Working in Australia

It’s not surprising that candidates from across the globe are interested in working in Australia, a country known for its wonderful combination of a fantastic lifestyle and multicultural community. However, before you book your plane ticket it is important to do plenty of homework – a range of rules apply for overseas professionals hoping to work in Australia.

Good reasons to consider working in Australia

Australia offers plenty of great career opportunities, with the local economy in good shape, and many companies focused on growth with plans to expand their workforce. As a worker in Australia, you will be covered by the basic rights and workplace protection that all employees enjoy under local law.

Australians enjoy a good standard of living and wages are generally high by international standards, however you need to be sure that living and working in Australia is financially viable for you. This includes doing your research into what will be your cost for living which will be impacted by what part of Australia you plan to reside during your employment. The Robert Half Salary Guide can also help you learn more about salary levels and other types of remuneration for a range of roles in Australia.

What you need to apply for a job in Australia

The Australian government imposes a range of conditions on foreign nationals hoping to live and work in Australia. The type of visa you will need can vary depending on whether you have particular skills, whether you plan to work in Australia temporarily or permanently, or if you are sponsored by an employer.

The government’s Working in Australia website is a good source of up-to-date information on the visas and other forms of registration you will need for your circumstances.

Are your qualifications recognised in Australia?

Professionals with skills and experience in accounting, finance, banking and technology are among the most sought after, and overseas work experience is often highly valued by Australian companies as it can bring a fresh perspective and a global outlook to the workplace. Even better, a number of professional qualifications gained overseas are also recognised in Australia, potentially making your skillset highly transferrable.

Depending on the visa category you apply for, a formal assessment of your skills may also be required as part of the process.

Put your skills to work

You may have skills or qualifications that are in high demand among Australian employers. It’s important that you do your research first to identify whether you would be suitable for an Australian work visa, as your ability to work in this country is highly dependent on your visa circumstances.

A good place to start is to check out the SkillSelect program. This allows skilled workers and business people interested in migrating to Australia to record their details so they can be considered for a skilled visa.

You can be invited to apply for a skilled visa by the Australian Government, nominated for a skilled visa by a state or territory government, or nominated for a skilled visa by an employer.

SkillSelect Support provides all the information you need to get started in SkillSelect, and has step-by-step user guides as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

How to apply for a job in Australia

It’s not necessary to delay your job search until you arrive in Australia. Applying for positions now can be a smart way to give yourself a head-start in your job search.

When you arrive, it’s also a good idea to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN). This isn’t essential but without a TFN you won’t be entitled to government benefits that you may otherwise be eligible for. A TFN can only be issued once you have landed in Australia, and to get started you’ll need your passport or travel document number, and a local postal address where your TFN can be mailed to.

At Robert Half, we work with some of the top companies in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and have a wide array of both temporary and permanent job opportunities that you can apply for if you are eligible to work in Australia.

Working in Australia can be rewarding, both financially and career-wise, not to mention the personal growth you will experience during your time here. As well as being the ideal destination for your overseas adventure, Australia offers an opportunity to add international experience to your resume, and this can be a plus for your career no matter whether you decide to continue to travel or to settle in Australia permanently.  

Take a look at our "find a job hub" for more job search tips and advice.