finding for a job in Australia

5 Ways to Earn in Australia as International Students

Are you planning to study in Australia as an International Student? Whilst it is the beginning of a rewarding journey, the flip side of the matter is that Australia is ranked world number 32 in the Cost of Living Index. As a result, most International Students work part-time to make ends meet. The silver lining is that there are plenty of jobs in Australia for those who make an effort. Some students actually end up finding great opportunities as a result of part-time work.

If you are interested to know how to earn extra money in Australia, keep reading. There maybe ways that you didn’t know existed!


Tax File Number

First things first, you need to get your Tax-File Number (commonly referred as TFN). With this you will be treated as an Australian-resident for tax purposes and will not be taxed excessively. It is a very simple process that you can complete online at the ATO website.

Fair Work in Australia

As per Fair Work policy in Australia, International Students are allowed work a maximum of 20 paid hours a week during semester and full-time during winter and summer breaks. While it doesn’t seem like a lot of hours, it is considerable given that you are enrolled for full-time studies and undertaking minimum 4 units a semester. So between, attending lectures to working on assignments and preparing for exams, 20 hours is plenty to make the extra buck.

Australia has very strict labour regulations. You have similar rights to an Australian to be offered safe work-environments and paid at least minimum wage. – refer Fair Works pay calculator. Fair Work Australia have published many cases where International Students are exploited, underpaid and overworked. If you are in such situations, immediately report on 13 13 94. You can refer to the Fair Work Ombudsmen website to have a basic understanding of your rights and awards (legal documents that outline the minimum wage rates and conditions of employment in Australia) related to your field.

Write a Resume

This is self-explanatory that you need a well-written resume. I am not going to go in to too much detail on this as it is a significant and standalone topic that is addressed  in our winning strategy to write a resume article.


Now that all the preliminary work is done, it is time to make $$!

Job Sites

job hunting through online sites

This is the most common way to find a part-time job in Australia and you can start your job search on your University Careers page. The advantage in that platform is because postings on this site are not visible to non-students and it is an indication that employers are interested in hiring students from your University. Apart from major job sites like SEEK, Indeed, CaeerOne and Adecco, you can refer to Gum Tree job board. I would actually state that you are likely to find a job as an International Student on the latter site. The common jobs for International Students are in retailing, hospitality and business administration.



You can also apply for tutoring positions in subjects that you are confident as a high school or University tutor. You have two options, either respond to adverts on Gum Tree requesting for tutors or advertise your services. General rate for high school and first year University subjects range from $20 to $30 per hour.

Mystery Shopper

mystery shopper

Companies commission other people to act as Mystery Shoppers. As a Mystery Shopper, you will be asked to visit retail stores, cafes, etc. to act as a customer to observe and engage. Later, write a report explaining the experience and submit to the company or agency that hired you. You know what the best part about this? You get to eat food and buy clothes, FREE OF CHARGE; you will be reimbursed for what you spent. Sometimes, this is the payment, where as most companies pay a fee on top of that for your time invested. You can become a mystery shopper by looking for opportunities under the previously mentioned “Job Sites”.

Uber and Uber Eats

If you have your own vehicle and an Australian Driver’s licence, you can consider signing up as a Uber or Uber Eats driver, which is the most flexible job you can have during your studies. There are no schedules, you can choose to be on the road at your convenience. The amount you earn depends on your effort and time you are willing to commit.

Uber is a taxi hiring service, where the customers can request for a taxi through their mobile Uber app. Uber Eats is a food delivery service, where customers can request for food delivery through the mobile app from local restaurants and cafes registered with Uber Eats.

Sounds like your kind of work? Find out if:

  1. You meet the requirements of a Uber Driver? Yes?
  2. Your car meets the vehicle requirement? Yes?
  3. You can cover and exceed your expenses? Yes?

Great, sign up!

Uber Driver

Walk-in Interviews

All you need to do is print out around 10 – 20 copies of your resumes, and walk-in to places around your University and hand in your resume. This works really well for cafes and retailing. Some stores have boards outside with vacancies, these are easy invites for you to walk-in. You can also walk-in to other stores and speak to the manager. I have friends who have been able to land the job right away, while other times they have a chat with you and keep your resume for future. Easy enough, but there are few things you need to be mindful.

  • This is an interview, so dress accordingly. You need not be in formal attire but smart casual is preferred.
  • Turn on your positive and chirpy personality. Most are simply judged based on how you communicate and present yourself and less with what’s on the resume.
  • Avoid morning and lunch hour rush; I would recommend between 10.00 am to 11.30 am or 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm.
  • Be polite. If you think the place looks busy, come again another time.
  • Be quick. You do not have an appointment, so be quick and get to the point. Rehearsing what you want to say might help.
  • If you feel shy or scared, go with a friend you feel comfortable. Let the friend pretend to be a customer and hang around.
  • Try this with small local stores. You might not have much luck at large supermarket chains like Coles or Woollies or department stores, because recruitment is done through head offices.
  • (Brutal) rejections are inevitable. Don’t let it dishearten you.

job interviews


This an online outsourcing company based in Sydney. Anyone, from individuals to small companies, can list tasks / jobs they wish to outsource, ranging from cleaning, deliveries, admin / creative work, etc. If you feel you are able to get the job done, you can offer your services. How does this differentiate from other sites? It is a secured service because Airtasker acts as a middleman for the payment. Once the job is assigned to you, Airtasker will hold the payment safely with them and once you complete the job successfully, Airtasker will release the payment after deducting a small service fee.

Networking, LinkedIn and Social Groups

Finding jobs through social media

There is no better way than landing a job that you love and in your field than networking, and what better site to do this than LinkedIn. This social media platform offers more relevant vacancies based on your skills, work experience, endorsements and connections. While this is more a long-term strategy, you will reap its benefits overtime. Maintain a close relationship at an intellectual level with your lecturers and fellow students during semester, and add them on LinkedIn and sustain the relationship.

There are several active Facebook groups that you can join, where members are posting opportunities ranging from casual to full-time jobs. I feel you are able to communicate with the individual to understand the job requirements prior to applying for the positions. Sydney Jobs, Backpacker Jobs Australia, Melbourne Jobs, Jobs in Brisbane are just a few of many popular job groups on Facebook.

Other easy ways to make money

This option is not a solid way to make money but you can make money fast. Yet, you can earn anywhere ranging from $10 – $500 or more per month. These do not count for your 20 hours work restrictions.

  1. Paid participation in University research – This is available at Universities with research faculties. The researchers invite University students to take part in surveys and experiments by paying for their time. You can head over to the University website or speak to University admin to find out where to sign up. You will fill up a form to state your demographics and you just wait for the email requesting your participation. The more you participate, the more invites you receive.
  2. Paid surveys – I am sure the first thing that came to your mind was SCAM! Yes, you need to be mindful of the disingenuous sites. I will share with you two that are legit and pays straight to your account. Pureprofile requests you to participate in random online surveys for cash through mobile app. Any redemption is limited to $70.00 every 60 days. Octopus Survey is similar to Pureprofile’s functionality, however, pays more. You can redeem the balance after you collect at least $20.00 at any given time.


  • If you don’t find success in one of the methods, try another or better, a combination.
  • The amount of money you earn is directly correlated to your commitment.
  • Doing part-time / casual jobs that doesn’t directly relate to your field or career growth is frustrating at times – so try to find an enjoyable place of work with amazing colleagues.
  • Working part-time might help with job hunting after graduation, since most employers do appreciate your commitment for working and studying.

Until next time…

Published by


My name is Omalee (pronounced Oh-maa-lee) and welcome to my blog! I started this site a couple of years ago, but I gave in to the worse habit of inconsistent posting. So here I am, two years from posting last, to hold myself accountable to regular postings. While my “real day-time job” is more serious, I really enjoy blogging as an open platform to express my thoughts on other avenues that interest me. This site consist of my personal and research driven articles exploring aspects of my life and interests. Here is a something about me… I am 26 year old, still discovering who I am . I mean, I am still very young, don’t you agree? I consider my self to be ambitious, independent, an animal lover, loyal and most importantly, HAPPY. I live alone in Sydney, my second home, in a 4 years long-distance relationship with my favourite person on earth, boyfriend of 8+ years. He is the genius behind this website that encouraged me to write. I love adventure. I am the type of person who will say YES and be open to all new experiences, but not value materialistic things. I can make friends and start a conversation with anyone, but I consider my self an introvert. This is me in a nutshell… …stick around, keep exploring the site, let me know what you love / dislike the most and where I could improve. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…

6 thoughts on “5 Ways to Earn in Australia as International Students”

  1. Such a great post!
    We love seeing people supporting the international student community and even more so providing such relevant and detailed advice. We too are a page supporting international students, so it is great to see posts from like-minded people!


    1. Thank you so much for your positive feedback. Definitely… Not much information is out there for International Students, it is nice to see the community is recognizing this gap and working in offering invaluable information.


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