Cairns has many part-time job opportunities for students who wish to support themselves during their stay in Australia. If you are interested in working, there are several things you should know before you start looking for a job.

Work Permission & Tax File Number
Where to find work
Boost your employability  


Work permission

As a student visa holder, you may work for up to 40 hours per fortnight (outside of school hours) and you don’t need to apply for work permission. More information on visas can be found here .

Tax File Number (TFN)

If you are on a student visa or working holiday visa you are eligible to find work and will need to apply for a TFN for taxation purposes. If you do start work before you get your TFN, you have 28 days to provide your TFN to your employer. Without a TFN you may have more tax withheld than necessary.

Apply for a TFN online with the Australian Taxation Office.

When you stop work, ask your employer for a payment summary (this shows your total income and tax withheld), as you will need this to complete your tax return. You must lodge a tax return before you leave Australia.

For more information please contact us .

Wages and conditions

While wages may vary between workplaces, you can expect to receive anywhere from AU$12 – AU$20 per hour. Most companies pay wages every fortnight. Australian law dictates that you are paid a fair minimum wage.

If you would like more information on fair wages and conditions visit

Where to find work

Your level of English and your availability as you study will affect which jobs will be appropriate for you. Many students secure employment in the hospitality and service industries, for example, as a waitress/waiter, shop attendant, kitchen hand or cleaner.  These industries have a high turnover of staff (resulting in frequent job vacancies); do not always require a high level of English; and offer flexible working hours.

Check out the following places for job advertisements:

  1. The Cairns Post – Wednesday and Saturday
  2. Living Cairns (Japanese) –  print or online
  3. Notice boards in shopping centres
  4. Approach local businesses directly
  5. Ask other students
  6. CLC Jobs Board – located in reception
  7. Job seeker websites
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