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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 what their current job is and their salary. 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. 


Jobs and salaries for working holiday visa makers in Australia

The Working Holiday Visa allow 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 and it allows you to work full time for the same employer for a maximum period of six months. Among the favourite jobs for backpackers, you will find hospitality (restaurants, cleaning, etc.) and also the agricultural sector perfect to renew your visa.


Jobs in the Hospitality industry

Here are some job ideas for which you can apply whilst on your working holiday visa. For jobs with customers service, a good level of English will be required. For some jobs, such as the ones in establishments where they serve alcohol, it’s necessary to get the RSA, a specific certificate.

All the information about the RSA : Getting your RSA in Australia

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

Kitchen Staff

– Katy is a kitchen hand: 23$/h
– Simon is a baker in Sydney: 26$/h
– Florian is a chocolatier in Sydney: 29$/h
– Vincent is a dishwasher: 17$/h
– Aurore is a Kitchen hand: 24$/h in a gastronomic restaurant + barista 15$/h. Both in the Hunter Valley
– Lucas is a dishwasher in Fremantle: 23$/h
– Antoine is a chief in Karratha: 24/29/35$ (week/Saturday/Sunday)

Bar staff / waiters

– Hannah is a waitress and barista: 23$/h net
– Elisabeth is a waitress: 21$/h + tips

– Ange works in a Fish and chips shop: 1060$/week
– Julie is a barmaid: 33$/h + tips
– Djalil is a barman: 23-25$/h
– Raphael is a waiter: 18$/h
– Alexia works in a cafe in Cairns: 18$/h
– Emmy is a waitress in a restaurant in Perth: 23$/h, 27$/h on the weekend and 45$/h on public holidays
– Mathilde is a waitress in Sydney: 23$/h and 26$ on the weekend.
– Lauren is a waitress on a boat: 25$/h and in the restaurant 25$/h during the week and 28$/h on weekends
– Jordan is barman in Sydney: 20$/h
– Emeline is barmaid in Sydney: 25$/h during the week, 28$ after 10pm and on Saturday. 33$/h on Sunday.
– Lisou is a waitress in Karratha: 23/27/33$/h (week/Sat/Sun)

Cleaning / Housekeeping

– Jo Hanna is a Housekeeper: 22$
– Katy is a cleaner in a resort: 25$/h
– Camy is a cleaner: 23$-33$
– Jane is a house keeper in Melbourne: 23$/h     
– Ibtissam is a cleaner in Adelaide: 15$/h net
– Cedric is responsible for laundry/house keeping: 1140$/week
– Elo is a cleaner in Sydney: 25$ and 29$/h (two jobs)
– Alexis is a house keeper: 23$ during the week, 27$ on a Saturday and 32$ on a Sunday
– Jordan is a house keeper on Rottnest Island (Perth): 23$/h

Receptionist / Host(ess)

– Flora is a receptionist in a hotel: 25$/h, on Saturdays 28$ and on Sundays 33$. An average of 30-45 hours a week
– Anne-Sophie is a hostess on a private yacht / from Airlie Beach to the Gold Coast (QLD) : 525$/week + food + accommodation


– Adrien is a pizza delivery guy: 14$/h + 1$/delivery

Jobs in the agricultural industry

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

Below is a couple of examples of salaries you can expect for farm work:

– Julien works on a pineapple farm: 20$/h
– Katy is packing mandarins: 1200$/week
– Lionel is a lumberjack: 25$/h
– Max is a labourer: 25$/h
– Lorène works on a farm: 22$/h and for picking 125/bin
– Alexandre is a stacker in an orange factory: 22.6$/h
– Franck works on a farm: 1100-1400$/week: 22-26/h
– Elsa works on a government farm (weaving): 27$/h. 7,5h a day
– Alexandre works on a cotton farm 60-70h a week: more or less 1500$
– Clément works in the banana fields in Tully 22$/h
– Marvin works on a farm: 22.3$/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): 21$/h
– David works on a vineyard: 22.13$/h – 55h/week
– Riyad works as a pearler: 4400$ a month, room and board
– Guillaume works on a farm: 22$/h
– Max works as a harvester: 24$/h – 70-90h/week, accommodation and dinner.


Work in construction

Working in construction can often get you a better salary than working in 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.

More information on the White Card : How to get your White Card in Australia

Here you can find some examples of construction jobs for backpackers:

– 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. ($280/day, from 8am to maximum 2pm)
– Tam is a Traffic controller : 2000$/week for 72h
– Rem is a Plaster delivery guy: 24,20$/h – 35 à 45h/week
– Reda works in demolition : 25$/h during the day, 27.5$/h during the night, more or less 1100$/week
– Romano works as a builder : 35$/h
– Emilie does House restumping : 20$/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: 30$h, overtime 45$ 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 will be expected.  

Here you can find some examples of jobs and salaries in the sales/promotion sector:

– Antoine is a Fundraiser: 22$/h
– Loic is a Promoter: between 100 and 750$ a night
– David is a sales man for Levi’s: 25$/h on average
– Thomas does Stacking for Kmart in Brisbane: 24-26$/h
– Fabien is a sales man: 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

Au Pair

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

Here you have some examples of salaries for girls working as an Au pair:

– Mel is an Au pair in Sydney : 250$/week, kitchen 20$/h , house hold 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$/week – More or less 30h/week + many non paid extra hours
– Marine is an Au pair in Bunburry : 400$/week, food, board and a car to use
– Mathilde does Babysitting : 20$/h

More qualified jobs 

Depending on your qualifications, you can also apply for more qualified jobs. Some employers can be reluctant because you are limited to 6 months of work on your WHV but it can also be a good way to prove yourself and obtain a sponsorship visa!

Some examples of salaries in more qualified jobs:

– Sango is a Software engineer: 50$/h
– Thomas is a Personal trainer: 110$/h
– Warren works in Marketing: 35-45$/h
– Raphaël is a Residential Advisor: 38$/h
– Maxime works as a Rope Access technician: 45$/h
– Nathan is a butcher: 20$/h
– Laurent is a Mobile app developer: 1500$/week net
– Laura is Chef in a French bistrot in Sydney: 22$/h  
– Marion is a medical secretary: 22$/h
– Nathan is a mechanic in Darwin: 34$/h net
– Gregoire is a cabinet maker (without a diploma) in Melbourne: 2000$/week
– Laura is a French teacher in Brisbane: 25$/h
– Antoine is a Mining Labourer: 23$/h, 50h-60h/week
– Sylvain is a cabinet maker with Euroline in Sydney: 37,70$/h + super

Backpackers Guide
Written by Backpackers Guide

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!!!