Work in Australia | (2023)

Heading Down Under to work has a number of advantages besides the good weather. The country boasts a strong economy, low unemployment, high salaries and a laid-back lifestyle

If you decide to work in Australia you'll be in good company - the country is one of the world's most popular expat destinations, and is keen to attract skilled workers in a variety of sectors. Great news for graduates and qualified professionals, who can expect a wealth of opportunities.

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 2021 Quality of Living Ranking, Sydney has risen 35 places to number 31 while Melbourne is at 59 rising 40 places from the previous year. With a population of more than 25 million unemployment is low at 5%, Australia also offers some of the highest graduate salaries in the world. With all these plus points why wouldn't you want to head Down Under to seek your fortune?

You'll need to use your free time wisely as 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. A common language and an average of 240 days of sun a year are just added bonuses.

Jobs in Australia

The Australian economy is dominated by the services sector, followed by industry and 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 possess the right skills and qualifications your chances of securing work are good.

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

Recent growth industries include:

  • construction
  • education
  • engineering
  • healthcare
  • mining and energy
  • science and technology.

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, include:

  1. Google Australia
  2. Allens
  3. Coles
  4. Deloitte Australia
  5. Optiver
  6. Microsoft
  7. ANZ
  8. BHP
  9. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
  10. AMP

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 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.

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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 Department of jobs and small business website.

Currently, the majority of skills shortages occur in:

  • finance
  • construction
  • education
  • engineering
  • healthcare.

Shortage occupations include:

  • accountants
  • diagnostic radiographers
  • civil engineers
  • mechanical engineers
  • mechanics
  • nurses
  • optometrists.

For more information and for a full list of shortage occupations, seeNational, state and territory skill shortage information.

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.

Work in Australia | (1)

How to get a job in Australia

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

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.

BUNACoffers a range of jobs in the country and also helps you get set up in Australia on arrival.

Summer jobs

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 also 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 isVolunteering Australia. You can search for opportunities, find the nearest volunteer resource centre and find out more about how you should be treated while volunteering.

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 teaching experience.

As English is the country's primary language, opportunities to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) are limited. However, Australia has a large number of 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 giving you the chance to make contacts who could help you to get a permanent job.

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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.

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 up to two years. 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) throughSkillSelect. 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 atDepartment of immigration and Boarder Protection - Working in Australia.

Work in Australia | (2)

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.

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 seeENIC-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:

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  • 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 Queen'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

  • Discover what it's like to study in Australia.

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Is it hard to get a job in Australia from UK? ›

Australia is a popular choice for travel and work for UK graduates who want to experience life as far away from the UK as possible. There are skills shortages and Australia's visa system can favour graduates with the skills they need.

Can I work in Australia as a UK citizen? ›

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.

Is it better to work in UK or Australia? ›

Facts first: Salaries are, on average, 28% higher in Australia than in the UK. The average salary among graduates is painfully low in the UK – about £26,345 compared to £33,200 in Australia. Yet, the unemployment rate for college graduates in the UK is lower than in Australia: 4.6% vs 7.1%.

Is it hard to get a job in Australia as an American? ›

Australian job market is very competitive. Not all jobs and skills are in equal demand, especially for foreigners.

How easy is it for an American to work in Australia? ›

US Citizens can work in Australia, provided they hold a suitable visa to do so. Most Australian visas provide the opportunity to work whilst you are in the country, aside from those such as a 'Tourist visa'.

Can I just move to Australia and get a job? ›

Apply for Australian Permanent Residency or Citizenship

If you move to Australia from the USA or another country and want to stay long-term or permanently, there are ways to apply for permanent residency. With a permanent residency visa, you can live, work, and study in Australia without any restrictions.

Is it easier for a British citizen to move to Australia? ›

As a British citizen, it is entirely possible to emigrate to Australia, but the country's immigration system is notoriously difficult. Australia uses a points-based immigration system, which awards points according to the following criteria: Age. Education.

Can Brits work in Australia without visa? ›

You need a visa to work in Australia – see working in Australia. Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

Can I work in Australia as a US citizen? ›

The requirements for a work and holiday visa for Australia, however, are much stricter than those for a holiday or tourist visa. As a US citizen, to be eligible for the work and holiday visa Australia in 2022, you must: Be between the ages of 18 and 30. Have a U.S. passport or a passport from another eligible country.

Are salaries higher in Australia or UK? ›

Average Salary In Australia

When looking at take-home pay, the average net salary after tax is $4088.13/month (£2,224.76) in London and $4277.05/month (£2327.57) in Melbourne. The average net salary (after tax) is much higher in Sydney at $5043.59/month (£2,746.34), and in Perth at $4454.83/month (£2425.74).

Is it cheaper to live in UK or Australia? ›

Overall, the cost of renting and buying a property is lower in the UK than in Australia. (Here is how to keep the costs of buying lower in the UK.) Still, there are great local differences. For instance, the costs of renting and buying property in London are nearly 20% higher than in Sydney.

Why UK is better than Australia USA? ›

Why UK is better than USA/Canada/Australia? The UK is a global leader in research and education. UK has more universities than any other country. It has the top academic facilities and instructor, as well as the most up-to-date technology, equipment, and resources.

Does a US citizen living in Australia pay US taxes? ›

Yes, U.S. expats in Australia file taxes—both American and Australian. For starters, Americans and U.S. green card holders living in Australia should continue to file a U.S. tax return each year. However, filing taxes while overseas comes with new considerations and questions.

How long can a US citizen live in Australia? ›

The visa is valid for 1 year and an extension for additional 2 years is possible if you have met specific work requirements, usually in specified high-needs industries in the regional areas of Australia.

Which is better to work Australia or USA? ›

Australia and the USA are both developed countries with great living standards. Both have a high-quality education system and career opportunities. Australia provides the facility of Medicare for medical services. While the USA also offers healthcare services but at high costs.

Can I work in Australia over 45? ›

It is generally harder to obtain an Australian work visa if you are 45 years of age or older since most of the permanent skilled visas to Australia generally have an age limit of 44.

How much is rent in Australia? ›

Median unit rents in December 2022 (Source: PropTrack)
CityMedian unit rentAnnual change
5 more rows
Jan 17, 2023

Is cost of living high in Australia? ›

According to Expatistan, this means Australia is one of the most expensive places to live (ranked 11 out of 79). Generally, a higher cost of living means that basic expenses have become – well, expensive.

How can I move from USA to Australia legally? ›

How to migrate to Australia
  1. Step 1: Research your employment options. Getting work. ...
  2. Step 2: Apply for visa nomination (if required) ...
  3. Step 3: Apply for a visa. ...
  4. Step 4: Prepare to move. ...
  5. Step 5: Arrive and settle in.

What is the best country to move to from USA? ›

Cyprus is a beautiful and highly developed nation with a low cost of living and a comfortable tax system. But there are many more: check our Best countries to move from the USA list. Greece, Cyprus, Andorra, Portugal, the Caribbean and Malta are among the most favourable places for US expats.

What jobs are in demand in Australia? ›

Here is the complete list of the most in-demand job titles on LinkedIn's 2023 Jobs on the Rise:
  • Technical Program Manager.
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist.
  • Site Reliability Engineer.
  • Sales Development Representative.
  • Platform Engineer.
  • Growth Specialist.
  • Claims Adjuster.
  • Machine Learning Engineer.
Jan 19, 2023

Do British citizens get free healthcare in Australia? ›

Under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements, UK residents are entitled to limited subsidised health services from Medicare for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. These provisions do not apply to non-visitors, for example those who are studying in Australia.

Where do most Brits move to in Australia? ›

Sydney – New South Wales

Just over 20% of the population of Australia live in Sydney, and with Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach it is a hot tourist destination. Sydney is known for its outdoor lifestyle, with great beaches and a clean environment.

How much money do you need in the bank to emigrate to Australia? ›

In addition, you must have more than $500,000 in assets and an income of $65,000 (this can include a pension) to qualify for one. Many younger people that move to Australia apply for a Skilled Migration Visa, which allows them to live and work within the country.

How long can UK citizens work in Australia? ›

Generally, a period of stay of up to three months is granted, but up to 12 months may be granted in certain circumstances. Applicants will have to pay a fee to submit their application.

Can I move to Australia from UK without a job? ›

Fill out an EOI (Express of Interest) form and send it to the Australian Immigration Department. After receiving an invitation to apply, submit your application together with the required documentation. You will also need a health certificate and a police clearance certificate to show that you're fit to immigrate.

Should I move to Australia from the UK? ›

Australia has lots to offer British newcomers, including a shared language and culture, and a close relationship with the UK (despite being so far apart geographically). It boasts scorchingly sunny weather, great quality of life and beautiful beaches, along with friendly people and lots of space for outdoor living.

What is the easiest country to move to from the US? ›

Which are the easiest countries to immigrate to from the US? Portugal, Malta and Spain are some of the easiest countries to relocate to from the United States. American citizens can either gain permanent residency or apply for citizenships via each country's Citizenship by Invest programs.

Does Australia have free healthcare? ›

Australia's public health system, known as Medicare (not to be confused with America's Medicare program), provides essential hospital treatment, doctors appointments, and medicine for free – or for a substantially reduced cost. It's funded by a form of income tax.

Is it hard to get a working visa in Australia? ›

Like the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, Australia too uses a points-based immigration system. To be invited to apply for an Australian work visa, you must score a minimum of 65 points on the Australian skilled points test. For every requirement you meet, points are awarded.

Is tax better in UK or Australia? ›

Is Income Tax higher in the UK than Australia? Income taxes are lower in the UK due to the progressive rates of tax applying at higher levels of income. The UK has much higher medical contribution taxes than Australia, so the UK individual may end up paying a higher overall tax burden.

Are wages better in America than UK? ›

The average US salary is higher than the average salary in the UK. The discrepancy in salary rates comes from various factors, including the cost of living, healthcare systems and mandatory benefits. Salary rates also change based on gender, age and industry (or type of work).

What are the disadvantages of living in Australia? ›

Cons of Living in Australia
  • High Cost of Living. ...
  • A sense of Isolation. ...
  • Expensive Healthcare Insurance. ...
  • Extreme Weather Conditions and Natural Disasters. ...
  • Australian Law Allows Creditors to Force You Into Bankruptcy. ...
  • Racism. ...
  • Culture Shock and Language Barrier. ...
  • High Cost of Education for International Students.

Is it cheaper to live in the US or the UK? ›

Although the latest statistics from the World Population Review rank the United States as a slightly more expensive country to live in than the UK, it is important to note that this is on average, and the cost of living varies widely across the USA.

Is it worth it to move to Australia? ›

Well, expats living in this country enjoy many benefits of going to Australia including a high quality of living, great education, good healthcare, fantastic work-life balance, and decent work benefits from employers.

Is it cheaper to live in Australia than the US? ›

Yes, it is expensive to live in Australia than in the US. According to numbers, Australia is around 23.5% costlier than the US.
Is Australia more expensive to live in than the US?
TransportCost is 26.7% more in Australia
Childcare ServicesCost is 23.4% more in Australia
5 more rows

Is the quality of life better in Australia than the US? ›

Australia is one of the countries with the highest standards of living and wages. They are know for one of the highest qualities of life and pay is significantly higher in the same industry. This translates to why there are many Americans, as they are here to accept new jobs.

Is UK better than USA for living? ›

The UK is often considered a cheaper place to live. The cost of living in both countries is not the same and can vary depending on where people choose to live. It's also important to note that the average salary for someone in the US is significantly higher than what it would be in the UK due to taxes.

Is USA or UK better for jobs? ›

If you are looking for opportunities, you may want to consider the UK, because the opportunities are more plentiful. In America, people are encouraged to work hard and achieve success. In the UK, people are expected to work long hours and be dedicated to their jobs but not attain a high level of personal success.

Where do most Americans live in Australia? ›

Western Sydney is particularly popular with American expats, while the Northern Beaches Area is great for families. Sydney is a major player on the world stage, which has an undeniable effect on the cost of living here.

Is US Social Security taxed in Australia? ›

The majority of foreign pensions and annuities received by Australian residents are taxable in Australia, but there are exceptions (including US social security payments, which are subject to a final withholdings tax in the US) and tax advice is strongly recommended prior to your first receipt of any pension.

Where do most American expats live in Australia? ›

These are the cities with the largest expat communities in Australia:
  • Sydney.
  • Canberra.
  • Melbourne.

Is IT easy to get work visa to Australia from UK? ›

You can apply for a Working Holiday visa for Australia directly online. The process is fast and easy, and most people receive a response in just 15 to 35 days. Once you have your visa, you will be able to do short-term work of any kind to pay for your holiday, and you can study for up to 4 months.

Is IT easy for British people to move to Australia? ›

Can I move to Australia from the UK? Australia's immigration policy is notoriously strict and operates on a points-based system, which makes a permanent move there as a non-citizen quite difficult.

Can you just move to Australia from UK? ›

Australia's permanent Migration Program incorporates economic and family migration and is the main pathway to permanent residence. It includes the Skill stream, Family stream and Special Eligibility visas. The only other way to obtain permanent residence is on humanitarian grounds.


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