Jobs in Australia for foreigners (With tips)

Updated 14 August 2023

Moving abroad is a great way to experience different cultures and meet new people. Australia is an attractive workplace destination with its vibrant cities, diverse culture and sunny beaches. If you're considering a move to Australia, understanding the job opportunities may help you decide if it's the right choice. In this article, we list jobs in Australia for foreigners and discuss what to expect when working in Australia.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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10 jobs in Australia for foreigners

Some of the most in-demand jobs in Australia for foreigners include:

1. Teacher

National average salary: $63,154 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: The Australian academic year consists of four terms lasting eight to 12 weeks, with the first term starting in late January. Peak recruitment for teaching positions occurs in late September. Australia is developing a national curriculum similar to the UK, which may make the transition to teaching in Australia smoother. Teaching in Australia requires you to undertake a skills assessment, complete registration and show evidence of three to four years of tertiary training and a recognised teaching qualification.

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2. Chef

National average salary: $63,848 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: Australia's thriving culinary scene allows chefs to work in various settings, from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes. Hospitality employers seek formal qualifications, such as a Certificate III or IV in Commercial Cookery or a Diploma of Hospitality Management. Experience in a similar role and a demonstrated ability to manage a professional kitchen also improve your employment prospects. Obtaining a food safety supervisor certificate may be necessary to demonstrate compliance with local food safety regulations.

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Related: 10 English-speaking jobs abroad (With average salaries)

3. Disability support worker

National average salary: $68,769 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: Australia experiences growing demand for carers for older adults and people with a disability due to the ageing population and the need for specialised support services. To pursue work in the sector, complete a relevant qualification, such as a Certificate III in Individual Support. Register with the local authority of the state or territory where you plan to work, which may have its own recruitment criteria, and obtain necessary clearances, such as a police check or a Working with Vulnerable People check.

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4. Early childhood educator

National average salary: $72,601 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: With an increasing emphasis on early childhood education, Australia seeks skilled early childhood educators to create nurturing and stimulating environments for young children. Early childhood educators may find positions available throughout the year, with peak recruitment times aligning with the start of the academic year. Early childhood workplaces generally require applicants to hold a relevant qualification, such as a Certificate III or Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, meet state or territory-specific requirements and undergo a criminal record check.

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Related: What is a relocation package? (With steps to get one)

5. Plumber

National average salary: $74,668 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: Skilled plumbers are in high demand across Australia, particularly because of recent construction incentives. Plumbing is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List, so employment prospects are good. Plumbers from overseas require assessment of their qualifications and experience by Trades Recognition Australia via the Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP) or completion of the Job Ready Program (JRP), depending on the visa they use for entry into Australia.

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6. Registered nurse

National average salary: $82,462 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: Registered nurses (RN) work with patients who have medical conditions, providing care, advice and support to those patients and their families. Becoming an RN in Australia requires acknowledgement of your qualification by completing an Australian exam or assessment and registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Nurses complete a police check, obtain professional indemnity insurance and demonstrate compliance with infection control policies before working in Australia.

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Related: 13 healthcare jobs abroad (With primary duties and salaries)

7. Electrician

National average salary: $91,353 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: Australia's growing population, infrastructure development and renewable energy projects contribute to the demand for skilled electricians. Electricians play a crucial role in installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems in residential, commercial and industrial environments. Working as an electrician in Australia requires completion of an assessment from Trades Recognition Australia and a valid Australian electrical licence, which may involve skills assessments, additional training or work experience, depending on the state or territory.

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8. Civil engineer

National average salary: $95,599 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: Australia's ongoing infrastructure development and urban planning projects create opportunities for skilled civil engineers. A bachelor's degree in civil engineering or a related field from a recognised institution can greatly improve your visa and employment prospects. Engineers Australia, the professional body for engineers, can assess overseas qualifications for comparability with Australian standards.

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9. Software developer

National average salary: $104,664 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: As Australia's technology sector experiences rapid growth, the demand for skilled software developers increases. Software developers design, code and maintain software applications for various platforms, including desktop, mobile and web. Employers expect a strong understanding of programming languages, frameworks and tools and relevant qualifications, such as a degree in computer science or software engineering. Those planning to stay in Australia short-term may find it helpful to contact a recruitment agency to find short-term employment contracts.

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10. Construction manager

National average salary: $175,840 per year

Primary duties and responsibilities: The construction industry in Australia is continuously expanding, with new infrastructure and development projects underway across the country. Construction managers oversee and coordinate construction projects from planning to completion, ensuring they remain on schedule and within budget. Construction roles in Australia require a White Card, which you obtain after completing a mandatory course covering topics such as workplace responsibilities, construction work hazards, emergency procedures and personal protective equipment requirements.

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Related: Guide on migrating to work in Australia

What is it like to work in Australia?

Australia's vibrant cities, stunning landscapes and unique wildlife make it an attractive destination, but the prospect of working in Australia can be both exciting and daunting. Consider these factors when you're deciding:

Related: How to apply for overseas jobs: a comprehensive guide

  • Adjusting to Australian workplace culture: Australian workplace culture is generally relaxed and friendly, focusing on work-life balance. Although professionalism remains important, a more informal atmosphere encourages collaboration and camaraderie.

  • Understanding cost of living differences: Australia provides a high quality of life, but the cost of living can be considerably higher than it is here. Major cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, have expensive housing and daily expenses, though higher salaries often offset these costs, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle.

  • Adopting Australian business etiquette: Despite sharing a common language and historical ties, British expats may notice differences in Australian business etiquette. Australians appreciate direct communication, honesty and straightforwardness, and punctuality plays a crucial role in demonstrating respect.

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