Working in Melbourne?

Connect with fellow expats in Melbourne
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our Melbourne guides
Exchange tips about expat life in Melbourne

Working in Melbourne

Are you interested in working in Melbourne as an expat? Australia’s second-largest city boasts numerous job opportunities, for example in growth fields such as IT or the life sciences. To find out about the urban economy, job hunting, working conditions, and office culture, read our InterNations guide to working in Melbourne.
Melbourne's central business district has become a financial hub for pension funds and international banking.
  • Victoria’s farms produce grain, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat, livestock, and fish.
  • With the manufacturing industry declining, there are a growing number of new job opportunities available in the service sector.
  • When you are applying for jobs, make sure that your documents, certificates, and diplomas are all translated into English. 
  • In addition to paid annual leave, there are 13 public holidays in Victoria.

Working in Melbourne means participating in a highly diversified urban economy. While the city’s importance as an Australian manufacturing center went into decline during the 1970s and 1980s, the metropolitan area now offers opportunities in Melbourne’s growth sectors and service industries.

Victoria is Australia’s second-largest economic contributor, right after New South Wales. In 2015 it created over 22 percent of the nation’s total gross domestic product.

Agriculture and Mining

Outside Melbourne, in rural Victoria, the primary sector retains some importance. Laborers and farmers produce mainly grain, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products or specialize in farming livestock and fisheries.

Today, the great gold rush that led to Melbourne’s first boom, and provided a job for many of the country’s immigrants, has long become a colorful era in the history of the state. For foreign engineers thinking of getting a visa to work in Melbourne, the mining industry could be of considerable interest; the region still has resources of gas, petroleum, and brown coal. Furthermore, the government allocated 15 million AUD to fund mineral exploration projects in the 2014-2015 budget.


As far as the manufacturing sector is concerned, what was once the main pillar of the local labor market and the pride of many people working in Melbourne, is now crumbling.  

The decreasing importance of traditional manufacturing is largely responsible for Victoria’s relatively high unemployment rate of 5.9 percent (August 2016). The turmoil in the industrial sector has slowed down the state’s economic growth, and lay-offs often affect workers from construction and manufacturing. Moreover, the manufacturing sector in Victoria has taken a further hit with the closure of major car manufacturers GM Holden, Toyota, and Ford between 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately, experts are forecasting an estimated loss of over 28,000 jobs.

However, the higher-than-average unemployment rate cannot be completely blamed on the manufacturing industry. One of the main issues affecting the Victorian economy is the paired combination of slow job growth and the influx of newcomers intent on working in the state.

However, advanced manufacturing has found its way into Melbourne and still employs a large amount of people living in Melbourne and Victoria. For instance, the industrial development zone of Fisherman’s Bend is home to factories and R&D facilities of the aerospace, defense, and marine industries. For an example, one major company located in this area is Boeing Aerostructures, supplying over 1,200 jobs to qualified workers in this area.  Moreover, overseas applicants with the proper qualifications should look into working in one of Melbourne’s high-tech industries.

The Service Sector

As mentioned above, working in Melbourne’s tertiary sector is the employment opportunity number 1, for locals, expats and immigrants alike. Finance, education, healthcare, ICT, the life sciences, logistics, and tourism are of great significance for the urban economy and are in constant need of staff.

Melbourne has become a key center for Australia’s pension funds. It is also home to the corporate HQs of the National Australia Bank, Goldman & Sachs investment services, and Standard & Poor’s. If you are an expat with professional experience in international finance, this could be your chance.

Healthcare and Life Sciences

Furthermore, there is an ongoing shortage of skilled staff working in Melbourne’s healthcare service and medical services. On the research side, Melbourne’s nine universities are important employers, but you might want to explore the bio-tech market as well.

Around half of Australia’s top 20 bio-tech businesses are based in the Melbourne region. Scientists in Melbourne’s pharmaceutical companies have been involved in clinical trials of new medications, stem-cell research, and the development of innovative cancer therapies.

IT and Tourism

Plenty of ICT jobs in Australia are located in Melbourne, due to the availability of venture capital and the good climate for start-ups. The city is thus attractive for computer and communication specialists, as well as for geeks active in the open source software movement.

Last but not least, a magnet for backpackers, tourism is another essential pillar of Melbourne’s economy. In 2016, 2.5 million international tourists — mainly from Asia, New Zealand, the US, and the UK — decided to go on vacation in the state of Victoria, spending around 6.7 AUD billion there. Also the tourism industry is responsible for supplying over 22,000 jobs in Greater Victoria. Hence, if you are interested in working in Australia’s event management agencies, catering services, or hotel businesses, then Melbourne may be the right choice.  



We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Alain Nguyen

"It was easier getting to know other expatriates in Melbourne with this platform and to share our previous experiences in Australia. "

Samantha Greene

"I love the idea of going out with other expats here in Melbourne and exploring the nightlife this city has to offer. "

Global Expat Guide