Working Holiday Jobs in Australia

For every Gaffler who’s found a travel buddy in Australia, there’s likely another one who’s on a working holiday and looking for employment. The type of working holiday visa jobs in Australia that you can have is limited due to the obvious time constraints for backpackers. Additionally, if your are in Australia on a working holiday visa, in most cases you cannot stay with one employer in the same location for more than 6 months. Because of this, many employers don’t want to invest in employees that they’ll knowingly lose in a few months.

This shouldn’t deter you from visiting this beautiful country on a working holiday. You have to remember that the purpose of a working holiday visa is for your work to fuel your holiday, so you never want to work for more than a few months at a time anyway. Luckily there are many options for you to find temporary work abroad.

This post will give you an idea of the working holiday visa jobs in Australia available to backpackers and also the types of jobs you will need to do to earn a second year visa in Australia.

Working Holiday Jobs Australia- Retail and Food Services

Accessibility to retail work really depends on when you are entering the country. It should be relatively easy to find work during seasonal rushes. Retailers hire more aggressively in the summer months and leading up to Christmas, so time your travels accordingly. If you show up at the wrong time you might not be able to find work in the retail space.

The food services industry mimic’s retail with it’s demand for seasonal workers. Again, summer months and the months leading up to Christmas are great times for working holiday visa jobs in Australia. Working as a server, bartender, or barista is a great way to meet locals and travelers alike.

Working Holiday Jobs Australia- Au Pair

If you aren’t familiar with what an Au Pair is, it’s essentially when you work for a host family as a domestic assistant. Your responsibilities could include childcare, and household chores. Depending on the arrangement, usually in exchange for a job well done, au pairs get a place to stay and some spending cash.

If you do Au Pair work you may be permitted to work with one employer longer than the 6 month period. To be considered for the extension, your primary responsibilities must include taking care of the family’s children, rather than domestic work. The youngest child being cared for should not be older than 12 years old. You can apply for the extension by using this form.

Working Holiday Jobs Australia- Hospitality and Tourism

Hotels and Hostels around Australia are always looking for additional staff and helpers. You can expect to do anything from housekeeping, concierge, guest services, food and beverage handling etc. Finding work in this industry isn’t particularly difficult and jobs are usually very flexible but turnover rates are high, so make sure to plan for that. Some places might not actually offer you money, but instead a free place to stay in exchange for work.

Hospitality and Tourism for Second Year Visa Applicants

If you are a subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa holder, there are specific hospitality jobs that you can do in Northern Australia that will count towards your specified work requirement for a second visa. According to the Department of Home Affairs you will have to:

  • Work in a range of positions where the primary purpose is to directly provide a service to tourists, including tourist guides and operators, outdoor adventure or activity instructors, tourist transport services
  • Gallery or museum managers, curators or guides
  • Hospitality workers, including a range of positions in hotels or other accommodation facilities, restaurants, cafes, bars and casinos
  • Conference and event organisers

The specific jobs that you can do within the hospitality industry as well as the conditions of employment for those jobs can be found in the Hospitality Industry Award 2010. Examples of employees covered by the Hospitality Award include:

  • Waiters and waitresses
  • Kitchen hands
  • Cooks and chefs
  • Apprentice chefs
  • Housekeepers, doorpersons and concierge staff
  • Front office, clerical and reception staff
  • Gaming attendants
  • Security officers and storepersons
  • Leisure attendants
  • Maintenance and gardening staff
  • Managerial staff who are not senior management
  • Casino staff including gaming staff, equipment technicians, security and finance officers
  • Holiday apartment complexes
  • Catering employees working for a catering business
  • Pub owners.

Working Holiday Jobs Australia- Farm Work

Working on a farm is among one of the more popular working holiday visa jobs in Australia. If you are doing plant and animal cultivation work anywhere in Australia, you are permitted to do it for more than 6 months. The work you put in on a farm is a lot more labour intensive than any of the other jobs on this list (barring construction), and as a result I would not recommend this type of work for everyone. However, if you plan to travel to Australia on a working holiday, doing plant and animal cultivation work in specified regional areas for a total of 88 days will earn you a second year visa in the country. Because of this, regional farm work is in very high demand in Australia.

To get an idea of what’s in season, how long for, and what regions you should visit to find work, check out this super helpful harvest calendar.

Farm Work for Second Year Visa Applicants

According to the Department of Home Affairs’ specified work page, if you are working towards a second visa, you have to do specified plant and animal cultivation work as described in the lists below:

Plant Cultivation

  • The harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
  • General maintenance crop work
  • Cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • Immediate processing of plant products
  • Pruning and trimming vines and trees
    Note: This must be your primary employment task and directly associated with the cultivation and commercial sale of plant produce, such as fruit and nut crops (commercial horticultural activities). General garden maintenance is not eligible.

According to the Horticultural Award 2010 some of these activities include sowing, planting, raising, cultivating, harvesting, picking, packing, storing, grading or treating of horticultural crops.

They can also include land preparation and treatment activities connected with a horticultural enterprise for raising horticultural crops eg. clearing, fencing, trenching and draining.

Horticultural crops include all fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, hops, nuts, fungi, olives, flowers and other specialised crops

A few examples of employees who are covered under this award include:

  • Labourers harvesting, planting, picking, thinning or pruning crops eg. fruit or vegetable pickers
  • Sorters and packers, including employees using machines and equipment
  • Drivers of lorries, harvesters, forklifts and tractors
  • Employees performing inventory, store control and quality assurance/control.

Animal Cultivation

  • Maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase
    Note: Maintaining animals for tourism or recreational purposes is not eligible.
  • Immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
  • Manufacturing dairy produce from raw material.
    Note: Secondary processing of animal products, such as small goods processing and retail butchery is not eligible.

According to the Pastoral Award 2010 some of these activities include:

  • managing, breeding, rearing or grazing of livestock or poultry
  • shearing and crutching of sheep on farms
  • classing and pressing of wool on farms
  • dairying work
  • hatchery work
  • sowing, raising or harvesting of broadacre field crops and other crops grown as part of any of the mentioned farms or properties
  • treating of land in relation to the work above, or
  • clearing, fencing, well sinking, dam sinking or trenching on any farm or property above.

Livestock means all animals used in primary production including insects.

Broadacre field crops means grains, seeds, grasses, silage, legumes, fibre, flowers, and other crops grown as part of a broadacre mixed farming enterprise.

Examples of employees covered by the Pastoral Award include:

  • Station hands
  • Piggery workers
  • Dairy operators
  • Poultry workers
  • Shearers and crutchers
  • Station cooks.

Working Holiday Jobs Australia- Construction

For working holiday backpackers in Australia looking for jobs, there are many advantages to working in the construction industry. You can work anywhere in Australia because construction jobs are in high demand throughout the country. Also, the minimum wage for workers in this industry is a lot higher than what backpackers usually get paid in other industries. Working in this industry can also count towards your specified work requirement for a 2nd year visa application.

Construction for Second Year Visa Applicants

According to home affairs’ approved construction jobs include:

  • Residential building construction
  • Non-residential building construction
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction
  • Land development and site preparation services
  • Building structure services
  • Building installation services
  • Building completion services
  • Other construction services

The Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) provides further detail about eligible work in construction. If you look at the ANZSIC, 2006, you can see how the above services are broken down into specific jobs.

Residential building construction

Residential building construction consists of house construction and other residential building construction.

House Construction

Primary Activities:

  • Garage Construction
  • House construction, alteration, or renovation
  • House, prefabricated, assembly, erection, or installation (on site)
Other Residential Building Construction

Primary Activities:

  • Apartment Construction
  • Duplex House Construction
  • Flat Construction
  • High-Rise Construction
  • Renovation or alteration of residential building n.e.c
  • Semi-detached house construction

Non-Residential Building Construction

Primary Activities:

  • Commercial building construction
  • Industrial building construction
  • Office building construction
  • Prefabricated non-residential building assembly, erection or installation on-site (except sheds, garages or carports)
  • Prefabricated temperature controlled structures installation
  • Renovation or alteration of non-residential building

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

Heavy and civil engineering consists of road and bridge construction and other heavy and civil engineering construction.

Road and Bridge Construction

Primary Activities:

  • Aerodrome runway construction
  • Asphalt surfacing
  • Bridge construction (including construction from prefabricated components)
  • Elevated highway construction
  • Overpass construction
  • Parking lot construction (except buildings)
  • Repair or maintenance of roads or bridges
  • Road construction or sealing
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

Primary Activities:

  • Breakwater construction
  • Cable laying
  • Canal construction
  • Dam construction
  • Distribution line, electricity or communication, construction
  • Dredging (harbours or rivers)
  • Electrical machinery, heavy, installation (on-site assembly)
  • Electricity power plant construction (except buildings)
  • Flood control system construction
  • Furnace construction (for industrial plants from prefabricated components)
  • Golf course construction
  • Harbour work construction (except buildings)
  • Irrigation system construction
  • Jetty construction
  • Lake construction
  • Mine site construction n.e.c.
  • Oil refinery construction (except buildings)
  • Pile driving
  • Pipeline construction
  • Railway permanent way construction
  • River work construction
  • Sewage or stormwater drainage system construction
  • Sewage treatment plant construction
  • Sports field construction
  • Swimming pool, below ground concrete or fibreglass, construction
  • Television or radio transmitting tower construction
  • Tunnel construction
  • Water filtration plant construction
  • Water tank construction (except for structural steel)

Land Development and Site Preparation Services

Primary Activities:

  • Land subdivision or development
  • Demolition of buildings or other structures
  • Earthmoving
  • Earthmoving plant and equipment hiring with operator
  • Excavation
  • Explosives laying
  • Ground de-watering
  • Land clearing
  • Levelling (construction sites)
  • Removal of overburden
  • Trench digging

Building Structure Services

Primary Activities:

  • Concreting Services
  • Bricklaying Services
  • Roofing Services
  • Structural Steel Erection Services

Building Installation Services

Primary Activities:

  • Plumbing Services
  • Electrical Services
  • Air Conditioning and Heating Services
  • Fire and Security Alarm Installation Services
  • Other Building Installation Services

Building Completion Services

Primary Activities:

  • Plastering and Ceiling Services
  • Carpentry Services
  • Tiling and Carpeting Services
  • Painting and Decorating Services
  • Glazing Services

Other Construction Services

Primary Activities:

  • Landscape Construction Services
  • Hire of Construction Machinery with Operator
  • Other Construction Services n.e.c

A lot of the information above about the 2nd year visa jobs can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website or Australian Government’s Fair Work website. I wanted to condense the information down into one post so it’d be easier to browse through for potential working holiday visa holders looking for jobs in Australia. If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback about anything you have read you can email me directly at sadakat@gogaffl.com.

Good luck to those looking for jobs! After you are done with the work portion of your working holiday don’t forget to use GAFFL to find a travel buddy anywhere in Australia.

Whether you are going for roadtripsadventure travel, or exploring cities, what could be more exciting than sharing memories of all of these places with travel partners? Find a travel buddy on GAFFL.

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GAFFL helps travelers and adventurers to find others who are planning to go to the same destinations at the same time and plan trips together in a group. Our mission is to make sure people who do not want to travel or adventure alone can find other like-minded individuals to travel cities, explore outdoors or spend time in a long airport layover.

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