Working in Australia

►Buy the Expat Guide to Australia for Kindle or in PDF format


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; a statement that arguably stands as the most underestimated advantage of moving to and living in Oz. 
Furthermore, those that do decide to relocate to Australia will find themselves within a national economy that’s strong and stable; the Oceanic island remains one of the only developed nations, other than Germany, to see an improvement in labour markets even in the face of the world’s financial crisis. Though 17 years of growth was curtailed by the recession, the country quickly recovered, and has since reinstated a remarkably low unemployment rate and a rising GDP.

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. 
Regardless, this point should only be a concern once a job has been secured and a contract has been negotiated.
Expats on the job hunt should start by joining industry associations and by perusing the career centres maintained by regional governments. Additionally, national newspapers, such as The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald, 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.

Search Expat Arrivals

Become our local expat expert for your area!

Become our local expat expert for your area! We are looking for contributors to help make this the ultimate guide for expats. Get in touch if you can provide useful info on your city or answer forum questions from new expats.
Find out more.

Got a question about your new country?

Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)
, after login or registration your account will be connected.