The Best Part Time Jobs for Students in Australia

Juggling working with studying can be tough when you’re a student, particularly if you also want to enjoy the social aspect that university or college life offers. But the reality is that the cost of living is becoming more expensive and getting a part time job is a necessity for most students these days.


Choosing the right kind of part time job is important. Your priority should be your study and getting good marks to impress your future employer. However, the right part time job can provide you more than just money. It can also give you invaluable work experience that will look great on your resume and set you apart from other job candidates once you graduate.

This guide sets out some great part time jobs for students, as well as tips on where to look for these opportunities and the pay and other benefits you could receive.

Office Experience

By far the best type of part time job to get while you are studying is a job in the area that you eventually want to start your career. Not only will you get to see first hand how the workplace operates, you can speak directly to people in the type of jobs you want and suss out exactly which direction you want to go in once you graduate.

This is also a great way to get real-world experience that can be added to your resume and make you a stand out candidate once you start applying for jobs. If you impress, you may even be offered a full time position where you work.

Part time job for studentsMany businesses are happy to hire part time students to work in administration and reception. But these types of jobs can be competitive and they get snapped up early on in the school year, especially those located close to your university or college.

Start looking for administration positions in January. You can search online job sites like Seek or CareerOne for part time and casual jobs in your field of study. However, many part time office administration jobs are not advertised. So a better bet is to approach local firms directly.

Get your resume in order and ask to speak with the practice manager or owner about part time opportunities. Demonstrate your passion for the industry and willingness to work hard. Have a good idea about the hours that you can dedicate, but make sure you let them know about periods when you will be unavailable (such as exam time).

The pay is usually a bit better than minimum wage, with most businesses offering starting rates of $23 per hour for an 18 year old casual, and the more experience you gain, the higher your pay can be. You might also get benefits such as an end of year bonus.


Work in a café, restaurant or bar can be a great way for a student to earn money year round. Restaurants and cafes usually offer shifts ranging from early morning to late at night, so you can work shifts that fit in with your timetable.

These jobs can be physically demanding as you will be on your feet for four hours or more each shift. But they are not too mentally taxing and there is a social aspect to them as well that means your shift can just fly by.

Cafes, restaurants and bars hire most staff on a casual basis so there are plenty of opportunities to find work. Some jobs will be advertised on sites such as Seek or CareerOne, but as this is a fast changing industry you will have better luck directly approaching the places you want to work and asking about availabilities.

Pay rates start at minimum wage, which is currently $20 per hour for a casual, and you get paid even more on Sundays and Public Holidays. If you are friendly and can connect with customers, you may also earn tips, which could mean an extra $20 to $50 per shift.

Summer Holiday Jobs

If you can’t commit to a regular part time job but want to make some money during the uni holidays, then there are also plenty of opportunities for you.

During the summer holidays retail stores take on extra staff to cope with pre-Christmas rush and the end of season sales and this can be a great way to earn extra money during the holidays, without committing to a permanent job.

Summer retail jobs are advertised starting in September, so be on the lookout early if this is the type of work you want to do. You will usually just have to fill in a form and submit your resume, then you will be called in for a group interview. Dress to impress and be friendly, but not too outgoing. Employers will want you to be relatively flexible to come in for shifts last minute, so this is great if you would otherwise just be hanging around at home.

Pay is usually based on the casual minimum wage, with extra pay for Sundays and Public Holidays. This can be a lucrative way to earn money fast, as many regular full time employees will be taking time off to spend with their families at Christmas and you can get a lot of shifts. You probably won’t receive a staff discount right away, but if you are taken on as a permanent casual you can get some great benefits and discounts.

These jobs are advertised online and in store at larger retailers and department stores. Big department stores such as Myer and David Jones take on hundreds of Christmas casuals across their stores throughout Spring and Summer and are regularly recruiting to cover leave for permanent employees. If you live in a popular tourist spot you can also directly approach smaller stores as they often require casuals to help with the influx of visitors over summer.

Freelancing and working for yourself

If you don’t have the time to work regular shifts and are planning on travelling during your holidays, there are still ways to earn money while studying. If you want very casual work that you can take on as your study timetable allows, then freelancing and working for yourself are great options. There are so many more opportunities for casual work, both online and offline.


If you are good with kids then one of the best jobs as a student is working as a babysitter or mother’s help after school and on weekends. Parents are always on the lookout for reliable, friendly and responsible young adults to help them out while one or both parents is at work. This can be a great job as you can take on work only as your schedule allows. And once the kids are asleep, you can do your schoolwork, essentially getting paid to study.

Ask around your parent’s friends and people you know with young kids and let them know you are available for babysitting and after school care. The pay may not be as great as in an office or retail store, but you usually get paid in cash and you can negotiate your hourly rate.

Rates start at around $15 if you don’t have any qualifications, but you can ask for more if you have any childcare qualifications or first aid certificates.

Freelancing online

Freelance as a studentIf you can write (and as a uni student, you should be able to) or have any talent with websites or blogs, then looking for work as a freelancer online is a perfect way to make money part time at hours that suit you.

Sites such as PeoplePerHour and Freelancer connect talented workers with people looking to fill short-term, ad hoc jobs. If you have writing talent, coding skills or a skill for design, you are certain to find a position online. Just make sure you don’t sell your skills short – although you may have to accept a few low paying jobs at the start to build your reputation, you don’t want to get stuck at the bottom too long. Once you have demonstrated your talent, you’ll want to move quickly into better paying markets and work with clients that appreciate you.

Working online can be lucrative and it’s possible to earn upwards of $40 per hour within only a short amount of time if you have the right skills and can market yourself.

And even if you think you don’t have writing or techie skills, you can still earn money online. If you have any talent or skill you can earn by teaching and tutoring virtually. Sites such as TutorBee connect tutors with students through their online classroom. If you are a math whiz or science expert, you could help out other students online when it suits you. You set your own rate and work only when it suits you. Plus, helping others also helps you – studies show that the best way to understand and retain information is to teach it.