Work options | Work options in Australia | Youth Central

Everyone has different goals and needs when it comes to work. There are lots of job options available, whether you’re looking for a career or just something to keep the money coming in.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a good way to learn on the job and get paid for it.

Apprenticeships and traineeships mix on-the-job experience with study at TAFE or a registered training organisation.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship as part of your high school studies or after you’ve left school. You can also do one either part-time or full-time.

Visit our Apprenticeships and traineeships pages to find out more about becoming an apprentice or trainee.

Part-time, casual and short-term work

Looking for part-time, casual or short-term work can be a good way to get your first job. It can also be a good way to get started in a particular industry or profession.

Part-time work

Part-time workers are employed for less than the standard working week, which is 38 hours. For example, a job you work from 9am to 5pm on Mondays and Thursdays only is considered part-time. So is a job you work from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday.

Visit our What are the rights of full-time and part-time workers? page to find out more about pay and conditions for part-time workers.

Casual work

Casual workers don’t have guaranteed hours of work. As a casual worker, your shifts can change or get cut from week to week. Casual workers generally don't get sick leave or holiday pay, either. The hourly wages for casual workers are often higher than for full-time and part-time workers. This can help to make up for the uncertain work hours.

Visit our What are the rights of casual workers? page to find out more about pay and conditions for casual workers.

Short-term work

Short-term jobs have a fixed end date. They are sometimes called contract jobs, temporary jobs or temp jobs. They can last for one month, three months or even a year. You might be employed full-time, part-time or as a casual, but when the end date comes, your job finishes.

Here are some benefits of short-term work:

  • it can be a good way to get experience
  • you can meet people who could help you find other work when the job is over
  • sometimes short-term jobs get extended or made permanent
  • if you do your job well, your employer might offer you other work with their business.

A lot of short-term work can be found through employment agencies. Visit our Employment agencies page to find out more.

The gig economy

The gig economy (or on-demand economy) includes online companies that provide things like ridesharing, food delivery and other services.

These companies use websites and apps to match individual workers with individual jobs, literally one job at a time.

For example, if you work for a bicycle food delivery company, you use an app on your phone. You watch the app to find local restaurants that have a delivery order ready to go. You accept a job, pick up the food and deliver it to the customer. You get paid for each job you do.

This type of work is very flexible. You can choose when you want to work, and how long you want to work for. You can work for more than one company at the same time to increase your chances of finding a job near you.

The downside is that when you work for these companies, you can end up earning less than the minimum wage. Visit our What is your minimum wage? page to find out more about getting paid properly.

These kinds of companies also don’t give you the benefits and support you usually get from casual, part-time or full-time work, like sick leave or holiday pay.

If you have a problem with a job you're working in the gig economy, (for example, if you think you're being underpaid or you got hurt on the job) you can contact:

Graduate recruitment

Graduate recruitment programs are for people who have recently graduated from university with at least a bachelor degree. They usually involve one or two years of full-time employment with larger organisations like:

  • government departments
  • legal firms
  • engineering companies
  • international organisations.

Contact your university’s careers department to find out more about graduate recruitment programs. You can also visit our What are our graduate recruitment programs? page for more information. 

Government jobs

Government jobs include work with local councils, state governments and the Australian Government. Governments employ a lot of people. There’s a government job to suit almost everyone.

For example, local councils run things like local libraries and waste collection. State governments like the Victorian Government run our firefighting services, hospitals, schools, police and parks. The Australian Government runs things like the defence forces and the tax office.

Visit our Government jobs page to find out about looking for local, state and Australian government jobs.

Working overseas

Working overseas is a great way to travel, meet people, experience new things and get paid doing it.

Australia has working holiday agreements with lots of different countries. These arrangements let people between 18 and 30 get visas that allow them to legally work while travelling in those countries.

Visit our Working overseas page for more information.


If you’re looking for your first job, volunteering can give you the skills and experience that employers want. It’s also a good way to meet people and contribute to your community.

Visit our How to develop skills volunteering page to find out more about volunteering.

Work experience

Work experience is another way to get experience that can lead to finding a job. Work experience is a short-term placement that you do with an employer as part of your high school, TAFE or university studies.

Visit our How to get work experience pages to find out more about how work experience can help you.