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Work while you study

Your international student visa allows you to work while you are in Western Australia (WA).

You can work up to 48 hours a fortnight during semester, and unlimited hours during semester breaks.

WA is an ideal place to work while you study. With an abundance of job openings available, Perth offers many opportunities for casual or part time work.

Aside from earning extra money, working while you study gives you the chance to make new friends, develop your resume, and build a network of connections.

Another benefit for non-native English speakers – work gives you an opportunity to practice your language skills! 

    TAFE student at front of hospitality workplace setting

    Finding a casual or part time job 

    StudyPerth hosts a free international student Jobs Board as part of the StudyPerth ProsPER portal(opens in a new tab).

    If your study program includes an unpaid work experience requirement, you may work more than the 40 hours per fortnight (provided this is part of your program). You should contact the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new tab) before you proceed to make sure you are not breaching visa conditions. 

    You should not rely on part time income to pay tuition fees. After starting your course, you can discuss work options with the International Student Coordinator at your college. This will help you assess options based on your course commitments and workload. 

    There are often part time jobs available in the hospitality and retail sectors, but competition is often strong. It is a good idea to prepare a resume and take the time to prepare for a job interview. 

    Differences between casual and part time work 

    As a casual employee, you have no paid leave entitlements and no guaranteed hours of work. Casual workers receive a higher hourly wage, and an adult can expect to earn a minimum of AUD$23.23 per hour.

    As a part time employee, you get the same leave entitlements as a full time employee, and a guaranteed number of hours of work per week. Part time employees cannot work more than 38 hours a week.

    Know your rights

    Australia has laws protecting workers. These govern and guide what employers should pay their employees, and the working conditions employees should be provided with (hours, break times, occupational health and safety requirements, and leave entitlements).  

    The International Students Fair Work Factsheet(opens in a new tab) is produced by the Australian Government and outlines your rights in the workplace.  

    Check the Department of Home Affairs website(opens in a new tab) for more information about work conditions for student visa holders.  

    Translated versions of these videos are available on the Fairwork website(opens in a new tab).  

    Get a tax file number

    To work in Australia, you need a tax file number.

    You can apply online for a tax file number with the Australian Tax Office (ATO)(opens in a new tab). Application processing can take up to 28 days.  

    Last updated on March 15, 2024