Home Job Experiences Backpacker jobs & salaries – Examples of pay rates in Australia

Backpacker jobs & salaries – Examples of pay rates in Australia

Backpacker jobs & salaries – Examples of pay rates in Australia

A lot of people wonder what kind of jobs they can do whilst on a Working Holiday Visa (417) or Work and Holiday Visa (462) in Australia. And more importantly, what kind of salary they can expect! In order to help you to find out, we have asked other backpackers, to tell us about their current jobs and salaries. This will help you to get a better idea about what kind of jobs you can do during your trip in Australia and the salaries you can expect. For confidentiality purposes, we have changed the names of the people in our survey. 

Work with a Working Holiday Visa in Australia

The Working Holiday Visa allows you to work in all sorts of jobs and in all kinds of fields while in Australia. Indeed, there is no restriction on the kind of jobs you can do on this visa. This visa allows you to work full time for the same employer, or part time or even casual.

Since 2019, Working Holiday Makers can work for the same employer for more than 6 months without asking permission if the work is:
– in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months.
– in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia

Among the most popular jobs for backpackers, you find hospitality (restaurants, cleaning, etc.) and also the agricultural sector, which is perfect to renew your visa.

Note that you can find a list of minimum wages according to your skill level on the Fair work website.

Jobs in the Hospitality industry

Hospitality and catering jobs are the most common for WHV makers in Australia. You will find jobs there throughout the year.
Here are some job ideas for which you can apply whilst on your working holiday visa. Be aware that for jobs where you are in contact with customers, you will be required to have a good level of English. For jobs in establishments where they serve alcohol, it’s necessary to get the RSA, a specific certificate.

Please note that salaries can vary, according to the cities and places where you work.

More generally, salaries vary according to the employment contract under which you are hired.
– If the company that employs you pays wages according to the “industry award”, then you will be paid according to this awards which set the minimum standards that an employer in your industry is allowed to pay for your kind of work.
– If the company applies its own “award” (its own work agreement), then you will be paid according to the rules applied in this agreement.

Remember to always check with the company. Awards by industry can be accessed on the Fair Work website, while company awards must be made accessible by the company that employs you.

Kitchen Staff

  • Katy is a kitchen hand: $23/h
  • Simon is a baker in Sydney: $26/h
  • Florian is a chocolatier in Sydney: $29/h
  • Aurore is a kitchen hand in a restaurant in the Hunter Valley: $24/h
  • Lucas is a dishwasher in Fremantle: $23/h
  • Antoine is a chef in Karratha: $24/$29/$35 (week/Saturday/Sunday)

Bar staff/waiters

  • Hannah is a waitress and barista: $23/h net
  • Ange works in a Fish and Chips shop: $1060/week
  • Julie is a barmaid: $33/h + tips
  • Djalil is a barman: $23-$33/h depending on the hours
  • Emmy is a waitress in a restaurant in Perth: $26/h, $32/h on the weekend and $54/h on public holidays
  • Mathilde is a waitress in Sydney: $25/h and $30 on the weekend.
  • Lauren is a waitress on a boat: $25/h and in the restaurant $25/h during the week and $28/h on weekends
  • Emeline is a barmaid in Sydney: $25/h during the week, $28 after 10pm and on Saturday. $33/h on Sunday.
  • Lisa is a waitress in Karratha: $23/$27/$33/h (week/Sat/Sun)

Thus, for a waiter working “casual” under the industry award, the hourly rate applied is approximately $27 per hour. Increases called “penalties” generally apply on weekends and public holidays. The hourly rate thus rises to around $30/35 on Saturdays, $35/40 on Sundays and $50/55 on statutory holidays.

Under the “Hospitality Industry Award”, Bartender and barista must be paid a minimum of $26.15 per hour on weekdays, $31.38 on Saturdays and $36.61 on Sundays.

Get your RSA in Australia and receive Discounts!

Pay less for your RSA course (Responsible Service of Alcohol). With this certificate, you are allowed to work in all places where alcohol is served or sold.

Cleaning / Housekeeping

  • Jo Hanna is a housekeeper: $24/h
  • Katy is a cleaner in a resort: $25/h
  • Camy is a cleaner: $23-$33/h
  • Jane is a housekeeper in Melbourne: $23/h     
  • Cedric is responsible for laundry/housekeeping: $1140/week
  • Elo is a cleaner in Sydney: $25 and $29/h (two jobs)
  • Alexis is a housekeeper: $23 during the week, $27 on a Saturday and $32 on a Sunday
  • Jordan is a housekeeper on Rottenest Island (Perth): $25/h

Receptionist / Host(ess)

  • Flora is a receptionist in a hotel: $25/h, on Saturdays $28 and on Sundays $33. An average of 40-45 hours a week
  • Anne-Sophie is a hostess on a private yacht / from Airlie Beach to the Gold Coast (QLD) : $525/week + food + accommodation


  • Adrien is a pizza delivery guy: $17/h + $2/delivery
delivery job in australia uber eats

Jobs in the Agricultural industry

Fruit picking is a good way of making money and travelling around Australia. It’s also one way of getting a second year visa in Australia.

Since July 2019, WHM visa holders who carry out 6 months of specified work in regional areas while on their second Working Holiday (subclass 417 & 462) visa may be eligible to apply for a third visa. Eligible types of work and regional areas will correspond with the requirements for the second visa. 

For fruit picking, note that the FairWork imposes a minimum rate of $25.41 per hour under the “Horticulture Award” category. However, in practice, you can be paid by piece (number of bins, weight harvested).

Since April 28, 2022, pieceworkers are guaranteed a minimum hourly wage. This change applies to full-time, part-time and casual employees. For the horticulture sector, for all full-time and part-time pieceworkers, the minimum wage is at least $23.38 an hour. For casual workers, they must earn at least $29.22 per hour. The aim here is to avoid the exploitation of fruit pickers in Australia.

Below are a few examples of salaries you can expect for farm work in Australia:

  • Julien works on a pineapple farm: $24/h
  • Katy is packing mandarins: $1200/week
  • Lionel is a lumberjack: $25/h
  • Max is a labourer: $25/h
  • Lorene works on a farm: $24/h and for picking $12/bin
  • Alexandre is a stacker in an orange factory: $25.41/h
  • Franck works on a farm: $1100-$1400/week: 23-26/h
  • Elsa works on a government farm (weaving): $27/h. 7,5h a day
  • Alexandre works on a cotton farm 60-70h a week: more or less $1500
  • Clement works in the banana fields in Tully $25/h
  • Marvin works on a farm: $25.5/h
  • Lee works on a farm: $29/h and $45/h Saturdays, Sundays and between 6pm and 6am. 75h/week + free accommodation
  • Marion works on a farm (packing, picking, thinning) (avocado, plums, nectarines): $24/h
  • David works on a vineyard: $24.41/h – 55h/week
  • Riyad works as a pearler: $4400 per month, room and meals included
  • Guillaume works on a farm: $24/h
  • Max works as a harvester: $28/h – 70-90h/week, accommodation and dinner.

Fruit Picking in Australia

Fruit picking is the most common job among backpackers. Discover everything you should know in this article.

Jobs in Construction

Working in construction can often get you a better salary than working on farms or in hospitality. You need to know, however, that in order to be able to work in construction, you need to have a White Card, a specific certificate. You can apply for this card online.

Get discounts for your White Card course

Take advantage of special offers to obtain the white card and work in the construction industry.

Here are a few examples of construction jobs salaries for backpackers in Australia:

  • Working on a demolition site: $1300 a week.
  • Labourer: $25/h before tax in Sydney.
  • Painter: $33/h
  • Skilled labourer: $25-$30/h
  • Kevin is a trade person: $450/day
  • Jonathan is a roof cleaner: $45/h. ($280/day, from 8 am to maximum 2pm)
  • Tam is a traffic controller: $2300/week for approx. 72h ($32/h)
  • Rem is a plaster delivery guy: $24,20/h – 35 to 45h/week
  • Reda works in demolition: $25/h during the day, $27.5/h during the night, more or less $1100/week
  • Romano works as a builder: $35/h
  • Emilie does house rest umping: $21/h


  • Oley works in a Warehouse : $26.9/h
  • Nils is a driller assistant: $325 a day net
  • Christophe is a general hand: $24.2/h
  • Jerome is a mover: $22-$25/h, $28 for overtime
  • Kiwii is an electrician: $30h, overtime $45 and $60 on Saturdays – $1450/week
  • Steve is a landscaper/ truck driver/ excavator operator/ labourer : $27,60/h (Melbourne)

Promotion / Sales

It’s also quite common to work in a shop, work as a sales person or in promotion. In general, a good level of English is expected.  

Here you find a few examples of jobs and salaries in the sales/promotion sector:

  • Antoine is a Fundraiser: $24/h
  • Loic is a Promoter: between $100 and $750 a night
  • David is a salesman for Levi’s: $26/h on average
  • Thomas does stacking for Kmart in Brisbane: $24-$26/h
  • Fabien is a salesman: $25/h during the week, $27 on Saturdays and $30 on Sundays
  • Jordan distributes the yellow pages in Sydney: $40/h
  • Emeline is a casual retail assistant at k-mart: $25/h
salaries australia

Au Pair

With your Working Holiday Visa, you can also be part of the daily life of an Australian family as an Au Pair. The salary varies between towns and hours effectively worked in a week. But it also depends on the number of kids you are looking after. Also, keep in mind that certain families ask you to do some household chores in exchange for a bit of extra money. In any case you get food and board with your host family.

Here you have a few examples of salaries for girls working as an Au pair in Australia:

  • Mel is an Au pair in Sydney: $250/week, kitchen $20/h , household $30/h
  • Laurie is an Au pair in Sydney: $150/week
  • Eugenie is an Au pair: $300-$450/week
  • Wendy is an Au pair : $500/week
  • Marine is an Au pair: $250/week + $60 for cleaning the house and ironing. She works 10h min/day, 5 days a week
  • Julie is an Au pair: $200/week – More or less 30h/week + many non paid extra hours
  • Marine is an Au pair in Bunbury: $400/week, food, board and a car to use
  • Mathilde does Babysitting: $25/h

More qualified jobs 

Depending on your qualifications, you can also apply for more qualified jobs. Some employers are hesitant because you are limited to 6 months of work on your WHV. Note that you can require permission from the government to work longer with the same employer. It can also be a good way to prove yourself and obtain a TSS (sponsorship) visa!

Some examples of salaries in more qualified jobs in Australia:

ProfessionSalary per year
A school teacher$70 000 - $160 000
Childcare teacher$65 000 - $95 000
Nurse$75 000 – $115 000
Sales manager$75 000 – $110 000
Marketing coordinator$63 000 – $93 000
Graphic Designer$70 000 - $107 000
Web designer$80 000 - $140 000
Data scientist$101 000 – $156 000
Business Analyst$85 000 – $130 00
IT Project manager$115 000 – $168 000
Junior architect$62 000 – $100 000
Construction project manager$100 000 – $180 000
Environmental Engineer$70 000 – $145 000
Civil Engineer$90 000 – $140 000
Real estate Agent$55 000 - $115 000
Production Manager$90 000 – $130 000

Source : au.talent.com

Updated on 03/06/2022

4.8/5 - (18 votes)
The ultimate guide to work and travel around Australia with a Working Holiday Visa! Get all the tips and advice from other backpackers. The first travel guide written by Backpackers for Backpackers in Australia!!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here