Australia's robust economy, common language and sunny climate make it an enticing destination for those seeking a thriving career and an enviable work-life balance

Australia is one of the most popular expat destinations with over one million Brits living and working there. The country is keen to attract skilled workers in a variety of sectors, which is great news for graduates and qualified professionals, who can expect a wealth of opportunities.

It's not always easy to secure a work visa, but if successful, you could be living in one of the world's most liveable cities. According to Numbero's Quality of Life Index 2023, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney all rank in the top 100 cities globally.

With a population of more than 25 million, unemployment is low at 3.5%, with Australia also offering some of the highest graduate salaries in the world. Given the advantages for those looking to kickstart a career, why wouldn't you want to head Down Under to seek your fortune?

You'll need to use your free time wisely, as the country is vast and there are plenty of attractions to visit. Make time to explore Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef, tour Sydney Opera House, drive the Great Ocean Road, see the red rocks of the outback and visit Fraser Island. With a mixture of cosmopolitan cities, national parks and coastal locations you're bound to find a pastime to suit you.

Jobs in Australia

The Australian economy is dominated by the services sector, followed closely by agriculture. Tourism is also big business, especially in big towns and cities. Your chances of finding a graduate job are higher in metropolitan cities such as Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney but don't discount more rural locations. If you have the appropriate skills and qualifications, your prospects of finding employment are promising.

Graduates in all sectors generally enjoy a low unemployment rate and have better labour market outcomes and salaries than non-graduates.

Recent growth industries include:

  • childcare
  • construction
  • healthcare
  • mining and energy
  • science and technology
  • transport.

For up-to-date labour market information see the Australian Government - Labour Market Information Portal

The best graduate employers, according to The Australian Top 100 Graduate Employers 2023, are:

  1. Amazon
  2. Capgemini Australia and New Zealand
  3. Unilever
  4. NAB
  5. Adobe
  6. FDM Group
  7. Optiver
  8. Nous Group
  9. Westpac Group
  10. Deloitte Australia.

If you're backpacking your way around Australia on a Working Holiday visa, work should be easy enough to find through word-of-mouth. However, if you're looking to make Australia your permanent 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.

Popular graduate jobs

  • Agriculture
  • Chemicals
  • Food processing
  • Industrial and transportation equipment
  • Mining
  • Steel

Skills shortages

The country lists its skill shortages on the Australian Government Skills Priority List.

Currently, most skills shortages occur in:

  • finance
  • construction
  • education
  • engineering
  • healthcare.

Shortage occupations include:

  • accountants
  • early years teachers
  • human resource managers
  • mechanical engineers
  • veterinary nurses
  • nurses
  • web developers.

If you're joining the workforce, changing careers or would like to upskill, see Job Starter or to find fully and partially funded courses that could help you progress your career.

How to get a job in Australia

You apply for work Down Under in the same way you'd apply for jobs in the UK.

Australian CVs 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 generate positive results - just be sure to tailor your application to each individual employer.

The interview process also 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 favourable to have the correct visa and be resident in the country before applying for roles.

Summer jobs

You can undertake casual, seasonal, or temporary work in Australia if you are on a Working Holiday visa and aged between 18 and 35.

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 also provides several 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 enhance volunteering in the country is Volunteering Australia. You can search for opportunities, find the nearest volunteer resource centre, and find out more about the appropriate treatment standards for volunteers.

Teaching jobs

To teach in Australian schools you'll usually need Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a degree and/or a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and at least some previous teaching experience.

As English is the country's primary language, opportunities to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) are limited. However, Australia has many international students and expats who all want to learn the language, so TEFL jobs do exist in public schools and in private language academies. To teach English as a foreign language you'll need a degree and a recognised TEFL qualification.


Doing a work placement or internship can help build up your skills, as well as give you the chance to make contacts who could help you to secure 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 visas

If you'd like to work in Australia, you'll need the appropriate visa.

Those aged between 18 and 35 can get a temporary visa called the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417), which allows you to travel and work in the country for up to three years. To qualify for your second and third year in Australia on this visa, you must meet certain eligibility criteria and have completed specified subclass 417 work. This work is often referred to as 'farm' work but can include anything from fruit picking to being a tour guide.

For updated information on accepted forms of subclass 417 work, visit Updated Specified Work and Areas for Working Holiday Visa.

Once granted, you can do all kinds of work, 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 to prove you have 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 Home Affairs - Explore visa options for working in Australia.

Language requirements

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. You may want to consider proving your fluency through the IELTS.

How to explain your qualifications to employers

 Your UK qualifications will usually be recognised by most 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.

Australian national public holidays include:

  • New Year's Day
  • Australia Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Anzac Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day.

Bear in mind that the number of public holidays you are entitled to varies depending on where you are based in the country. Other public holidays such as the King's birthday and Labour Day are declared by state and territory governments.

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

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