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How to Get a Job in Construction in Australia


Construction companies always look for general laborers, but it’s definitely an advantage to have the skills in a certain trade. That way you can look for jobs in your field and you’ll be rewarded with better pay. If you have experience working in construction it shouldn’t be much of a problem to find such a job, especially in bigger cities, and there’s plenty of hours. You might have periods when you get fewer hours due to, for example, rainy weather. It goes without saying that you should be physically fit and able to endure hot weather. 

In the construction business, the employees are required to go through a sort of health and safety training, at the end of which they’re handed a so-called White card.  The prices of the White card start at AUD 50. You can obtain your White Card online only for QLD and WA, however, all the White Cards are valid throughout Australia, therefore it’s no problem for you to be working with your WA White Card in NSW, for example. 

In some cases, to get a job in construction you might be asked to register for your ABN. You need to have your TFN before getting ABN. The process is pretty easy and can be done online here.

General work information

Types of employment

In Australia, you can be hired as full time, part-time or casual employee. You’ll find out the difference between these types of employment further ahead.

Full time

  • The employee works a guaranteed amount of hours per week (at least 38).
  • The employee has to give notice when they want to quit, and the employer has to give notice when they want to let the employee go.
  • The employee is entitled to sick leave and annual leave.


  • The employee works a guaranteed amount of hours per week (less than 38).
  • The employee has to give notice when they want to quit, and the employer has to give notice when they want to let the employee go.
  • The employee is entitled to sick leave and annual leave.


  • The employee doesn’t work a guaranteed amount of hours per week, the hours of work can be irregular, and it doesn’t have to be ongoing employment.
  • The employee can quit without notice (unless notice is required by a contract or the relevant award).
  • The employee is not entitled to sick leave or annual leave.
  • The employee has a higher pay rate than an equivalent full or part-time employee (so-called casual loading).

Pay rate

There are two options of how to get paid in Australia. Either hourly rate or contract rate (for example paid per a bucket of cherries). Regardless of how you’re paid, always check you’re getting at least the minimum wage. You don’t want to end up as one of those people on Facebook groups asking whether it’s normal to be earning half of the minimum wage. 

The minimum wage in Australia is set to 19,49 AUD (2020) if you’re employed as a full or part-time employee. With casual loading, it’s even higher. All the information can be found on the Fairwork Ombudsman website. You can look up the particular Award your job falls under and check whether you’re being paid properly. With some of the occupations, penalties apply, which means you can get paid more for working on Saturdays and Sundays or for working overtime.

One employer rule

Work and Holiday Visa lets you work for one employer a maximum of 6 months. It is possible, however, to work for one employer for more than 6 months, if you meet one of these conditions :

  • Work in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia.
  • Work in Northern Australia in Aged Care and Disability Services, Fishing and pearling, Tree farming and felling, Construction, Mining, or Tourism and Hospitality.
  • Work in different locations for the same employer and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months. For example two different branches in two different towns. 
  • Be part of bushfire recovery efforts in declared bushfire affected areas only.

If your occupation does not meet the criteria, but you still want to work longer for your employer, you can try and apply for permission.

Where to Look for Jobs in Construction

It’s not always the job search engines and websites that help you the most when looking for a job in Australia. This is especially true for some of the backpacker jobs. Here we’re bringing you all the different places where you can find a job.

Job search engines

BackpackerJobBoard – a website made for backpackers. You can choose an area where you want to look for a job or you can choose a job classification. You can also, for example, choose only jobs that qualify for the visa extension. 

Gumtree – A server is well known for buying and selling, however, you’ll find everything there nowadays, including jobs. Sometimes, especially in the agriculture and hospitality industries, you’ll find jobs here, that aren’t on the big job websites. You can filter according to job classification and job areas. 

Indeed – a large search engine. Sometimes a little bit awkward. You can’t choose the job classification. 

Jobsearch – a government website that offers to filter according to the job classification. There’s also a special site focused only on agriculture jobs.

Jora – you can create a profile that matches jobs. A lot of hospitality ads on this website.

Seek – a very intuitive search engine. Can filter various work types, job classifications, and work areas. You can create a profile with your CV.


Facebook is a powerful media in all aspects and can be a very useful tool in the search for jobs. When you use the Facebook search box to type in the name of the city where you want to work and the word “jobs” it comes up with various positions in the city. You can also filter according to the job classification and so on.
There are also loads of various job groups that can sometimes have a very specific focus. 

Backpacker groups

There is a huge backpacker oriented group called Australia Backpackers 2019, which is of more general nature. Then there are two big job-oriented groups Backpacker Jobs Australia and Backpacker Jobs in Australia. Your country might have their own Work and Holiday Facebook group where people might post some job offers from time to time, too.

Groups with jobs in a specific city

For example, Sydney JobsPerth Jobs, or Melbourne Jobs.

Groups for the specified work for the second year visa

Those of you who want to apply for their second year visa have to get a job that counts toward the second year. There are Facebook groups with ads with this kind of specified work, however, don’t forget to check with the employer that it is actually what you’re looking for. 
Also, there’s a difference between the Work and Holiday jobs (subclass 462) and Working Holiday jobs (subclass 417).

Examples of these kinds of groups are: Backpackers 88 days and counting Australia and 2nd Year Visa Farm Work Australia.  

When to Look for a Job in Construction

With some of the jobs, it doesn’t really matter when you’re looking as they’re not that season dependent. Due to warm weather in Australia, this is the case with the construction jobs.

Other Jobs in Australia

If you’re looking for a job in agriculture, have a look here, for hospitality jobs, click here and for retail jobs, check out this post here.


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