If you are planning to live in a city in Australia, you will soon figure out how expensive life in the city actually is. So you will probably need a job as soon as possible so you don’t burn through all your savings. Working in a bar can be a great way to have some fun while saving some money. Read on to find out how to find a job and how it is like working in a bar in Australia …
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Getting a bar job in Australia
The RSA certificate
It is necessary to have a RSA certificate for all jobs that involve serving alcohol. The RSA certificate can be obtained through attending a one-day training course in classes or online. The cost of the course depends on the state you are taking the course. The regulations are also different in each state so be sure to get the RSA certificate for the state you intend to work in. Of course, you must be at least 18 years old to work in a bar and serve alcohol in Australia.
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.
Where to look for a job?
There are several methods when you are looking for a job. However, if you are looking to work in a bar, restaurant or even a shop, the best way to find a job is the door to door method.
Make sure to adapt your resume to the Australian standards. Take it with you to hand it out on your job hunt. Once in the bar or cafe, ask to speak to the manager and try to engage in a conversation. Ask whether or not they are hiring, what positions they want to fill and how many hours you would work per week. The simple act of asking these questions demonstrates your dedication and motivation. Make sure to highlight everything that could be considered valuable in the world of hospitality, referring to key competences, such as customer service, ability to handle stress, teamwork etc.
Rejection is tough and safe to say job hunting can be quite difficult. But do not lose hope and if it is not the first bar you enter in well it might be the second or third!
Little tip here: you should always say you can do whatever it is because once you have the job they are rarely bothered to look for someone else to hire. So if the manager asks you if you can make cocktails and you only made 2 or 3 previously, said yes. Plus most of the trials for hospitality are paid trials anyway so you’ll usually get some payment out of it.
Working in a bar in Australia
Congrats you got the job! Now it is time to get serious. If you have worked in a bar previously, you will see that the basics come back pretty quick like how to pour a pint, juggle eight orders and glasses at once. But other parts can be a bit more complicated. If the bar has a glasswasher slightly different to one you previously used or changing a keg. In this case, just quickly check with your workmate how to deal with these. Try to avoid asking your manager on the first day!
The start might be shaky, you may be asked to make a cocktail you have never heard of before! For example, an Espresso Martini! For anyone living in Australia it’s a normal cocktail (and delicious too – highly recommended for coffee lovers). But we don’t have this drink in Europe. So you might want to make a good attempt at creating it but you might also ask another staff member to assist you on this one at first! If you make some mistakes, don’t worry too much they ll probably be overlooked if you have a good attitude.
Finally enjoy! You will have a lot of fun working in a bar in Australia. The people you will work with will a lot of fun as bar staff usually are.
Pros and Cons of working in a bar in Australia
A good thing about the job especially when you’ve just arrived is that it’s a great way to make friends in a new country. Apart from the bar staff, you meet a lot of other backpackers through serving them in the bar.
It is also a great way to make some money. The salary for working in a bar in Australia can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the establishment’s size. On average, bar staff in Australia earn around AUD $22 to $25 per hour. Additional income may come from tips, especially in certain establishments.
The biggest drawback to bar work is of course that you always have to work on Friday and Saturday. So you will miss out on the nights out and the weekends. Shifts, especially on the weekend, can be quite long and hard to get through. Especially as the patrons get ‘looser’ (Aussie term for drunk). Light and friendly banter at the beginning of the night turns into boring, slurry one-sided conversations at the end of it. Australia also has a strict responsible service of alcohol policy which is a great idea but leads to many awkward ‘I’m sorry but I can’t serve you, please have some of this delicious and refreshing water instead’ conversations.
Read the following article to find out more about hospitality jobs: Hospitality Jobs in Australia
You can obtain an RSA certificate by completing a short course offered by registered training providers. These courses are widely available online or in-person. See our dedicated article for more info: Get your RSA in Australia
If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may need a valid visa that permits work. Common visa options for working holidaymakers include the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) or the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462).
Definitely! There are opportunities for career advancement in the bar industry. With experience and additional training, you can progress to positions such as bar supervisor, manager, or even open your own bar.
Working hours can vary, but bars generally operate during evenings, weekends, and public holidays. Late-night shifts are common, especially in bars with extended trading hours.
Previous experience can be beneficial, but many bars are also open to hiring individuals with no prior experience. It’s important to demonstrate a positive attitude, willingness to learn, and good customer service skills.