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Getting a job in Australia on a visa

This is my guide on what you need to do to get settled and get a job on a working holiday visa in Australia:

1) Get your visa in order. Depending on your country of citizenship and age you may be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa (WHV).

*A note on WHV's below

2) Pick your desired location, I would suggest traveling around a bit first to determine where you'd like to "settle" - if you're interested in getting into mining as I was then WA, NT, or QLD are where most of the mines are located

3) Get a cell phone plan when you land (you're going to need one anyway and you'll need a bill for proof of address later - I used the address of the hostel I was staying at and then changed it later).  Depending on where you arrive, this may be done at the airport -  Sydney, for example, had multiple cellular providers competing for your business right outside the doors after you clear customs. Or you can pick one up at just about any convenience store. 

**A note on providers below 

4) Apply for a TFN number (Tax File Number).  You can do this easily online but only once you have arrived in the country.  You will need this to apply for jobs and to do your taxes. Here is the link to get your TFN: 

5) Not necessarily right away but you will also need to set up your myGov account ( and link it to your ATO account (Australian Tax Office - so you can file your taxes. The ATO tax system is very simple (compared to the Canadian/American systems) and can be filed directly online through their website. On a side note the Australian tax year does NOT operate on the calendar year, they run from July 1-June 30 of each year.

***A note on working holiday tax rates below 

6) Open a bank account - this was a lot easier than I expected.  Bring your passport and address into any bank and open up an account (I chose Westpac because they have branches all over the country and are affiliated with my home bank).

(I used the address of the hostel I was staying in at the time and then when I had a more permanent address updated it then and had them send my card to the closest branch)

****A note on bank cards below

7) Get your drivers license transferred over

*****A note on transferring your license below   

8) Apply apply apply.  Everywhere.  Make sure your Australian phone number is on your resume (I tried applying to a bunch of jobs from Canada before I left but no one got back to me and I'm pretty sure that was why).

The main sites that I used for job searches were and, but Gumtree (the Australian equivalent to Craigslist or Kijiji) and FaceBook are two other resources I used.

Some of the recruitment sites that I frequented included: Programmed, CEM Alliance, Protech, Calibre Resources, Chandler Macleod, Workpac, GO2Recruitment, Corestaff, Hays, Mining People, Stellar Recruitment, Torque Recruitment, OneKey Resources, MK2 recruitment, Unite Resourcing, Mass Resources, and Scottford Fennessy.  Some of the actual mines and contractors that I contacted included: BHP, Rio Tinto, FMG, Downers, NRW, MACA, MRL, McMahon, and Roy Hill. Most do not hire directly though, you usually have to go through the recruitment agency first and then if they like you down the road they may hire you on themselves (I've seen anywhere from 3 months to over 1.5 years to go from contractor to permanent). 

******A note on getting into mining or getting other credentials recognized in Australia below

*Working Holiday Visas: The WHV's are available up to just before your 31st birthday (30 inclusive) for some countries or just before your 36th birthday (35 inclusive) for Canada, Ireland, Denmark, France, and Italy (the UK will be joining the latter age group at some point but as of the time of writing (Nov 2022) has not). There is an option to apply for a 2nd and 3rd WHV as long as you have completed 3 months (88 working days) of specified work on your 1st WHV to be eligible for the 2nd, then 6 months of specified work on the 2nd WHV to be eligible for the 3rd AND you must still meet the age requirement upon date of application (ie you can only get 1 year if you apply when you're 30 (or 35 for specified countries) but if you applied at 28 (33), 29 (34) and 30 (35) you could get all 3).

**Cell phone providers:

If you plan on getting into mining or doing other regional work, keep that in mind for your cell phone provider. For example Telstra (and smaller companies like Boost that run on Telstra's network) are generally the only provider in the Pilbara region (mostly iron ore mines in the northwest area of WA), but Optus is the only provider that works out at Tropicana (a gold mine in mid-eastern WA). Optus generally (IMO) seems to have better coverage in the cities and Telstra seems better in rural areas, but this is not always the case. I initially purchased an Optus SIM but switched to Boost when I started at BHP MAC as there was NO Optus coverage on site and Boost has relatively cheap prepaid plans (I was on a $100/6 month plan but they've gotten rid of that and replaced it with a $200/yr plan with less data which I wasn't overly happy about but I'm usually on WiFi anyways so it doesn't really affect me except when I'm traveling around or at work, I'm still generally happy with the service and the cost is still much lower than their competitors so I'm not complaining lol).

***Working Holiday Maker tax rates (from date of writing, subject to change)

15% on your first 45000 in wages

32.5% on income between 45001-120000

37% on income between 120001 and 180000

45% on all income over 180000

****Bank cards in Australia - this was kind of frustrating for me - they will NOT give you a temporary card in the branch, they ship them out to you. So when I opened my bank account in Melbourne but was leaving shortly they told me they would ship my card to a branch of my choosing when I arrived in a more permanent location. This was okay, I arrived in Perth and spoke with the branch in Melbourne and they had my card shipped to a branch in Perth. No issues there. About 6 months later my card deactivated (I think the magnetic strip and my cellphone did not get along but not 100% sure what happened there). Anyways, I called the bank immediately and asked them to ship me a new card, which they did - to the branch I originally opened the account in (in Melbourne grrrr). So I called again and they said they'd resend the card to my home address in Perth, which didn't show up before I had to fly back up to work so I was left with NO bank card for nearly a month by the time it arrived at my home. There is a way to send cash through the bank app to an ATM so I wasn't completely stranded when I was home, but my worksite at the time (MAC) is a cashless site so I was unable to purchase anything while I was away at work.

*****Getting your drivers license tranferred over:

Go to a DoT (department of transportation) location near you and bring 5 pieces of ID/proof of address (well for WA anyway, not sure about the other states. WA also let's you keep your old license whereas I know at least a couple of the other states will take your other one away).  There are 4 identity categories that need to be satisfied, my passport was one which is also tied to my visa which was another category (they are able to look this up using your passport - you don't need to bring the visa details with you), then I used my bank card, a bank statement with current address, and a cell phone statement (well I actually had to call the phone company and get them to send me a "proof of balance" as I didn't have a statement with my new address on it yet). 

For WA proof of identity requirements see and scroll down to the bottom and download "Your Secure Identity: Meeting proof of identity requirements (Fact sheet)" for a list of the requirements. If you have everything ready with you when you go (all with your current Aus address) then you can avoid having to go back multiple times like I had to 😂)

******Some industries require specific tickets or certificates in order to work in that industry:

For example, you would need to get an RSA (responsible service of alcohol) if you want to work in a licensed facility (and I believe these are state specific so you would want to obtain one for the state you will be residing in).

In order to operate equipment It may be necessary to aquire a ticket (in some states but not necessarily in WA - depending on the company you are applying for and if you're applying for a traineeship or as an experienced operator). If you have experience I recommend finding a training company in your area that will do an RPL (recognition of prior learning) for your previous work as an operator. You will need to get your RIIMPO338E(F,G etc if superceded) ticket to operate rigid frame dump trucks or an RIIMPO337E(F,G etc if superceded) to operate articulated dump trucks.  There are separate tickets for excavator/dozer/etc. However some companies do not require this as they will want you to go through their training processes on site.  I did find two training companies in Perth that would do it (not sure about other states though): and I personally used Training One and can definitely recommend them. 

Some companies (all civil work, but some mines as well) will require a "white card".  This is a general safety course that can be done online in WA and TAS but I believe has to be completed in the classroom for other states (but is only a couple hours or so long course).  The only issue I had here was borrowing some PPE in order to do the video demonstration.


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