Voted the world’s most liveable city seven years in a row, Melbourne is a thriving, buzzing city that offers an incredible quality of life for students who choose to live there. The streets are lined with graffiti murals and art installations, cafe terraces, hole-in-the-wall bars and buskers, offering a world-renowned, multicultural dining scene as eclectic as it is delicious. The city is also known as the live music capital of Australia and is home to some of our top universities, so it’s little wonder that Melbourne has become a hub for students.
With so much culture and activity to get around, picking up a casual job in Melbourne as a student is a great way to earn some extra income and really get immersed in the city life. Plus, it’s actually also just an awesome way to meet new people, socialise and even practice your English if you’re an international student.
We know that studying can be pretty hectic though, so it’s really important to find work that’s flexible with your uni timetable and exam periods. So what do you need to do to get part time student work in Melbourne? Here are some important points to know first up so you’re prepared to apply for jobs.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO APPLY FOR WORK IN MELBOURNE
An Australian bank account. This is something most Aussies will have, but it’s really important as an international student to set one up. Just ask any Australian bank to open a transaction account for you. It makes it easier for employers to pay you and it’s often a condition of employment that you have one.
An Australian Tax File Number (TFN). This is to ensure you’re being taxed the correct amount on your income and get a tax return if relevant. You can apply for your TFN via the Australian Taxation Office.
It’s important to know your rights. Fair Work sets a minimum wage standard in Australia, which is currently around the $18/hr mark. Because this number occasionally changes, it is strongly suggested that you visit the Fair Work website prior to applying for work to make sure you’re not being ripped off!
If you’re an international student, know that your Australian student visa allows you to work up to 20hrs per week. It’s really important to seek a job that allows you to respect that. (If you’re earning minimum wage, that adds up to around $366 per week, which is a solid bit of extra income without taking too much of a toll on your study time!)
Put together a resume/curriculum vitae (CV). This is generally expected when applying for student jobs in Melbourne and helps employers assess your skills, work experience and capabilities when considering you for a particular role.
Always include in your CV:
- Name and contact details
- Qualifications and education
- Professional experience and employment history
- Technical skills that align with the job
- Personal achievements and interests
Often jobs found online will have a designated application form or email address to send your CV through to. With more social jobs like hospitality and retail, it can be a good option to drop off your CV in person after chatting with the manager.
HOW TO FIND STUDENT JOBS IN MELBOURNE
Being the digital age and all, the internet can be your best friend if you’re a student looking for work. The biggest online databases for Australia job-seekers are SEEK and Career One, or check out Student Edge and Backpacker Job Board for more tailored casual job listings. If you’re on Facebook, it can be useful to check out specific groups and pages like The Melbourne Bartender Exchange or Melbourne Nanny/Babysitting Jobs. Otherwise, you can always sign up for OneShift and keep a lookout for one-off shifts and casual jobs.
If you’re after convenience, some student housing providers (like us!) will have jobs going within their residences, and many universities also offer jobs on campus. This can shave a lot of time off your job hunt, which can sometimes be time consuming and daunting. Working where you live and study can also be a great way to meet your student community and get more involved with your institution.
TOP 5 STUDENT JOBS IN MELBOURNE
A popular option for students in Melbourne, working in a bar is social, flexible and great when you’ve got busy days at uni and want to opt for night shifts. There’s a big bar culture throughout the city, with hidden nooks in every laneway, converted industrial warehouse pubs, rooftop terraces and new establishments constantly popping up. Whether you’re after a relaxed pub kind of vibe or a super trendy cocktail bar, you’ll honestly be spoiled for choice.
If you’re saying in our student residences in Carlton, the Carlton Yacht Club Bar is the place to go for cocktails and pizza and the Shaw Davey Slum is a student favourite for rooftop jugs of beer. Check out old favourites Dan O’Connell Hotel, the Clyde Hotel and the Great Northern Hotel for laid back pub vibes. Or there’s Gerald’s Bar and the Carlton Wine Room for – you guessed it – a glass of wine.
As a bartender, expect to make conversation with customers, pour beers, learn your way around the drinks menu and keep the place looking neat and tidy. If you’re working in a cocktail bar you’ll need to know how to whip those up, but plenty of venues offer training for staff lacking in experience who are eager to learn.
You’ll need to get your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate) and (in some cases) RCG (Responsible Conduct of Gambling Certificate) to be legally allowed to serve alcohol, which costs about $200. The 1-day course is very easy to pass and offered by a bunch of different companies, so make sure you get that done before applying for bar work.
Bartending wage is usually $20-25/hr, with many venues paying a higher rate on Sundays. Melbourne doesn’t have a compulsory tipping culture, but you can earn some extra cash if you offer quality service to your customers.
Another great student job, working as waiter generally means flexibility with shifts and an added social aspect to your day. You’ll have plenty of contact with customers, which is great practice for international students living in Melbourne who want to work on their English skills. Generally your role would include taking orders, taking food out to customers, wiping tables and cleaning.
On the cafe and restaurant front, Melbourne has a lot to offer. Like, a lot. Australia fancies itself as the coffee capital of the world, and Melbournites would contest that they are the coffee capital of Australia. Carlton is a standout area for dining, as are Richmond and Fitzroy. Carlton’s Lygon Street is well known for its Italian influence, resulting in some of the best pasta, pizza and gelato you can find in Melbourne. If that sounds like you, check out 400 Gradi and Brunetti to see if they’re hiring.
Otherwise, with the University of Melbourne around the corner, there are dozens of student favourite cheap eats places like Cafe Italia, Saigon Pho, Papa Gino’s and Animal Orchestra you could look into. And for all you coffee nerds, Seven Seeds (right around the corner from our University Square accommodation!), Assembly Carlton and Heartattack and Vine offer some of the best in Carlton and are a great place to start if you’re dropping off resumes.
Waitstaff hours differ depending on the establishment, so you’ll either be working morning, lunch time or dinner shifts. Often you’ll score discounted or free meals from your workplace, which is always great. Though not paid quite as much as bartending, waitstaff make on average $17.30 per hour, with the chance to make tips.
Otherwise catering companies like The Talent Kitchen and I Need Event Staff have branches in Melbourne that hire waitstaff for private events, functions and hotels. Note that any venue serving alcohol may require you to have an RSA.
Australia’s undisputed fashion capital, Melbourne is the place to go for shopping. This means an abundance of retail outlets and high end boutiques, as well as a thriving vintage store and thrift shop culture the city is known for (perfect for stretching those hard-earned student dollars across outfits).
With Melbourne’s urban grid layout, there are actually long strips of streets that are well known hot spots for shopping, like Chapel Street, Collins Street and Brunswick Street. Otherwise, larger shopping complexes like Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne Central and the Melbourne Emporium could be good spots to target when handing out resumes.
Retail work is another awesome option for students and can be tailored to fit your uni timetable. You’ll be responsible for helping customers in the store, putting through sales and keeping the space nice and tidy, so there’s generally plenty of opportunity once again to practice your English conversation skills if you need it.
Whether you want something easy on the side or are keen to move up in the ranks to a higher-paid position, retail work also gives you great customer service skills that look good to future employers reading your CV. Average pay is $19/hr, and there are often fun perks associated, like getting a store discount.
Nanny & Babysitting
If you’re comfortable around children and like hanging out with them, Nannying part time can be a great casual job for students. Although full time Au-pair work won’t work with your uni schedules, there are often families needing help on specific days or afternoons during the week. This could entail fetching the kids from school, helping out with homework, looking after them during the day, doing basic household chores or cooking simple meals.
With so many public parks and green spaces, Melbourne is a great place to spend time outdoors with kids (if their parents are happy for you to take them out, of course!). There’s the Carlton Gardens, Yarra Park, the King’s Domain and Royal Park to name but a few. Sometimes families put out requests for bilingual nannies, so this could be a great way to get your foot in the door if you speak a language other than English. Nannying is also really rewarding as you develop relationships with the family and kids, and you’ll generally be paid in cash – and usually upwards of $20/hr.
If nannying isn’t a good fit, perhaps short term babysitting jobs work better for you. These are great for filling up quiet evenings and making some extra money. If you’re putting the kids to bed early, that’s a perfect time to get stuck into some study before their parent/s get home. Check out Babysitters Now and Find A Babysitter if you want to register as a babysitter and keep an eye on jobs.
Ideal for those who aren’t a big fan of customer service and don’t mind spending some time solo, more and more students are turning to food delivery as a great job option with flexible hours. New food delivery companies keep popping up, and Melbourne’s grid layout makes navigating the streets much easier to get the hang of.
If you have your own car, scooter or motorbike, you’re pretty much free to pick whichever company you like. Otherwise Uber Eats and Deliveroo offer the option of delivering by bicycle – great for international students without vehicles – for which you’ll be praising Melbourne’s relatively flat roads. Melbourne is a haven for cyclists, and you’ll find plenty of cycle lanes to help you get from A to B without a car. Plus you might save on a gym membership with all the exercise you’re likely to get!
Food delivery work like this is generally run through smartphone apps. Once you sign up, you choose when to log on and be active, which deliveries you want to take on and how long you want your shifts to be. This is extremely convenient if you have a few hours to spare here and there, and you’ll know Melbourne like the back of your hand after doing it for a while. You can also earn on average $16-24/hr.
Pro tip: take full advantage of price surges during popular food-ordering windows.
Well there you have it. Our five top jobs for students in Melbourne. From working in hospitality to delivering food, there are so many options for finding part time work that can fit your uni timetable and help you to improve your English language skills. Brush up that CV and get hunting – good luck!