Jobs in Australia: A 2014 Update

I have written a couple of posts about finding a job in Australia versus the UK, I gave them some great titles as well:

jobsBut of course, finding a job in any country in terms of how easy or hard it might be is an ever moving target. When I arrived in Australia back in 2007, and in particular in Queensland, it seemed that everybody had work, often more than they could handle.

Today’s Australian job market though is very different. Just yesterday Qantas announced plans to axe 5000 jobs and they are not the only company looking to cut costs here at the moment.

The above two posts I’ve mentioned are from 2010 and 2012, so I’m due an update, but for now I have two very recently released videos about jobs in Australia.

First, here’s Ricardo Goncalves, presenter and business journalist for World News Australia on SBS. He is pondering the question of whether the Australian job market has fallen into a hole. He also talks to Lynne Roeder, Regional Director of Hays recruitment and discusses the top five jobs for 2014…

Meanwhile, over on 7 News, they say there is a glimmer of hope and suggest there are more than 15,000 jobs currently on offer at some of Australia’s biggest companies. You can read the full article here…

Whatever you do though, if you’re planning on moving to Australia, do thoroughly investigate the job market specifically for what it is that you do. Now is not the time to simply arrive and then start looking for work.

To help you do that, visit this page where you will find links to Australia’s top three online employment agencies:

Your work may well be on one of the skills shortages lists, but they are not always as up-to-date as they should be and just because what you do is on it doesn’t guarantee that you will walk into a job when you get here.

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Sreedeep October 29, 2014, 5:48 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I am in a unique situation right now and need your help. Let me explain the scenario first.

    I have applied for a student visa for a Masters course in Melbourne, Australia. My wife would be travelling along with me when the course starts. I have filed a dependent visa for her. As i have read in the immigration website, dependents of a master student are allowed to work full time. She already has a job in IT and does not want to sit idle in Oz.

    Now, that i have set the context, below are the questions I would appreciate your reply on

    1. Although she is eligible to work full time, how difficullt will it be for her to get a job as a dependent visa holder
    2. How is the IT job scenario in Oz

    • BobinOz October 29, 2014, 10:38 pm |

      Hi Sreedeep

      This is always an impossible question to answer, estimating somebody’s chances of getting a job here. All I can tell you is if your wife has a visa that allows her to work, then that is one problem out of the way. She is in a better position than somebody who requires sponsorship.

      I think I can also tell you that there is a shortage of IT workers here in Australia in certain areas and if I remember correctly, Melbourne might just be one of them. So that’s another plus.

      On the downside, I suspect you are both here temporarily as it stands, so some employers may look on that as a negative. At the end of the day though, it’s down to one simple thing, your wife’s ability to sell herself at an interview and land that job.

      That’s what it boils down to. Check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to the online employment agencies you will find there to search for work in Melbourne.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Sreedeep October 30, 2014, 5:53 pm |

        Thanks Bob,

        You hit the exact spot. I just have another question on the same lines.

        I understand that some employers see the dependent visa as a negative but my course is a 2 yr thing + i will have 2 yr of post study work. And if i understand correctly, IT jobs contracts can be as low as 6 months for starters. Will it still be a problem then?

        • BobinOz October 31, 2014, 12:45 am |

          Well, it’s all down to the employers to decide, I can’t speak on their behalf. Good luck though, Bob

          • Jasmine January 3, 2016, 1:08 am |

            Hi Bob,
            Came across your web. Great site!
            My husband 51 years old works in IT consulting business for 20 years and I m 52 work with international bank for 13 years as financial advisor and product manager. We would like to move to Sydney or Melbourne as my son who studies In UoM recommended. He loves there! We don’t have many choices except for work opportunities. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated
            Thanks in advance!

            • BobinOz January 3, 2016, 8:48 pm |

              Obviously you will need a valid visa to come here to work, but I can’t advise you on how to get that, only MARA migration agents can guide you. See my page Would I Qualify?

  • Royston September 12, 2014, 9:04 pm |

    Evening bob,
    Thanks for the advice much appreciated, have started just that and the idea being as you have a few times research and prepare rather than arrive and dive!
    Looks like could be coming your way if adi not to busy never know I might end up tiling your kitchen

    • BobinOz September 15, 2014, 6:27 pm |

      Sorry mate, you’re about seven years too late for that job 🙂

  • Royston September 5, 2014, 11:44 pm |

    Hi bob,
    First off great site/ blog thanks to you for setting up and everyone for there comments it’s brilliant informative and true well done and thank you.
    Will be using your agent for visa next few days, one concern money, as I don’t have my own house and only coming with little money in comparison to most what would you suggest is a starter for ten figure, I know how long is a piece of string question.but worried be out of money quicker than a superman suit change
    Many thanks oh yeah read blogs on money / cost of living

    • BobinOz September 6, 2014, 9:08 pm |

      Well, yes, quite impossible to answer Royston, it depends on so much. Are you coming alone or with family? Where are you going to live? Will you be coming here looking for a job or after already securing one?

      If you are coming here with a guaranteed job, I don’t think there is too much to worry about. But if you’re coming here looking for work, I think it is prudent to have at least two months if not 3 to 5 months worth of money to make sure you can get by without income. Again though, that’s a guess, it depends what you do for a living and how much in demand that might be here.

      I’m not asking you to answer the above questions to give me more information, even if you did I still couldn’t give you that magic number, what I am saying is that these other things you need to consider.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Royston September 12, 2014, 12:11 am |

        Hi bob,
        Yeah said it was a tough call. I’m a ceramic wall and floor tiler by trade and thou it’s on the sol list that don’t mean I’ll get work. I would be hoping to secure work and rent some where first, family I have a mrs and one four yr old who I think would have a better life there. Where to live well either Adelaide or possible Brisbane if affordable. The big worry is getting there even with job and then struggling and it turning in to a night mare! As you touched on an expensive mistake, I’m 43 and wished I’d done it yrs a go instead of thinking about it. I’ll keep reading the blog for all the info as each day I find out more it’s a gold mine of info, thanks for taking the time and be lucky

        • BobinOz September 12, 2014, 8:34 pm |

          Yes, it is a tough call Royston, and only you can make it. It’s a big decision, you are right to be concerned because if you did struggle to find work when you get here things could very quickly turn sour.

          I think all you can do is as much research as possible to see how many job opportunities there are for your trade, you can do that through the online employment angencies that are linked from my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship. I think you’ll find work is easier to get in Brisbane than Adelaide at the moment, people tell me things are pretty quiet down in South Australia.

          Good luck, whatever you decide. Bob

  • Yafet March 13, 2014, 10:04 am |


    This is a great website and I really appreciate the hard work and research you put into it. I remember coming across this site for the first time back in 2012, and to see it doing so well (and with healthy traffic) today is awesome and not surprising at all. Well done!

    Thought I’d ask you a question or two before this article gets bombarded with comments from my fellow readers (your job hunting articles always seem to get the most reaction)…

    I got a 189 skilled migrant visa last year and headed out to Victoria for eight weeks. I’ve been back here in Canada for a month or two. I’ve been looking for work for a while, mostly online with construction companies like Leighton and Watpac. So far, it hasn’t been a successful hunt. One thing you said in the article above hit me quite hard. You mentioned how this was not the time to just move over to Australia and start looking for work, but rather do some homework about work availability prior to heading over. Since I can stay in Australia permanently with my visa, there’s no rush and I can afford to hold out for the job I want (I’m employed now in Canada with a good company so I’m simply looking for a position down under that’s similar to mine). What I’m curious about is, have you ever come across a situation where someone had a job lined up BEFORE heading over there? Or is that rare in your personal experiences? Since my only avenue to finding work is the Internet and phone, I wonder how effective my efforts are versus moving over there and looking for work. A part of me just wants to get up and go because I miss Melbourne so much, but my cautious/structured side refuses to take that “unnecessary risk” by quitting my current job without something concrete in Australia first!

    Don’t worry. I know you don’t have all the answers, but whatever insight you might be able to share with me on the above matter would be greatly appreciated. I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine there because it’s ridiculously cold where I am at the moment. Looking forward to hearing from you.



    • BobinOz March 13, 2014, 5:41 pm |

      Hi Yafet

      Thanks for the kind words about my website, much appreciated.

      I can understand your concern, I have made the remarks I’ve made simply to make people aware that Australia right now doesn’t have as many of the skills shortages that it has had in the past. I just want people to be aware of this, I’d hate people to sell up everything, quit their jobs, then come to Australia in hope only to see it all go wrong.

      What I mean by doing research is to check out the level of vacancies around the country for what ever the skill is that you have. You can do this through the links on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      As for yourself, without a doubt it is easier to get a job while you are here than to try and get a job whilst you are still living outside of Australia. If you do some research and you feel that there are plenty of opportunities for what you do, and you are confident in your own ability to get one of those jobs, then it’s a calculated risk to come here without a job, but at least you have calculated what that risk is by doing that research.

      To come here without doing any research at all would not be a good idea and that’s what I am trying to warn people against.

      People do lineup jobs before they arrive here, I know a couple of them personally, both are nurses. It does happen all the time, and for some types of visa getting a sponsorship first is the only way of actually getting here. You already have your visa, so you have the choice.

      At the end of the day, only you can decide which way you want to play it, and doing research will help you make that decision. If you need help looking for work, I do recommend the product you will find on my page How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia, it’s very good and very comprehensive and the tips work for getting any kind of job, not just a sponsored job.

      Good luck, hope it all works out for you, Bob

  • djmcbell March 7, 2014, 6:24 pm |

    My sister lives in Australia and her two son-in-laws (husband’s sons from a previous marriage) have just spent a year living and working in Australia, renting their own place. They found work a lot easier than here in the UK, though admittedly it was more casual work (working in a cafe for one, though I believe one of them joined his father in his tradie job). They’re both pretty young (late teens or very early twenties).

    Here it seems very difficult to get any work now, and if you’re unemployed for a while you get sent to work for nothing by the government for a few months on their “workfare” scheme (so you have to start working full time, for no pay, at a place the government chooses, or lose your unemployment benefits).

    There are jobs going in Australia – Qantas and Holden are the ones my dad always mentions. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years as to whether these have a big impact, and also if someone else fills the void.

    • BobinOz March 8, 2014, 12:26 am |

      Very interesting to hear how things are back in the UK these days when it comes to finding work. Everything is relative, currently most people here in Australia would say that jobs aren’t so easy to find these days, but that’s compared to probably three or four years ago when jobs were really easy to get.

      Back in England, jobs have been pretty hard to get for quite some time as far as I remember, so it’s good to hear you directly comparing our two countries.

      And as for that “workfare”, how long has that been going on? That sounds like a barrel of laughs! Well, that’s if anyone thinks government run slavery is amusing 🙂

      Yes, let’s see what the future holds, let’s hope it’s good.

      Cheers, Bob

      • sds7 August 4, 2014, 1:47 pm |

        Holden was owened by General motors and closed as GM wanted to cut costs to make their fututer better. 🙂

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