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The complete guide for students looking for employment in Brisbane

we know for international students that Getting a job is an essential part of your experience in Australia.. It gives you an income to enjoy your life in Australia and it can provide you with valuable experience in your chosen field. Even better, you meet local people, giving you a network of friends and colleagues.

As Brisbane is Australia’s fastest growing city. the job market is expanding at twice the rate of the population making employment more accessible than other states.

What are the legal requirements for people working on a student visa?

According to the Australian Government, your valid student visa entitles you to work up to 40 hours a fortnight during term time. However during holidays and between semesters, the restriction is waived.

Unpaid work, volunteer work and working scenarios that are required to gain your degree do not count as part of this 40 hours a fortnight.

How to find employment in Brisbane

There are a range of employment opportunities in Brisbane. A good way to get a job is through word of mouth. Having friends or university staff recommending you for a job is effective and helpful career-wise. Professors, , or alumni groups have networks they can refer you to. There will also be a job board in your tertiary institution, either online or a physical board.

Try online job-seeker sites like and GumTree. Below is a list of agencies that can help with placement.

  • Ambition
  • Adecco
  • Michael Page
  • Slade
  • Jobsearch
  • Adzuna
  • Jobsjobsjobs
  • HCA for healthcare roles
  • Peoplebank for IT
  • Ignite for IT
  • Modis for IT
  • KPMG for accountancy roles

How to apply for jobs in Brisbane

You’ll need a resume/ CV and cover letter. Both need to be tailored specifically for the industry you want to gain employment for.

CV/ Resume: Your resume should normally be 2 pages long. This should include a list the roles you’ve had and a description of your acquired skills and achievements..

Have your most recent experiences first and personalise it for the jobs you’re applying for. For example, if you were a waitress, showhow has helped your interpersonal skills, allowing you to remain calm under pressure and can take feedback/ instructions well.

Overall, your CV should be clear, concise and well written. Have someone (preferably an Australian who knows the job market) proof read your the resume for any errors.

You’ll also want to list your academic achievements and qualifications, with your current degree at the top.

Cover letter: This one-page letter introduces you to your potential future employer and should explain to the employer why you are a good fit for the role. . It should give examples of how the experience gained in your previous role would be of benefit to the role you’re applying for.. It should be tailored for each job application. For instance, if a role asks for someone who uses their initiative, you can reflect their language, and say ‘as an accountant’s assistant, I was required to prepare basic accounts. I would often see inconsistencies with their accounts and would take the initiative to contact the client to clarify. This saved the senior accountant a lot of time and resolved many issues before they became problems.’

Convert these documents to PDFs and send like that to avoid formatting issues.

If you make it to the interview stage, congratulations! There are often only 6-10 interviewees, so you’ve made it a long way. Whether it’s face to face or online, the format is the same. The interviewer will ask you questions and you should answer them with relevant examples. Take care to briefly tell them the situation, what the problem was, how you solved it and the result.

For example, an interviewer may ask: “Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last 12 months”.

You could reply with: “It was difficult to choose which country and which course I wanted to study. So, I spoke to a range of professionals, and found out which country’s degrees were highly valued. Then, I assessed my strengths and thought about my future career. From there, it was easy to decide what course I wanted to do and to study in Australia. Then it was a matter of finding which university specialised in my intended degree’. This answer shows you realised what was important, you could ask for advice from professionals, and could weigh up the pros and cons to make a tricky decision.

What are your employment rights in Australia?

Your employment rights are exactly the same as any other Australian.

  • you must be paid the correct rate, at least minimum wage, for the correct number of hours worked
  • you must be provided a safe workplace
  • your employer cannot take money from your wages except for tax/ legally required amounts
  • you must not work for ‘cash in hand’, and you must pay tax
  • your employer cannot discriminate on the grounds of religion or race
  • if you want to join a union or industry association
  • if you are unsure about anything, it’s best to ask questions, you employer cannot punish you for speaking up

If you need clarification on any of these points or if you wish to report maltreatment, contact

Average salaries in Brisbane

Australia has a minimum wage which is the lowest. amount you can legally be paid. It does differ depending on the scenario, so make sure you understand what this amount is for you. This amount is your gross pay; your tax is taken from this amount.

Most roles will start on this rate, unless you have existing qualifications, relevant experience and a working history in the industry. If you’ve been employed for over a year, you could be eligible for a pay increase. The average full-time salary in Brisbane is $99,791 gross, but this is different depending on the industry and role.

Other things you need to know

Bank Account: You will need an Australian bank account to receive your salary from your employer. If you don’t have one, check out the local bank websites. Generally, they let you apply online with a few forms of ID and other paperwork.

Tax File Number: An Australian TFN is how your employer will deduct tax from your wages and pay it to the government. Apply online at You must be in Australia when you apply for this. You’ll need to supply them with:

  • Your home country details
  • Your legal name as per your passport
  • Any other names you have and are known by
  • Your passport number
  • Your date of birth as per your passport
  • If you have a spouse, you’ll need to enter their details
  • Your Australian postal address
  • Contact details in Australia

Your employer pays tax on your behalf, but if you want to know how much pay you’ll be getting each week, this tax calculator gives you all the information you need.

Want to work and study in Brisbane? Get started today

If you’re thinking about studying in Australia, contact IDP. With years of helping students like you, we can help you choose your desired course, assist with university applications, and even help with your visa.

Download Brisbane City Guide !!

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