Home Exploring Hospitality Jobs in Australia: A 2024 Guide

Exploring Hospitality Jobs in Australia: A 2024 Guide

Are you dreaming of an adventure Down Under, coupled with an exciting career opportunity? Look no further than Australia’s vibrant hospitality sector! Whether you’re drawn to the bustling streets of Sydney, the cultural hubs of Melbourne, or the scenic beauty of Perth, the hospitality industry offers a unique blend of work and exploration, perfect for backpackers and travelers.

In the heart of summer, bars, pubs, hotels, and restaurants become lively employment hubs, teeming with opportunities for backpackers. The demand for these roles is high, so timing is key – arriving early in the season boosts your chances of securing a position. Here’s your comprehensive guide to navigating the Australian hospitality job market with ease and confidence.

Essential Steps to Start Your Hospitality Job

Let’s start with the beginning ! Once you arrive in Australia and before starting your job search, you should know that in the hospitality industry generally a specific certificate will be necessary.

Get your RSA Certificate

To work in any establishment serving alcohol, you’ll need the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. Note that this certificate’s validity is state-specific. The cost ranges from $50 to $140, varying by state. Remember, each state has its unique RSA regulations! 

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.

Additional Training Opportunities

Enhance your employability with specialized courses like Barista and Bartending training. These not only increase your job prospects but also immerse you in Australia’s rich coffee culture and dynamic bar scene.

Barista course

For Australians, coffee is a religion! So much so, in fact, that there’s a training course dedicated to these little roasted beans: barista training! In fact, there are not one but two courses: one is non-accredited, while the other is nationally recognised.

Barista Course National (Unaccredited) – $119

This short 3-hour course enables beginners (with no experience) to learn how to use a coffee machine. You will learn how to make frothed milk, espresso and all the basic types of coffee, as well as how to clean and maintain a coffee machine. This course is available in cities such as Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, etc with Australian Barista School.

Nationally Recognised Barista Course – $199

If you’re really passionate about the barista profession, then this course is for you! The course generally lasts 2 days, during which you will learn all the secrets of this beverage. You’ll receive a nationally recognised certificate validating a number of skills, including “preparing and serving espresso coffee” and “using hygienic practices for food safety”.

We recommend RSA Melbourne for your Barista training if you are in Melbourne.

Bartending course

Are you a friendly and outgoing person who likes serving people? Then complete a bartending training! You will learn how to prepare, dose and serve different types of alcoholic and soft beverages for bar-goers. Again this training is not mandatory but a plus in your job search in this field.

Skills required to work in hospitality

Although previous catering experience can be an asset, many establishments are willing to train motivated candidates with a good attitude. Key skills include:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Flexibility and availability to work evenings and weekends.

How to get hospitality jobs in Australia?

Door-to-Door approach

The best way to get a job in hospitality is walking around with copies of your resume

Hospitality is an industry where the customer relationship is what is most important. Customer satisfaction is the key to success in this industry. So remember to highlight in your resume what closely or remotely resembles experience in customer-related jobs, your ability to adapt, motivation, ease of learning quickly…

Arm yourself with resumes and explore the city. Personal interactions can make a significant difference. Look out for ‘help wanted’ signs and engage directly with managers or owners.

As in all human relationships, initial contact is essential. This is THE time to sell yourself. Try to strike up a conversation and get as much information as possible. Ask if they are currently recruiting and, if so, for what type of position and for how many hours a week. The simple fact of asking these questions shows your motivation.

In the catering industry, it is often necessary to do a trial period of a few hours. You will have to demonstrate your skills to the employer under the supervision of another employee.

Online job platforms

In addition to door-to-door, you can consult websites such as Gumtree or Seek which list many job offers. Keep in mind that these are positions where human contact remains essential, and a good first impression is important! Remember: First come, first-served. So make sure that you check the ads on those websites regularly.

Leveraging Social Media and Employment Agencies

Very common in large towns are employment agencies. You may need to go there every day to find out about new job offers as soon as they are put up. You usually register in their database and provide a CV.

Here is a list of the most popular agencies for backpackers:

Keep in mind: Sometimes you need to be patient because the job search may take several weeks.

You can sometimes also count on the solidarity of our fellow travellers through Facebook groups such as “backpackers in Sydney” (obviously varies according to the city where you are) or “backpacker in Australia”. Sometimes kind souls post ads when the company they work for is hiring. But again, it’s a bit up to whoever is lucky enough to see the ad first.

Stay motivated, keep making an effort, and in particular, meet people, let them know you are looking for a job. Word of mouth is always effective in Australia!

What type of jobs are available in hospitality?

If you want to work in hospitality there are lots of different opportunities.

Waitress / Waiter

As a waiter you can work in restaurants, cafes or bars.

Your tasks will be:

  • Opening the establishment. In this case you will set up the restaurant, set up the tables, chairs, signs outside… (you must make sure that everything is ready before the service begins).
  • Taking orders, bills, welcoming customers. Cash handling can be one of your tasks unless only the manager or the bartender is authorized to cash.
  • Closing the establishment: gather tables, chairs, set the tables, clean.


Sometimes a person is responsible for delivering food orders from the kitchen to customers’ tables. A runner’s primary responsibility is to assist waiters and bartenders in serving customers as quickly and accurately as possible. Runners do not take orders or process payments.


The bartender can work in restaurants, bars, lounge bars, nightclubs. He will need to arrive before the opening, take care of setting it up (cut the mint, lemon, ensure the stock of wines, beers and others). He must also ensure the cleanliness of the bar before, during and after the service. And he will obviously have to prepare and send the orders in a timely manner.

If you don’t have any previous experience or a good level of English, you can apply for Glassy positions. Your job would be to collect empty glasses and keep the bar or nightclub clean.

The hostess

In large restaurants, there may be a position dedicated to welcoming customers. You take reservations on the spot, online or by telephone. You will also greet customers as they arrive, keep them waiting if they have to wait and show them to their table.
You act as the restaurant’s “shop window”. You need to be well presented and speak good English.

In the kitchen

You can also find a quantity of jobs to perform in the kitchen! Depending on your qualifications and experiences, you may work as:

  • Chef/cook: only available to qualified and qualified people. If you have experience in this field, it will offer you great opportunities in Australia (especially if you want to stay for the long term and be sponsored).
  • Pastry chef: Australians love a good pastry
  • Kitchen hand: This job is much more accessible for backpackers. The tasks to be carried out are varied and accessible to all (preparing sauces, assortments, peeling vegetables, helping with preparations, etc.).
  • i: the best pizzas are those prepared by experts in the field. The profession of pizza maker can be found in restaurants offering all-you-can-eat buffets or in specialist restaurants.
  • Sandwich hand: you help preparing sandwiches
  • Dishwasher: no competence are required here and these jobs are easy to find.


The barista’s role is to take care of hot drinks, smoothies, juices etc… Sometimes some establishments require you to make drawings in the cafes with the foam (latte art), but for that, you will be trained, don’t panic.

Delivery Driver

You will have the responsibility of

  • to load, transport, and deliver items to clients or businesses in timely manner.
  • to carry out food catering deliveries. 

Add to these other jobs such as concierge, Hotel General Manager, Housekeeper, etc.

Wages and Working conditions

Salaries & working conditions

Regarding salaries, they vary enormously depending on the city, the jobs, the hours worked, etc.

First you may come across employers who will want to pay you “cash in hand”, it is illegal. It’s up to you whether you accept or not, but it’s quite common. The employer will often offer you a slightly lower salary than normal in this case. No need to tell you about the precariousness of your job in this case.

The minimum wage in Australia in the hospitality industry is $23.23 per hour (to be reviewed in July 2024).

If you are “casual“, your salary should be higher than the minimum salary (+25%). This is partly because of the precariousness of the status as you will have no guarantee of working hours. Moreover, casual employees do not get paid when they are sick or go on vacation.

In some establishments, salaries will also vary depending on the day of the week. For example from Monday to Thursday, then they will increase the hourly rate on Friday evening and Saturday and increase again on Sunday (in general in big cities).

In Australia, an employee can work up to 38 hours in a week unless an employer asks him to work reasonable extra hours.

Trials in hospitality

In hospitality, it is quite common that you have to do a trial before you get hired. A brief work trial can be legally unpaid if it is necessary to evaluate someone’s suitability for the job. You demonstrate the skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for. During your trial you will be under direct supervision of the employer for the entire time.

Any period beyond what is reasonably required to demonstrate the skills required for the job must be paid at the minimum rate of pay. It is illegal for your employer not to pay you for any work that you do, even if it is only for a small number of hours.

But don’t be nervous and be yourself. They only want to see if you are not completely untalented. Smile and be friendly and attentive to customers. Keep your eyes open for tables that need cleaning and always clear empty glasses or cups from tables when you’re on the way to the kitchen. Maintain a good pace without stressing if it’s busy.

By the way, managers sometimes forget to mention that you should wear comfortable runners unless it’s a posh restaurant. If in doubt, wear black or unobtrusive colours.

Working 6 months with the same employer

Since 1 January 2024, you can work for the same employer in Australia for more than 6 months without asking permission if your work is:

  • in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months
  • in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  • in certain industries, including aged care and disability services, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction and mining, in northern Australia only (see Northern Australia)
  • natural disaster recovery work
  • in critical sectors, including agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care and childcare, anywhere in Australia
  • in the critical sector of tourism and hospitality anywhere in Australia.

 For any other situations not covered above, you must ask for our permission to work longer than 6 months with one employer.

Why to work in Hospitality in Australia?

Working in the catering industry will give you a wealth of experience. Here are some of the advantages of working in this field:

  • You can be hired even if you have no experience in this field. At the beginning, you could simply be a “runner” and bring in the food and drinks.
  • It’s a sector that’s recruiting all over the country! So if you’re a bit resourceful, your search shouldn’t be too arduous.
  • The hospitality is renowned for its dynamic and social working environment. It’s a great way to meet people, make friends and immerse yourself in the Australian culture.
  • Some jobs can lead to a sponsorship, allowing you to stay in Australia for the long term.
  • Working hours can be flexible, which is ideal for people who want to balance work with study, travel or other commitments. This allows you to explore the country while working.
  • Wages in this field are often competitive, with hourly rates meeting or exceeding the national minimum wage. What’s more, tips can add significantly to your income, especially in high-end establishments.
  • Obtaining required certifications, such as the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol), not only opens up more opportunities in the catering industry but also enhances your CV, showing that you have the skills you need to work in the industry.

Working in Australia in 2024: What’s New?

The hospitality sector in Australia is characterised by its diversity and constant demand for labour, particularly in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. According to statistics, the sector employs hundreds of thousands of people and continues to grow, offering favourable employment prospects for WHP holders.

The hospitality sector is therefore one that recruits enormously, and this is an advantage for young people on a WHV in Australia.

You’ll have every chance of finding a catering job in Australia in 2024! However, there is one important factor to bear in mind: seasonality! During the summer months (December and January), restaurants and bars are in full swing, so they need more workers, which means more job opportunities!

Today, many cafés and restaurants have “staff wanted” or “hiring” signs at their windows. So you’ll have every chance of finding a job in hospitality in Australia in 2024! Jobs in hospitality are subject to seasonality. In summer (December, January) restaurants and bars are in full swing and therefore need more staff. This means even more job opportunities!

As we look towards 2024, the Australian hospitality landscape continues to evolve. The hospitality sector remains a dynamic field for WHV holders. However, in 2024, there’s a growing focus on quality service and customer experience, making it an exciting time to join the industry.

You are looking for other jobs in cities? Download the Australia Backpackers Guide and find everything you need to know about jobs in housekeeping, shops, factories, construction or other types of casual work.

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