In Western Australia, it’s very common for local and international students to work part-time while they study.
If you have a student visa and you've started your course, you and your family members may be able to work during your stay in Australia.
For official information about work arrangements for student visa holders and their families, see the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.
Looking for a job
When you start looking for a job, you should prepare a resume or CV that includes details of your education, previous work experience and skills.
A lot of students find jobs working in cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels and shops. Many prefer to look for a part-time job by walking around shopping and food districts and leaving copies of their resume at cafes, restaurants and shops.
You can also look for work on student notice boards at your campus, in the local newspaper or online at websites such as SEEK and MyCareer. Check with your campus to see if they have a careers office.
Remember to dress well for job interviews and always arrive on time.
Find out more information and tips on getting a part-time job here.
Getting paid to work
Western Australia has a minimum wage – this means that workers can’t get paid less than what the government has specified for their age and area of work. Before you start work, you should check that your hourly rate meets the minimum wage requirements.
You can check whether your pay and conditions are fair using WA PayChecker on the Department of Commerce website.
It’s not common to get paid in cash – your employer should pay your income into your bank account and give you a payslip each time. A payslip is a record of the hours you worked, how much you earned and how much tax you paid.
Tax and superannuation
Before you start work, you’ll need to apply for an Australian tax file number (TFN). It’s free and you can apply online or in person at the Australian Taxation Office. You should then give your TFN to your employer. At the end of the Australian financial year (30 June) your employer should give you a group certificate so that you can lodge an Australian tax return.
Your employer should also pay superannuation on your behalf. In Australia, superannuation is often called ‘super’. A super fund is a retirement savings fund – your employer can suggest a super fund or you can choose your own. You should be able to get this money after leaving Australia.
Information and support
As an international student working in Western Australia, it’s important that you’re familiar with fair work guidelines and understand where you can get help.
While most employers in Western Australia follow government workplace regulations and aim to treat all employees fairly, sometimes students run into problems with their employer which they cannot resolve alone.
In some situations, a different cultural background, lack of knowledge of employment rights or fear of losing a job can lead to exploitation or unfair working conditions.
The Labour Relations division of the Department of Commerce provides support to international student workers and can help you understand your rights and resolve problems with your employer. Their free services include telephone advice, one-on-one meetings and seminars (available on request). They can also provide interpreting assistance.
To find out more or to get help, contact Labour Relations on 1300 655 266 or visit their website.
Wageline is a free and confidential employment information service. They can help you with information about:
- Pay rates
- Conditions of employment
- Workplace awards and agreements
For more information, contact Wageline on 1300 655 266 between 8.30am and 5.00pm weekdays (from 9.00am on Wednesdays) or visit their website.
WA PayChecker is an online wages calculator that allows you to check whether your pay and conditions are fair.
You can use WA PayChecker to:
- Check how the pay or conditions of your proposed employment contract/agreement compare to the set award for Western Australia.
- Calculate how much you could earn over a year, including leave entitlements, allowances and penalties.
- Compare the calculations with your proposed agreement or contract.
Find out more about WA PayChecker or use the calculator at the Department of Commerce website.
For more information on Living in Western Australia
Visit the Perth Education City website.