Working while you study

  • You are entitled to take a part-time job on a student visa.  Photo credit: The Hotel School SydneyYou are entitled to take a part-time job on a student visa. Photo credit: The Hotel School Sydney

Australia

Australian student visas usually allow full time students to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time, and unlimited hours during summer holidays. The minimum wage in Australia is currently $15.96 before tax.

Almost all Australian colleges have a Student Job Search service, to help students find part time work during term time and the summer holidays. If you need to get part-time work, make sure you join or access this as soon as you can and check the job boards regularly, as new offers from employers come in all the time.

If you’ve already got experience in a particular area – whether it’s serving behind a bar, office work or waiting tables in restaurants – make sure you’re well-prepared before you leave home, so you can hit the ground running in your search for work. Take an up-to-date CV with you, and references from previous jobs.

If you want to get a job in Australia that involves serving alcohol, please note you will need an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate to do this.

It is possible to do this training online and get your certificate before you arrive in Australia, although not all states accept online courses – Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, for example, all insist on face-to-face RSA training.

While most of the students we work with at Study Options choose to work while they study, please remember there is no guarantee of finding part-time work, and definitely no way of knowing how long it might take you to get the job you want. It’s important to budget with this in mind. Don’t assume you’ll be able to step off the plane straight into a high-paying part time job – have a backup plan!

New Zealand

New Zealand student visas usually allow full time students enrolled on courses that meet INZ requirements to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during the summer holidays.

The majority of New Zealand colleges have a Student Job Search service, to help students find part time work during term and in the summer holidays. If you need to get part-time work, make sure you join this as soon as you can and check the job boards regularly, as new offers from employers come in all the time.

If you’ve already got some experience in a particular area – whether it’s serving behind a bar, office work or waiting tables in restaurants – get yourself prepared before you leave home, so you can hit the ground running in your search for work. Take an up-to-date CV with you, and references from previous jobs.

The minimum wage in New Zealand is currently $13 before tax. Working 10 hours at $13 per hour would get you $113.70 after tax; working 20 hours at $13 per hour would get you $227.40 after tax.

In order to work in New Zealand, you will need an IRD (tax) number. IRD is the Inland Revenue Department – New Zealand’s tax department. It’s a good idea to apply for an IRD number as soon as possible after arriving in New Zealand – you can get an application form at a PostShop. You’ll need to show your passport and New Zealand student visa, plus evidence of registration at a student.

While most of the students Study Options works with work while they study, please remember there is no guarantee of finding work, and definitely no way of knowing how long it might take you to get what you want. It’s important to budget with this in mind – don’t assume you’ll be able to step off the plane straight into a high-paying part time job – have a backup plan!

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