This is one of the most important subjects when you talk about the Working Holiday Visa (WHV). Almost every backpacker has to work during their trip, and I hope this article will help some travellers to avoid trouble around this topic.
Do you want to work at the beginning of your trip to have money and be able to travel all the rest of your time ? Or maybe chill a bit and find a job a few months before coming back home? I’m not going to tell you what you have to do, but I will try to explain some parts of the Australian job system .
How To Find A Job In Australia ?
Some useful websites already exist, like Indeed and Seek, but the most popular is definitely Gumtree, which is the one you will spend most of your time on. To be clear, you want a job, check on Gumtree, you want a bicycle ? Go on Gumtree. You want to sell your phone? Go on Gumtree…
Gumtree has a good concept in which you can post your own ad on your profile and it will exclusively be available on the corresponding part of the website. For instance, if you’re looking for a job in hospitality, you can put your ad and your resume in the hospitality part of the website, and optimise your chance of success!
Bonus: a gumtree is a very common tree in Australia; 9 times out of 10 that tree you’re looking at is some kind of gum tree. This is the tree that koalas are sleeping in and eating and chilling out in. Ironic that humans use it to look for work… Now you can use that in a conversation!
Australia Backpackers, Backpacker jobs in Australia, Australia WHV/PVT, and all the possible combinations you can find. For example “Sydney backpackers” , “[your nationality] in Brisbane”, etc… Once you get the key words the possibilites are limitless. Enjoy yourself and follow all the pages, that way you’ll be able to help other fellow backpackers and share your situation when you need it.
Bonus : Try to find the Facebook page of your nationality in Australia; there is probably lot of funny facts and help!
To be honest, it’s only with this method that I got all my jobs! You will meet a huge amount of people, so try to describe your situation and say a “yeah I’m actually looking for a job”. You will be sure to find a plan, which you can give to someone else afterwards as well, and again and again !
Bonus : Feel free to put messages everywhere, like in your hostel: they will probably have a noticeboard for job advertisements.
“Find a job in Australia, it’s easy!”… Realy ?
Except if you’re lucky (and it could happen), finding a job in Australia is not that easy: It’s not going to appear out of nowhere. There is a real cliché about how easy is to find an Australian job. But even if it’s probably easier to find a job over there than in Europe for example, it’s still hard work if you don’t want to get scammed. If you’re open-minded and resourceful, you could quickly find a job, even for a small wage. There is lot of cash and hand work which allows you to work in many different trades, sometimes without experience, which is very useful to try something you haven’t ever done before.
Also, if you have any trade experience as a builder, plumber, electrician, chef or hairdresser, for example, you will have plenty of opportunities to use it and earn some good money.
Good plans / Bad plans
Making the difference between good and bad plans is not a easy thing to do. A few years ago, Australia was the new Eldorado, the new land of travel and plentiful jobs for young people from all around the world. More and more travellers and foreigners work in Australia every year, and unfortunately some employers find ways to abuse their need for work. It’s not rare to find Aussie people who will do this. There can be problems with the wage, promises not kept, too physical work or awful accomodation. From all the people I met who experienced something like that, they all came down to one conclusion: wake up to the problem, if you realise your employer is scamming you in any way- run away, far, far away. You will find many many jobs in Australia so don’t waste your time in a bad job just because you think it’s better than nothing.
Those kind of things happen generally in farm jobs, because most of the time backpackers need to have a certain amount of days working in farming areas to qualify for the second visa.
The kind of jobs
Farms are really popular sector because, especially for the backpacker with a “Working Holiday Visa” Because they need 88 farm days in rural area to get the second visa. You can find it on Gumtree, on internet, by calling every number you’ll find or even better by going directly to apply in every farm. Farm jobs are a real cliché and could be a good experience as much as it can be a real scourge. Some jobs exist in this sector :
- Picking of fruits
- Packing of and fruits and vegetables
- Sorting of fruit and vegetables
- Pruning of trees and vines.
Take care of the wage and promote hourly pay and not per bin, even if it’s a bit harder to find, it’s not impossible and way better.
Some species have to be avoided, cause they’re really hard to pick and they can give you big backache. Some employers profit of the backpacker’s ignorance to get some more workers.
For exemple, strawberrie and onion’s picking are awful and you will have a really cheap pay.
Less popular than farms, the labouring jobs can be useful for your 88 days of work for the second visa, as long as it’s in rural area. Construction sector have many offers everywhere, for everyone, man and woman, with normally a good pay. If you want to work in construction, you must have your white card.
Nothing really hard though, you will have to join a formation in the city you curently are, or you can do it online. There many website offering to do the formation, with many different prices as well. The price is not going to change the card but just the “quality” of the formation. The steps differ from the site you choose, but I will tell you my steps (I personnaly used one of the cheapest : $45)
- Step 1 : Pass the test, simple but quite long (3h minimum). It was only a fill-in-the-gaps exercice, that I had to fill with the original texte in front of me.
- Step 2 : Wait the phone call, robot, asking me simple question on you good comprehension (ex: what do you need to prevent something falling on your head? =Head protection)
- Step 3 : Do the adminsitration, scan my passport and make certify by someone from the government that I am really myself (and bonus, I had to swear on the bible that I had good intentions).
Clarification : Your White Card is available in every States. You can work everywhère with it. It’s not the case for every work cards.
Other areas need to have a formation to be able to work. If you want to work in the resoration for instance, it’s better (and sometimes mandatory) to have your RSA.
RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol)
This formation allows you to serve alcohol, to identified drunk person and prevent dangerous behavior related to alcohol. You can also do the formation physically or online, the test isn’t really complicate dneither, but as the White Card, take some time. At least $60 to obtein your RSA. You can check rsaonlineinfo to know where to pass your RSA according to where you are.
Be careful, The RSA is not the same in every States, You will have to pay it again if you change of State.
RCG (Responsable Certificate of Gambling)
This formation allows you to work inside casinos, and to work with gambling and cash games. You will get trained to use slot machines. This formation is not necessary in every States, but it’s recommended to have it if you want this kind of job. Around $80 to this formation.
Barista & Green card
There is many others formations that you can pass in Australia. Barista for exemple is really useful because the coffee cutlure is a big thing over there, and quite complex to do as well. (ref to the article Facts about Australia…) The gard is also available if you want to work as a landscaper, in green spaces. Those ones are usable in all Australia.