Is it hard to get a job in Australia as a foreigner?

When migrating to a new country, the anxieties that can arise are virtually endless. It can be one of the biggest experiences of your life, and sometimes you can’t even be sure if you will secure a job when you arrive—so what about in Australia? Is it easy to find a job as a foreigner?

It can be harder as a foreigner to get a job in Australia at the same level you had in your home country. Foreign education and experience is often not seen as equivalent to Australian standards. Non-native English can be a barrier for jobs that need high level written and communication skills.

But we can’t simply talk about all of Australia as a single, uniform block – or foreigners as a single type of person. There are plenty of ways to make the process easier, and increase your chances and we will explain more through this article.

How hard is it for foreigners to get work in Australia?

It can be hard for a foreigner to gain employment in Australia in field where there is not a lot of demand, or there is a lot of competition. If there are Australians with the equivalent skills and experience applying for the same job as you, chances are they will get the job. As their education and experiences are from Australia, employers will often see them as a safer option for employment. Foreign education can often be viewed as a risk to employers due to differing standards across the globe.

how hard is it for foreigners to get work in Australia?

It can be quite hard for a foreigner to get work in Australia if they are not prepared to be flexible. To secure a job, you may need to consider taking a lower-level position, or retrain to a field that is in demand. Once you have an Australian job, you can use it as a basis to prove your skills and experience. From there, you can build your career. You can then use your Australian based work experience to progress your career through that company, or to sell yourself in interviews to future prospective employers.

If you’re willing to retrain or adapt to what is actually in demand in Australia, you can increase your employability. If you are trained in an area where there is not a whole lot of competition, then you might not find it hard to get a job at all! In fields where it is hard to find suitable employees, less weight is put on where your education has come from, or how perfect your English is.

Why it is hard for foreigners to find a job?

Finding a job is hard for foreigners because what comes naturally to natives will be a learned skill as a foreigner. Cultural differences can also make it much harder. The biggest challenge is your skill with the English language. Naturally, in a large proportion of jobs in Australia, you’re going to need a reasonably good level of English, both written and spoken. In the right jobs, spoken and written English skills can be your single biggest advantage. Without it, it can be a real hindrance to your ability to find a job. Even a thicker accent has been shown to make it harder to get certain jobs. Especially for those seeking office jobs or customer facing jobs, we recommend that you find ways to strength your English writing and speaking skills.

Another thing to consider is where in Australia you’re moving to. Rural areas and less densely populated cities and towns may have fewer options available for you, and the competition for the positions will be just as fierce if not fiercer than in a big city.  

In denser urban areas it can be easier to find something. Australia is a multi-national country, and within it – especially large cities, there are communities of people who may be largely made up of foreigners of different countries. In those communities, high level English skills may not be as important at all.

Getting a good job is of course going to depend on your education and experience, too. Having said that, it could still be a real struggle to get a job even with strong qualifications and experience. If you’re not looking in an area with high demand for jobs, then your qualifications won’t always make the difference.

What skills are in high demand in Australia?

To increase your employability, we recommend you look at what skills are in high demand in Australia. In the construction industry, there is a shortage of skilled construction workers.

why is it hard for foreigners to get work

Care and care adjacent positions, such as early childhood teachers, nurses, child carers and age and disability carers, are standing empty in many places, so these sorts of skills are really needed at the moment.

Other than that, things like ICT professionals in many areas are always in high demand. That said, many migrants with such degrees are often found in positions such as customer service and supermarket assistants. Again, it’s still an uphill battle in the best of circumstances.

What are the most common jobs for foreigners in Australia?

What are the most common jobs for foreigners in Australia

Although it can be a bit tough, looking at the most common jobs for foreigners should give you a bit of encouragement. The most common jobs for foreigners are highly skilled positions. The number one jobs for migrants are registered nurses and social workers, followed closely by secondary school teachers.

After that, you have positions such as electricians, software programmers, and construction positions such as quantity surveying. You also have a recent boom in the actuarial science industry.

So, jobs are certainly out there. It’s just a case of how well you set yourself up to be considered for them.

Do Australian companies hire foreigners?

Australian companies do hire foreign workers, but there is a preference to people who have gained their education and experience in Australia. However, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind. There may well be an implicit bias towards Australian nationals in many cases, and they’ll still only hire you on the basis of strong credentials.

There are of course exceptions. To be eligible for permanent employment within the Public Service (Government jobs) you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.

What about foreign degrees?

Do employers recognise foreign degrees?

Employers do recognise foreign degrees but an Australian degree on the same field is often valued to a greater extent than a foreign. Say, for example, you and another candidate have a master’s degree in civil engineering. One is from an Australian university and the other is from a foreign university.

Australian employers know that Australian universities have strict standards, and so they’re likely to value the Australian degree more. But that doesn’t mean that foreign degrees are not recognized. It will still be a big leg up if you have a degree rather than not having one.

Are you looking for staff in Sydney? We provide labour hire and permanent recruitment services all across the region, from Parramatta and Penrith all the way to Sydney metro. Our speciality is to provide the best Sydney labour hire in the region.