Working in Australia

Cairns has many part-time job opportunities for students who wish to support themselves during their stay in Australia. If you are interested in earning some extra money and working in Australia there are several things you should know before you start looking for a job.

Your level of English and limited work hours play an important part in finding work in Cairns. You will find more opportunities in the hospitality and service industries such waitress/waiter, shop attendant, kitchen hand, and cleaner. This industry does not always require a high level of English, offers flexible working hours and has a high turnover of staff.

Tax File Number

As long as you are on a Student Visa or are a Working Holiday Visa holder you are eligible to find work and will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) for taxation purposes. If you do start work before you get your TFN, you have 28 days to provide your TFN to your employer. Registering for TFN is fairly simple and straight forward.

  • Apply Online for a TFN
  • If you do not have a Tax File Number, you may have more tax withheld than necessary.
  • When you stop work, ask your employer for a payment summary (total income/tax withheld), as you will need this payment summary to complete your tax return. You must lodge a tax return before you leave Australia.
  • For more information or assistant please visit our student reception.

Work Permission

Student Visa holder may work for up to 40 hours per fortnight (outside of school hours) and you don’t need to apply for work permission.


Your wage will vary from place to place; however, you can expect to receive anywhere from AU$12 – AU$20 per hour. Most companies pay wages every fortnight.

Where to Find Work

  • The Cairns Post (Wednesday + Saturday)
  • Living Cairns (Japanese)
  • Notice boards in shopping centres
  • Approach local businesses
  • Asks other students
  • CLC Jobs Board

Job Seekers Websites