Getting jobs in Australia for expats in 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here.
The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
Despite the lack of qualified specialists in Australia, the chances of finding a job largely depend on the candidate – on his level of English, professional skills, self-presentation skills, knowledge, subtleties, and nuances of the local labor market, and, of course, on activity and perseverance. In this article, we will show you how to look for a job in Australia, being an expat.
Australia is a country of immigrants and here they have always been loyal to visitors. 68% of all migrants come to the country on employment programs. Work in Australia is paid at a decent level, especially for highly sought-after professionals.
You should know that the Australian economy is based on three areas: agriculture, mining, and energy. Australia is one of the countries that have rich resources of grain, sugar, wool, meat, and wine. Here are some of the world’s largest deposits of bauxite, iron ore, zinc, lead.
The presence of such natural resources as uranium, coal, gas is the basis of the country’s energy. Accordingly, specialists in the mentioned industries will always be in demand. Despite the introduction of automation and the latest technology, the number of jobs in Australia has increased by about 1 million over the past decade. Therefore, the Green Continent is one of the most popular professional immigration destinations.
Unemployment is comparatively low here. Secondary education graduates are the hardest to find work in Australia. Unemployment among them is 7%. But among those who graduated from Australian universities and specialized professional courses, the indicator is 2.9 and 4.2%, respectively.
A significant part of the continent’s population are descendants of settlers and yesterday’s immigrants. The authorities issue hundreds of thousands of work visas every year.
Despite the high competition, it is quite possible for foreigners to find a suitable job. Getting a job in agriculture or the service industry is relatively easy there. However, rather high requirements are imposed on qualified specialists applying for high salaries. However, only experience and education will help you take a prestigious and promising vacancy.
Not everyone can get a qualified job in Australia, since this country puts forward considerable requirements for candidates for certain positions. It doesn’t take much work to get an unskilled job. The country gladly accepts people who, for a low pay (by Australian standards), are able to do work that does not require additional knowledge or skills.
The country offers in 2021 a wide list of vacancies that will enable an immigrant to earn good money. However, in order to get this or that job, you need to know that Australian employers are very meticulous about the choice of employees.
Therefore, before you go to earn money in this country, you should find out what requirements are put forward by Australian entrepreneurs to people who want to work in any state of Australia.
General requirements for a foreigner for a work visa:
- In order to get to Australia for work, a person must meet these criteria, as well as fulfill the following conditions:
- Applicant has to be under 45 years of age at the moment of application.
- The person must know English at the Vocational English level or higher, but not lower.
- Applicant should have a diploma that proves his studies and higher or incomplete higher education
- The applicant’s occupation must be on the official list of occupations, which can be viewed on the Australian Department of Migration website.
- A person must present his work book containing a record that he really worked in the declared profession, and for at least one year.
In case all these basic requirements are met, a work visa will be issued to an applicant. Emigration from the country will be carried out and the person will be able to work in Australia.
How to get a work visa?
You can only work in Australia if you have a qualifying work visa. There are several categories of work visas in Australia for temporary and seasonal work, as well as for work with the possibility of obtaining a residence permit.
In general, the process of finding a job and obtaining a work visa outside Australia looks like this:
- Assessment of qualifications from ANZSCO – Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. Your diploma may be required for assessment.
- Then, you need to find an employer willing to hire you.
- Pass all stages of the interview and receive a job offer.
- Pass IELTS or other internationally recognized English test for the required score.
- Apply for a work visa and wait for a response from the officer. The processing time may take 5-12 months.
This process is not as simple as it might seem at first glance since there are a number of requirements that apply to both the employee and the employer. So the employer must have permission to sponsor foreign workers, the vacancy must be on the list of in-demand in Australia and be included in the list of qualified professions. The employee must also be qualified in the Skilled Professions List (SOL) and meet the requirements for educational attainment, work experience, and English language proficiency.
With this in mind, employees can often face some difficulties, such as:
- Many of the candidates do not have a good enough level of English to successfully pass online interviews and pass IELTS, as well as write their resume correctly.
- Employers usually prefer to see a candidate in person for an interview and are not willing to wait six months for him to obtain a visa and be able to start work.
- Local work experience and letters of recommendation from previous employers are also critical to the employer.
Getting Australia work permit
A huge plus of the Australian immigration system is that all documents are submitted online, including a visa. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs of Australia issues the following types of work permits:
- For non-permanent work with an invitation from the company, it is valid for 4 years.
- For temporary work for the provision of services, valid for up to 6 weeks.
- For internships, participation in international cultural exchange programs.
- For permanent employment.
To start the process, the employer must submit an application to the Immigration Department for a permit to employ a foreign worker. At this stage, the sponsor must obtain the approval of the officials. He prepares a detailed report on his company, a list, and a description of the duties of the hired employee.
After obtaining the consent of the authorities, the foreigner proceeds to apply for a work visa. To do this, prepare the following documents:
- foreign passport;
- 4 photographs 3.5 × 4.5 cm;
- completed visa application form;
- original and copy of the working permit;
- an invitation letter from the company;
- information about the employer;
- work book;
- diplomas of education;
- language certificates;
- medical insurance policy under the eMedical system;
- references from past employers;
- documents on property ownership;
- bank statement.
The applicant can be summoned for a personal interview at the consular section of the embassy. During the interview, the applicant must prove that they have no immigration intent. If the employee is already in Australia, they apply for a visa there through their employer.
It is important to remember that employment without a work visa is fraught with deportation from the country and the deprivation of the foreigner’s right to enter Australia.
An important stage of employment in Australia is the recognition of the diploma (Migration Skills Assessment). The decision depends on the Australian professional association for your specialty (doctors, engineers, etc.). For the recognition procedure, it is necessary to collect a package of documents in advance:
- Confirmation of work experience in the specialty work book, certificate from work, 2 personal income tax;
- Language certificate;
- Labor autobiography in English, with a description of 3 professional projects that the applicant worked on.
Everyone applying for a job in Australia passes a competitive selection (Skill Select). To do this, each candidate fills out an online questionnaire on the Embassy’s website (in the same account where applications for a work visa are submitted). The form is called EOI (Expression of Interest). Based on the survey, you will be assigned points that will determine your chances.
Types of work permits
For immigrants, as well as those wishing to come to Australia to work from other CIS countries, there are the following subspecies of work visas:
- Intermittent work (workshop);
- Temporary toil;
- Work on separate plans (internship, practice);
- Emigration for emigrant workers – specific specialists.
Which employer can sponsor you?
An application for a work permit in Australia is made by an employer. Sponsorship can be of two types:
- Standard business sponsorship – when a company hires a limited number of foreigners. To hire new employees, you must submit a separate application.
- Qualified sponsorship – when a large company intends to accept an unlimited number of employees from abroad. This right is granted for 2 years, then it can be extended for a period of 1 year. This does not change the standard requirements for each specific candidate.
The company must be physically present in Australia and operate legally: pay taxes, renew licenses on time. If the company is located outside the country, it must send a sponsorship application to the nearest consulate. The sponsor must be the direct employer of the foreigner being hired, mediation is not permitted.
The sponsor must prove that recruiting workers from overseas will benefit the local economy, help create new jobs and enhance Australia’s international trade links. Also, sponsorship should lead to the development of new technologies and scarce specialties.
The employer provides the state authorities with a package of documents that includes:
- Annual balance sheet and audit report;
- Financial statement;
- Tax reporting;
- Information about the staff;
- Promotional materials about products or services.
Companies take a responsible approach to requesting the right to sponsorship because its consideration costs more than $ 3 thousand. In case of refusal, the money will not be returned.
Professional visas and General Skilled Migration program
Settlement admission programs are developed by the Australian Department of Immigration (DIBP). General Skilled Migration is a government professional immigration program in Australia (abbreviated as GSM). Within its framework, professional visas of 3 types are issued:
- Independent (subclass 189) – for those whose specialty was included in the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
- Skilled Nominated – for people who did not complete the independent program, but their specialty is in demand in one of the regions and is included in the regional Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL).
- Skilled Regional Sponsored – for specialists in demand in the regions who will be sponsored by their relatives and have an invitation from the employer.
- Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa – temporary work visas. Issued for up to 4 years. The required level of language proficiency is 5 points according to the IELTS system. After 2 years, you can reissue for an ENS resident visa. You can bring your family with you. There is also a short-term Working Holiday program where you can apply for a 1 year work visa.
Each applicant goes through the SkillSelect system, that is, selection according to skills, age, education, work experience, knowledge of the English language. Points are awarded for each point. So, for a visa of subclass 189, the minimum number of points is 65.
Wages and taxes
The minimum wage rates are updated every year. This indicator is monitored by a special commission – Fair Work Comission. In 2019, the minimum wage in Australia is AUD 18.93 per hour of work.
This amounts to about 720 AUD per week. Australia ranks first in the world in terms of minimum hourly wages, ahead of Luxembourg, New Zealand, and France. For some categories of unskilled workers, rates are provided below this minimum. According to statistics for 2017, the average salary in the country is 1191.5 AUD per week.
The taxation system for the working population is quite clear and transparent here. Income tax is charged depending on the amount of remuneration:
- Up to 18,200 AUD per year – 0%.
- 18201-37000 – 19%.
- 37001-87000 – 32.5%.
- 87001-180000 – 37%.
- Over 180001 – 45%.
For working immigrants, taxes are different:
- From 0 to 87,000 – 32.5%.
- 87001-180000 – 37%.
- More than 180001 – 45%.
You can calculate the exact amount of payroll tax on the Australian Tax Administration portal using a special online service.
In-demand professions and specialties in Australia
The main source to look for on this subject is the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) occupation codes in demand. The list is constantly updated, depending on the situation on the labor market. Therefore, it is better to watch the current version on the official website.
Qualified specialists with extensive experience in their specialty and with excellent knowledge of the English language will always be in demand. This is especially true for engineers, programmers, doctors who can receive up to 5500 AUD per month. Employers are very responsible for the selection of new employees. Therefore, high demands are placed on the applicant in terms of education, skills, and work experience.
The demand for unskilled labor without knowledge of the language and availability of special skills is also high. The social sector (caring for children and the elderly), construction, transport, agricultural industries, as well as the processing industry are experiencing a shortage of such personnel. In a particular state, the list of professions may differ in its nuances. For such work in Australia, they pay an average of 1600-2500 AUD per month. However, the salary may be higher for those who, in the process of work, take language courses and additional training in the profession.
Cleaning ladies, maids, dishwashers receive an average of 1800 AUD, waiters, food haulers – 2200, shop assistants and handymen at a construction site – within 2500, social workers – 1500.
Truck drivers have always been and will be in demand, they receive about 2000 AUD. For the first 3 months, they can work with their driver’s license, but then they need to obtain an Australian license and take advanced training courses. Since the courses take advantage of the English language, you must provide an IELTS certificate with an average score of at least 5.0. There is an opportunity to prove your rights by passing a driving test.
Farms offer a lot of vacancies. Many of them are engaged in sheep breeding. The salary here is about 20 AUD per hour, but more for qualified specialists (agronomists, veterinarians, technicians). Seasonal work for a period of up to 3 months does not usually require knowledge of the language and professional skills. This sector is in demand for handymen, crop pickers, farmworkers, bricklayers, drivers, plasterers.
The highest salaries in the country are received by miners and workers in the mining industry – from 80 to 240 thousand AUD per year. Doctor and nurse are prestigious and highly paid vacancies (from 80 to 150 thousand AUD per year). Managers and management companies receive from 50 to 300 thousand AUD per year.
Finding jobs through sites
We bring to your attention a selection of work sites for employment in Australia, to use them you need knowledge of English. Let’s start with the classic Internet sites. Below are the most visited, included in the TOP-5.
Seek.com.au is a group that helps people to find employment, education, and volunteering companies that spans Australia, New Zealand, China, Southeast Asia, and more. SEEK is the largest source of volunteer opportunities, offering non-profit organizations free access to use.
Au.jora.com.au is a search engine for finding jobs in Australia. The slogan of the creators: “We understand that finding a job is quite difficult, so we strive to make the site as simple and intuitive as possible.”
Careerone.com.au has been around for a long time. The website traffic is about 0.5 million people per month.
Australia specialized work sites
There are also specialized sites for job search, for example, a special Internet resource for graduates of higher educational institutions Graduatecareers.
Jobnet.com.au was founded in 1995 and very quickly became one of the most popular IT and technical workplaces in Australia. At the moment it offers IT jobs all over the world and offers access to thousands of IT jobs.
BlueCollar.com.au, a self-explanatory site, is Australia’s leading job search board for blue-collar or informal workers such as farmers, drivers, and workers.
Highest salaries in Australia
The highest salaries in Australia can be found in the following mainland jobs:
- Mining and oil and gas on the island. Salaries of qualified workers in this area, depending on the specific position, range from 80-240 thousand dollars per year.
- Environmental engineering, geotechnics, construction design. Engineers get decent money in Australia. The minimum wage for an engineer is $ 60,000 a year, and the highest is around $ 210,000.
- Heads of companies, enterprises. Actually, working as a head of a company, you will get more accountant or financier. The salary of a manager, be it a transport organization, an insurance company or others, fluctuates between 50-240 thousand dollars, depending on what the company does. Therefore, if you have the appropriate diplomas, and also you will fully meet all the requirements of the Australian state, then working immigration to Australia is exactly what you need. You will be able to find the right leadership position for yourself and receive an excellent salary.
- The doctors. Working as a doctor in Australia, on average, you can receive 130-150 thousand dollars, depending on what your specialization is (what you are treating), work experience, in which state you operate, etc.