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Working in Perth

With one of the strongest economies in the world, a thriving start-up scene and an abundance of job opportunities, there’s lots to love about working in the beautiful city of Perth.

Work while studying

Working while you study is not only a great way to earn some extra money, but it also gives you the chance to make connections, practise your English and enjoy everything the Perth lifestyle has to offer. With work hours capped at 48 per fortnight, during study terms and semesters, you can focus on learning in Australia while gaining valuable work experience.

For international students, Perth is a city of opportunity with a wide variety of jobs available across a range of exciting industries.

As a full-time international student, you will have the opportunity to earn while you study by working casually, seasonally or part-time for up to 48 hours per fortnight (two-week period) and unlimited hours during the semester break. With the ability to work around your schedule, it’s a great way to earn some money while learning valuable skills.

Work after study

Perth is also the perfect place to launch your career, with demand continuing to grow for local workers, skilled migrants and graduating international students across priority sectors.

With the Australian Government extending post-study work rights for international students, graduates from a Western Australian higher education provider are now able to work in the State for:

  • 5 years for Bachelor degrees in areas of verified skill shortage
  • 6 years for Masters degrees in areas of verified skill shortage
  • 7 years for all Doctoral degrees

Important things you need to know about working in Perth

There are countless sources of employment opportunities, from online job search engines, to social media and even job listings at your institution of study. StudyPerth has partnered with SEEK to create the JobFinder WA program, to help showcase international student-positive employers in Western Australia. You can also browse job listings on our Careers Connect Portal.

In Australia, personal networks are just as important, as studies suggest between 60-80% of vacancies are never formally advertised. It's therefore important to ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date to share when necessary. You can find more information on how to perfect them on the Careers Connect Portal.

As an international student, you have the same workplace rights, entitlements and protection as other Australian employees. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman is Australia’s workplace regulator. It can help you understand your workplace rights and entitlements like pay and leave and resolve workplace issues, like underpayment of wages.

There is a minimum wage that applies to employees working in Australia under the Fair Work System. It is generally dependent on the industry you work in or the type of work you do. You cannot be paid less than your applicable minimum wage, even if you agree to it. The minimum wage is reviewed every financial year. You can use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay Calculator to work out what you can expect to be paid in different roles and industries.

Your employer cannot cancel your visa, even if you’ve breached your visa conditions. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas. You can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for help without the fear of visa cancellation even if you’ve breached your work-related visa conditions.

Read the Fair Work Ombudsman’s fact sheet for international students for more information about your workplace rights including how to get free help with a workplace issue.

If you are on a Student Visa (a full-time international student), you will have the opportunity to work casually or part-time for up to 48 hours per fortnight (two-week period) and unlimited hours during the semester break.

There’s no shortage of casual and part-time jobs available throughout Perth in a diverse range of areas, from administration, hospitality and retail to aged care, housekeeping or cleaning.

As a casual employee, you have no guaranteed hours of work and do not get paid leave entitlements. To compensate for this, casual work will be paid at a higher hourly rate.

The National Minimum Wage is currently $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per 38-hour week (before tax). Casual employees covered by the National Minimum Wage also get at least a 25% casual loading.

For award and agreement-free employees, the percentage scale in the Miscellaneous Award is applied to the National Minimum Wage.  

As a part-time employee, you will work fewer than 38 hours per week and will have the same leave benefits as a full-time employee at a rate in proportion to the amount of time you work.

Before graduating, you may also want to consider applying for a Temporary Graduate visa.

Your Tax File Number (TFN) is your personal reference number in Australia's tax system. You can apply for a TFN online once you have your visa and have arrived in Australia. You should apply for your TFN before you start work or soon after.

While it is not a requirement, if you choose to work in Australia you should get a TFN to avoid paying more tax than you have to. It is free too!