to have the correct visa and be resident in the country before applying for roles.
BUNAC offers a range of jobs in the country and also helps you get set up in Australia on arrival.
You can undertake casual, seasonal or temporary work in Australia if you are aged between 18 and 30 on a Working Holiday Visa.
Tourism is big business and backpackers can find work in bars, restaurants and hotels. You could also work as a sports instructor or tour guide. The agriculture sector provides a number of opportunities including fruit picking and farm or ranch work in the outback.
You'll also have plenty of opportunity to volunteer while in Australia as there are a variety of organisations dedicated to helping you with your experience.
The national body working to advance volunteering in the country is Volunteering Australia. You can search for opportunities, find the nearest volunteer resource centre and find out more about how you should be treated while volunteering.
If you have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a degree and/or a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and at least five years of teaching experience you may be able to teach in Australia on the Commonwealth Teacher Exchange Programme (CTRP). You may also be eligible to teach in disadvantaged schools on the Teach for Australia programme. You'll need a relevant visa and a Bachelors degree to be accepted onto the scheme, which is similar to Teach First in the UK.
It is also possible to take part in international teacher exchange programmes for one academic year through the Department of Education - Exchange programme for teachers - Northern Territory.
Doing a work placement or internship can help build up your skills as well as giving you the chance to make contacts who could help you to get a permanent job.
There are lots of dedicated Australian agencies that can help you to arrange your experience, but most charge a fee so make sure you find out all associated costs before signing up.
Search for placements and internships at:
- Australian Internships
- Intern Group
- Intern Options
- Oyster Worldwide
- Placement Year International
- Travellers Worldwide
If you'd like to work in Australia you’ll need the appropriate visa.
As previously mentioned those aged between 18 and 30 can get a temporary visa called the Working Holiday Visa, which allows you to travel and work in the country for one year. You can do all kinds of work on the visa but you can only work for six months with any one employer. You need to apply for this visa from your home country and will need enough funds to support yourself during your stay.
For more permanent work you'll need to apply for a Skilled Migration Visa. First you'll need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. Once your EOI has been submitted you may then be invited to apply for a Skilled Migration Visa. You'll then have 60 days to lodge an application and nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupations list.
The type of visa you apply for will depend on your circumstances and the work you will be doing. You can find out more at Department of immigration and Boarder Protection - Working in Australia.
The main business language in Australia is English so for some roles and visa applications you may need to prove your proficiency in the language.
How to explain your qualifications to employers
Your UK qualifications will usually be recognised by the majority of employers as the Australian higher education system closely resembles that in the UK. However, check with potential employers before applying.
To find out more about the recognition of qualifications see ENIC-NARIC.
What it's like to work in Australia
The average working hours in Australia are 38 per week, Monday to Friday and a full-time employee is entitled to four weeks annual leave as well as public holidays. Bear in mind that the number of public holidays you are entitled to varies depending on where you are based in the country.
As a non-resident you'll pay considerably more tax than Australian residents. For more information on tax rates and working conditions see:
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in Australia.