The capital of South Australia and Australia’s most affordable city, Adelaide is the perfect place for students wanting an authentic Aussie lifestyle without the extra expense. Away from the frantic pace of the megacities, Adelaide is bordered by 5,000km of coast, with vineyards, lush hills, sheep stations, mountains and deserts all within easy reach. It has a thriving festival culture, more restaurants per capita of any city and the biggest fresh produce market in the Southern Hemisphere, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that there is nothing going on!
With so much to see and do, getting a casual job in Adelaide is the way to go for students wanting a little extra income and financial freedom. As well as sponsoring your fun and quality of life, working part time is actually a great way to make friends, engage with the local community and even work on your English if you’re an international student.
Of course, studying can be a really busy time trying to juggle classes, revision, exams and a social life, so it’s important to find a job that’s flexible enough to fit around your uni timetable. So how do you find part time student work in Adelaide? Here are some pointers to get you started and prepared to job hunt.
What you’ll need to apply for work in Adelaide
An Australian Tax File Number (TFN). You can apply for one of these through the Australia Taxation Office and it basically helps keep your tax in check and make sure you’re not losing too much of your income.
An Australian bank account. This is pretty straightforward for most Aussies, but as an international student you’ll need to open what’s called a transaction account. Many employers will only hire you if you have one as it’s much easier to pay you that way. Any bank you choose to go with should be able to help you with that really easily.
Know that the minimum wage in Australia is currently just over $18/hr, as set by Fair Work. Knowing your rights will make sure that you don’t get ripped off!
International students: your Australian student visa permits you to work up to 40hrs every two weeks. It is important to respect that fact, because the consequences can be severe for your Australian study plans! Casual work should be flexible enough to work around this, and you’ll still be making roughly $366 per week on average if you’re earning minimum wage! That goes a long way in Adelaide.
Write up or update your resume/curriculum vitae (CV). This is the usual standard in Adelaide and will usually be asked of you when you’re applying for work. It shows employers your work experience, skills and a bit of additional info on what makes you you.
In your CV, you’ll always need to include your:
- Name and clear contact details
- Education and qualifications
- Professional experience and job history
- Any skills relevant to the job
- Major achievements and personal interests
If you’re job hunting online, you’ll generally need to submit your CV digitally via the application form or an email address. On the other hand, if you want to find work in more social settings, like retail and hospitality for instance, it’s quite accepted in Adelaide to physically drop by and give your CV to a manager.
How to find student jobs in Adelaide
A great way to get cracking on your student job hunt is none other than our good friend the Internet. There are massive online databases like Career One and SEEK that list job advertisements and put you in touch with prospective employers. Otherwise, if you want something a bit more specific to casual work, Backpacker Job Board and Student Edge focus on part-time gigs that are a good for students and internationals.
For Facebook users, it might be worth having a hunt for job-specific groups and pages, like The Adelaide Bartender Exchange or Adelaide Nanny/Babysitting Jobs. Otherwise, OneShift is the place to go for one-off shift listings and last minute fill-in jobs.
Also don’t disregard the option of working in your residence or university. Some student accomodation services and many universities have job opportunities, which is really convenient. You can save time on transit to and from work, get to know your uni community and meet other students, all while earning a bit of money.
The key takeaway is this – don’t be afraid to get out there and introduce yourself to local businesses!
Top 5 student jobs in Adelaide
One of the most popular student jobs, bartending is perfect for those wanting social work that doesn’t eat up too many hours of the day. The freedom of opting for night shifts means it’s really easy to work around your uni timetable, plus if you fancy yourself a bit of a social butterfly working in bars is great for banter and you’ll be serving people who are out to have a good time.
Adelaide’s small bar scene has exploded over the past few years, with laneway watering holes, trendy eateries, clubs, live-music spots and terraces popping up all over the place. From Bank Street’s underground cocktail joints to Peel Street’s grungy bars, to the clubs along Crippen Place, Adelaide has put its focus on creating pedestrian-friendly social hubs. This means safe zones full of good vibes where people can spill out onto the streets and wander around. Plus, with such a developed wine industry and a high student population, the pubs and bars are buzzing.
As a bartender, you’ll be serving customers, making conversation, pouring beers, cleaning and even making cocktails if that’s required. It’s a great way to practice your English conversation if you’re an international student and many venues offer specific wine and cocktail training to staff who are eager to learn.
You’ll need an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate) to be legally allowed to serve alcohol, and also an RCG (Responsible Conduct of Gambling Certificate) for any venues that have pokies (slot machines) or gambling. These can be completed over a 1-day course and there are a number of different companies that offer them, so make sure you look into it if you’re after a bar job.
You can make around $20-25/hr as a bartender, sometimes more on Sundays. There isn’t a compulsory tipping culture in Adelaide, but you can still earn tips if you offer awesome service with a smile.
For those not keen on being around drunk people but still wanting to work in hospitality, working as a waiter generally means flexible shifts, a lot of contact with customers, and a social team environment. You’ll be expected to take orders, carry plates of food and drinks, clean tables and maybe work the cash register. It’s also a great way to practice basic conversation skills if you’re still learning English!
In Adelaide, a love for good coffee and food coupled with a relatively low cost of dining out (compared to other Australian cities) means a thriving culinary scene. That’s good news if you’re wanting waitressing work, as new laneway eateries and trendy cafes are flooding the city and are all in need of staff. It’s good to know though that any venues serving alcohol might need you to have an RSA.
Adelaide’s Gouger Street is a favourite zone for students and hosts multicultural cheap eats establishments like East Taste, Star House and Ying Chow. The Parade at Norwood is a hub for cafes and can be a good place to drop off resumes, with popular establishments like Argo On The Parade, Pavé and Sfizio. Else if you want to work dinner shifts, check out popular restaurants like Osteria Oggi, Orana and Africola.
With waitressing work, your shifts will depend on whether you’re serving breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, so pick what suits you best. You can often get discounted or free meals from your workplace – job perks!
You can also look into applying for companies like Hire A Waiter and Weslo Staff that supply waitstaff for private functions, hotels and events.
Working in retail is a great option for students. The hours are usually quite flexible, it’s stable work and the customer service skills you’ll learn look great on your resume. You’ll be helping customers with recommendations and item sales, tidying the clothing racks and working the cash register usually alongside other assistants, so it’s a great way to practice English and feel like you’re part of a team.
Adelaide’s busiest shopping destination is called Rundle Mall and has over 700 stores, so that’s a really easy place to target if you want to drop off resumes in bulk to increase your chances of getting a call back. Otherwise, look for high-end boutiques on Rundle Street and King William Road, or other shopping hubs like Charles Street Plaza, Adelaide Arcade and Burnside Village.
You can keep retail work really casual, or you can aim to move up in the store hierarchy to higher-paid positions. Usually your average rate will be $19/hr as entry level sales assistant, and you can often score store discounts.
Nanny & Babysitting
For students in Adelaide who like kids, have you thought about nannying? Full-time au-pair work generally won’t work with your uni timetable, but there are families who sometimes need a hand on certain afternoons or days of the week, which is perfect. This could include picking the kids up from school, playing with them, supervising homework, doing a few jobs around the house or cooking basic meals. Depending on the kids, it can be a much more laid back job than say working in a busy restaurant. And it’s often rewarding developing relationships with the kids and family.
Adelaide actually has a number of playgrounds and adventure parks for kids, like Bush Magic Playground and Jubilee Park, which can be a great way to get some sunlight and spend more time outdoors (if their parents are comfortable with it, of course!). There are sometimes even requests for nannies who speak a language other than English, so that could be a great fit if you’re an international student. Expect to earn from $20/hr (usually in cash!).
There’s also the option of babysitting, which is generally less time consuming and even more flexible. Early bedtime for kids means prime studying windows before their parent/s get home, and it’s a great way to earn an extra buck on quiet evenings. Babysitters Now and Find A Babysitter have listings for Adelaide and could be a good way to find and apply for jobs.
This is a relatively newly popular line of work since the explosion and expansion of food delivery companies. As a job for students it’s awesome, as the hours are entirely flexible and up to you. You’ll generally work off a smartphone app and choose when to log in, which deliveries to accept and when you’ve had enough. Really convenient if you want to make money during a study break or fill in your quiet evenings.
For anyone not keen on customer service, workplace hierarchies, being locked into a work routine or nervous about their English skills, this could be the perfect fit for you. You’ll get to work solo and basically be your own boss. The easiest option is of course having your own car, motorbike or scooter, but companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo have bicycles as a transport option, which is great for international students and anyone wanting to keep fit. Think of it as being paid to work out!
Adelaide hotspots for food delivery are all around the CBD, especially around Hindley, Currie and Rundle Streets, and the suburbs of Norwood, Burnside, North Adelaide and Glenelg. It’s a great way to get to know the city better and you can make around $16-24/hr.
Pro tip: delivering food during thunderstorms and bad weather often means price surges, which is great for your wallet but probably not fantastic if you’re on a bicycle.
We hope that gives you a good idea of where to start if you’re looking for part time student jobs in Adelaide. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant, busy workplace like bartending and waitressing, or keen to be your own boss and deliver food, there are plenty of options for casual work that can fit around your uni timetable.
Good luck on your job hunt!