Working in Sydney?

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

Working in Sydney

Are you planning on working in Sydney as an expatriate? InterNations helps you prepare for the transition: get key information on finding work, obtaining the proper visa, and learning about Australian business etiquette. Read on to find out more about relocating to Sydney for work.
Over 300,000 people are working in Sydney's central business district.
  • Nearly half of Sydney’s population was born overseas.
  • If you are looking for a job in Australia, you should enter your information into the SkillSelect Database, which allows employers to find qualified workers.
  • The Age Pension is available to all permanent residents who have been living and working in Australia for at least ten years prior to their retirement.

The Sydney metropolitan area produces nearly ten percent of Australia’s GDP every year. Sydney is undisputedly the country’s financial hub. Most people working in Sydney find jobs in property and business services, retail, and manufacturing, as well as health and community services. Other major sectors are information, media and technology, creative and performing arts.

Tourism, although not formally classified as an industry, is also a steady source of employment for many of those working in Sydney. In the year ending in March 2016, Sydney received over 3.3 million international tourists while 9.2 million domestic overnight visitors decided to travel to the city, and authorities are endeavoring to attract even more.

However, Sydney's economic growth — while still solid — has been slowing down lately due to the lack of qualified workers. The city administration is currently trying to attract highly skilled people from abroad.

Business Locations

The City of Sydney is at the center of local business activity and nearly half of the population — about 49 percent — was born overseas.  For an example, most of Sydney’s workforce comes from China, New Zealand, or the UK.

Most of the people here are working in Sydney Central. This area includes the Sydney Central Business District, Pyrmont-Ultimo, East Sydney, and the so-called Knowledge and Enterprise precinct around Redfern-Waterloo, Sydney University, and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

The city’s Economic Development Strategy emphasizes the importance of local “places” for business in a global economy in order to maintain the high standards that residents are accustomed to. The bigger picture of the city’s economy reflects this development. The metropolitan area is developing its own business locations, with many global firms and large numbers of overseas employees now operating and working in Sydney’s metropolitan centers.

Getting a Job

Working in Sydney doesn´t need to remain a distant dream! If you are looking for work prior to your arrival, your first step should be to register with the Australian government’s SkillSelect Database. Employers who are unable to fill a skilled vacancy in their company can check this database in order to find qualified candidates from overseas.

In order to register, you need to have your skills and qualifications recognized by an official Assessing Authority. Doing this could significantly enhance your prospects of finding a job in Sydney in the near future. It also enables you to use Australian JobSearch, the government´s extensive free online service for jobseekers and employers alike. There are also quite a few job portals catering to skilled overseas candidates.

Qualifications and Skills

Proficiency in English and an official skills assessment are requirements for most Australian working visas. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship also provides an overview of visa categories plus required skills recognition on the Australian Skills Recognition Information pages. Your visa application form usually contains details regarding the kind of assessment or recognition required, as visa sub-categories may have their own skills assessment programs.

Practicing a Trade

If you are employed in a particular trade overseas and would like to continue this job in Sydney, you should consult Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). The TRA website provides guidance concerning the different skills assessment programs for working in Sydney, such as permanent and temporary skilled migration.

Before practicing your trade in Sydney, it is recommended you check the State Training Services website of the NSW Department of Education and Training to find out whether there are any state-specific requirements for your trade. This website also contains information on where to obtain a license for selected trades, like repairing motor vehicles.


Continue to the next page of this article to learn more about working in Sydney.



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

Serhat Ahmed

"Without experience of having lived abroad, I thought it would be hard to get to know other expats. But not with InterNations."

Lotta Koskinen

"When I first attended the Sydney Bar night I was really nervous. But everyone welcomed me and I quickly felt as part of the community."

Global Expat Guide

Top Articles Expat Guide