Working in Australia

Expats working in Australia may not have sky-high salaries to boast about but, for the most part, they seem to be happy with their job, their work environment and their work-life balance. This is a statement that arguably stands as the most underestimated advantage of moving to and living in Australia. 

Furthermore, those who do decide to relocate to Australia will find themselves within a national economy that is known for being strong and stable. 

Job market in Australia

Expats interested in working in Australia would do well to explore opportunities in mining and construction – although the mining boom has begun to decline, the country is still one of the world's top exporters of minerals such as iron, aluminium, gold and copper.

Manufacturing, agriculture and tourism are also potential industries that expats can look into.

Finding a job in Australia

Most expats will need to find and secure a job prior to entering and working in Australia. The government’s immigration department is as strict as it is efficient, and those employed without a work permit will be promptly deported.

Most expats come to work in Australia on an employer-sponsored visa. The hiring company must prove that a position exists for the expat and that no local candidate is qualified to assume the responsibilities required by the position. This can actually prove quite difficult given that a large chunk of Australia’s workforce has a tertiary qualification, and that many senior managers and technical staff have international experience. 

As a result, though skills shortages have produced a crucial need for certain kinds of workers, the stringent permit eligibility rules often hamper attempts to import foreigners from abroad. 

Expats on the job hunt should start by joining industry associations and by perusing the career centres maintained by regional governments. National newspapers also regularly publish job listings and advertisements in employment sections. 

Similarly, if an area within Australia that an expat wishes to work in has been narrowed down, local and community newspapers can also be good resources. It should be noted, however, that it’s easier to find jobs in rural Australia than it is to find jobs in urban Australia. 

Online job portals are also a convenient and easily accessible way of searching for jobs.

Work culture in Australia

Generally speaking, those working in Australia are likely to notice that there's a distinctly relaxed atmosphere in the workplace. However, this doesn't mean that less work gets done – Australians are hard workers, but the country is better at maintaining a good work-life balance than many other nations around the world.

As swearing is a famously prolific part of Australian dialect, expats can expect this to extend to the workplace too, although it's probably best not to follow suit. Socialising with co-workers outside of work is common and expected, so if invited to after-work drinks, expats should be sure to accept the invitation and take the opportunity to get to know their colleagues.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna is an award-winning insurance business that provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. Their high quality health insurance plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of expats living and working abroad.

Get a quote from Aetna International


Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global