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Working in Melbourne

Find out how to get a job and work in Melbourne

Working in Melbourne is a dream for many expats. The city has a thriving job market that is expected to grow almost 10% in the coming years, alongside a vibrant start-up community for entrepreneurs. Read on and learn how to make a job in Melbourne the next step in your career.

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Finding a job in Melbourne is not always an easy task, but the rewards are great. Working in this city means you can take a step up the career ladder while experiencing all the benefits of living in a state capital. With opportunities in fields as varied as the healthcare, construction, and professional sectors, many people will be qualified to work in this city that enjoys Australia’s beautiful weather and vibrant culture.

Though opportunities are plentiful, getting a job in the second largest city in Australia is not a simple task. You cannot just turn up on a tourist visa and expect to find employment easily, nor can you assume that your qualifications will make you automatically stand out in the competitive job market. The key to getting your dream role? Persistence—and following the tips we list below.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about working in Melbourne. You can explore the current job market and which sectors are booming in the city. We also explain how you can improve your chances of finding and getting a job in your sector, as well as what you can expect your pay to be by listing average salaries. If you are an entrepreneur, search for detailed information about setting up your business in Melbourne in the final section of the guide.

Job Market Overview

This section explores all of the important things you need to know about searching for work in Melbourne. For instance, if you are looking to work in Australia, now is the time. Employment is stronger than ever in the country, with a predicted national average growth of 8%. Expats moving to the Greater Melbourne area are in luck. Here, employment is expected to grow by over 10% by May 2024.

What Is the Job Market Like in Melbourne?

Over the past five years, the state of Victoria has experienced the strongest job market growth in the whole of Australia. As the capital of Victoria, the majority of these jobs have become available in Melbourne.

In general, however, the city’s job market is competitive. You must give yourself every possible advantage by tailoring your cover letters and networking, both before you arrive and while in your new role.

Qualifications

Workers in Melbourne are more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and less likely to hold vocational qualifications (practical qualifications that relate to your work or career) than workers in the rest of Victoria. This means that if you hold vocational qualifications in areas such as healthcare and education, you may be able to stand out when applying for specific jobs.

The city is also experiencing a shortage of people with specific technical qualifications, creating a situation where there is a huge number of job applicants without the specialist training needed for roles. Companies in Melbourne want to remain competitive and are unlikely to employ you without the required training and experience, especially if you need sponsorship for a visa.

On the other hand, this demand means that if you are a specialist in your field, companies in the city may be more willing to search globally for talent and to ask you to relocate for the right role.

Most Required Jobs

In 2019, the Australian Department of Employment gave a five-year prediction for popular employment sectors. The areas expected to expand the most are listed below.

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: the sector with the biggest potential growth in Melbourne is looking for workers including solicitors, data analysts, and software developers.
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: this in-demand sector has grown each month since February 2013. Required jobs include aged care workers and registered nurses.
  • Construction: project managers, supervisors, and other skilled construction workers will be needed for large government projects including the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel.

Skills in Demand

The growth in digital markets means that varied skills are in demand in Melbourne. Employers are predicted to be looking for people with specialist online marketing skills and those who have good experience in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Also sought after are people who are adaptable and want career development.

In general, you need to have the right skills for your new job to be able to meet the criteria for a work visa. See our Visas and Work Permits Australia page for more details.

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Average Salary

As with most of the world, the average salary in Melbourne varies across different sectors. It is important to remember that the cost of living in Australian cities is relatively high, and you should consider your potential living costs in relation to earning power before you move. Learn more in the Living in Melbourne guide.

In Australia, the average worker earns around 86,250 AUD (56,000 USD), with men earning on average 242.50 AUD (157 USD) more per week than women. This average is matched in the state of Victoria, where workers usually earn a wage of over 1,600 AUD (1,040 USD) per week.

To help you understand what is considered a good salary for different jobs in Melbourne, we have listed some common roles alongside their average yearly salary below.

Teacher 78,000 AUD (50,500 USD)
Doctor (General Practitioner) 121,000 AUD (78,400 USD)
Chartered Accountant 109,000 AUD (70,600 USD)
Data Analyst 90,000 AUD (58,300 USD)
Senior Project Manager 130,000 AUD (84,300 USD)

Minimum Wage

In comparison, the national minimum wage in Australia is set at 19.49 AUD (12.65 USD) per hour. This equates to around 740 AUD (480 USD) earned (before tax) per each standard 38-hour working week, or around 38,520 AUD (25,000 USD) per year.

How to Get a Job

For many expats, the issue is not their salary: they are concerned with how to get a job in Melbourne’s competitive job market.

There are certain skills that are necessary and tips to follow if you are going to be applying for a job in this city.

  • Language Skills: English is the official and business language of Australia. You will usually need to speak, read, and write in English to be able to get a job here.
  • Right to Work: You need a skilled visa to work professionally in Melbourne. For more information, see our Visas and Work Permits Australia guide.
  • Online Job Search: Searching online is important to find jobs. This include global sites, such as Indeed and LinkedIn, as well as Australian portals like SEEK.com.au
  • Offline Job Search: Searching offline for jobs is also encouraged. Newspapers, networking events, and even speculative in-person applications to companies are means of finding work in the city.

Targeted Job Applications

You are more likely to find employment in Melbourne if you submit targeted job applications. This includes tailoring your “Curriculum Vitae” (known as a “CV,” a type of resume) to the company that you are applying to, as well as to the skills listed in the job specification. This will involve researching the company you are applying to, to prove why you are right for the role. See our Working in Australia guide for more CV tips.

Networking and Personal Contacts

Taking the time to network and create personal contacts, online and in person, is important to make sure you are aware of job openings as they become available. If you are a in a specific profession, you should find the appropriate professional body in Melbourne. These groups organize networking events, which are key to accessing the “hidden job market.”

If you are using a recruiter, it is recommended that you try to get to know them and talk to them regularly about the opportunities open to you.

In-Person Applications

It is still common in Australia to apply for jobs in person. To do so, you should print out a resume and tailored cover letter, place them in an envelope addressed to the appropriate hiring manager of the company, and personally deliver it to the company reception. This may move your resume to the “top of the pile” as employers realize that you are very interested in the role. It may also help you to access jobs that are not yet advertised online.

Entrepreneurship

If self-employment or entrepreneurship is your chosen career path, Melbourne might just be the city for you. The vibrant city has a growing start-up community supported by local government grants and sponsorship. There is even an annual “Melbourne Knowledge Week” every May that is dedicated to supporting creative thinking and innovation in business.

Freelancers without a developed client base may struggle in Melbourne, thanks to the high cost of living in the city. However, freelancing while working in a full-time job is common in Australia.

It is possible to enter Australia with a visa tied to your own freelance business, and to obtain a visa to start your own business while in the country. See our Visas and Work Permits Australia guide for more information.

Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces and shared offices are a great way for people who run their own business to network and meet likeminded people. There are plenty of different styles of co-working companies in Melbourne, from floating desk, open-plan layouts to more conventional office areas. Explore five of the many available spaces below.

  • The Cluster, Levels 17, 20 & 21, 31 Queen St., Melbourne 3000. One of the first co-working spaces to open in Melbourne, with shared work areas and private offices available. Basic hot desking costs 50 AUD (32 USD) per day.
  • The Circle, 4 Bloomburg Street, Collingwood, 3066. Considered the “most creative” co-working space, dedicated to entrepreneurs and start-ups. Floating desk costs 600 AUD (390 USD) per month, including benefits.
  • Inspire9, Level 1, 41-43 Stewart Street, Richmond, 3121. Founded in 2008, this flexible work environment has developed a community feel to foster creativity and collaboration. A dedicated desk is 640 AUD (415 USD) per month.
  • Electron Workshop, 31 Arden Street, North Melbourne, 3051. A workshop from the 1920s turned open-plan co-working space, built specifically for digital creatives. Full-time fixed desk costs from 499 AUD (320 USD) per month.
  • Worksmith, 450 Smith Street, Collingwood, 3066. Top-of-the-range space that supports a community of food, beverage, and hospitality professionals. A permanent desk costs from 690 AUD (450 USD) per month.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: June 17, 2020
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