10 Best Paying Jobs in Australia and New Zealand For Your Working Holiday Visa

CompareHero.my Team

CompareHero.my Team

Last updated 22 August, 2019

Planning a working holiday to Australia or New Zealand? If you are ready to start an amazing journey, here are the top 10 best paying jobs in both countries to consider.  

Australia only offers 100 working holiday visas while New Zealand offers 1,150 working holiday visas per year. It is best to plan ahead to ensure you don’t miss out on this opportunity! This list of top 10 jobs (in no particular order) is based on its hourly wage and we have broken it down by job scope to help you even further.

Find out how to apply for New Zealand working holiday Visa here.

Find out how to apply for Australia working holiday Visa here.

Top 10 Jobs for Working Holidays in Australia and New Zealand

1. Customer service & sales


Hourly Wage
Australia: AU$20.14 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$19.85 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM55 – RM170 per hour

Businesses in Australia are on the lookout for customer service and sales assistants more than ever and welcome working holiday Visa holders to apply. Being a telesales marketer or a tele-customer service assistant means you will need to serve, consult or assist your customers over the phone.

This is possibly one of the easiest ways to earn money in a comfortable office as opposed to fruit picking or house cleaning. However, most employers will prefer to hire those that are fluent in English or who have experience in telemarketing.

Downside: Over time, you may find yourself stuck in the same routine at work and that might bore you. Also, you have less flexibility in your schedule due to fixed officer hours and this may cut down your time to travel.

2. Administration

Income Tax

Hourly Wage
Australia: AU$21.31 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$16.45 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM60 or more per hour

Finding work as an admin executive or operation executive in Australia or New Zealand can be difficult, however, it is equally rewarding if you manage to land one. Basic criteria require you to have worked in the country for at least a year, and you can further extend this job for a second year under specific circumstances.

Apart from its high pay, you can also enjoy the company’s extra perks such as medical benefits, team luncheons, special holiday bonus or more, depending on the company’s policy. Similar to a customer service or telemarketer, you are able to work in a comfortable office environment.

Despite the lower chances of getting hired, do not let that stop you from applying. You can even aim for a temp job and may even score yourself a decent pay of at least RM50 per hour.

Downside: It is quite hard for a working holiday Visa holder to get an office job in either Australia or  New Zealand because the company may need to pay you more than hiring a local to do the job.

3. Research assistant

To afford their education many students are opting to work part-time.

Hourly wage:
Australia: AU$30.00 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$23.00 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM65 – RM88 per hour

If you enjoy research, are a science student, or have a passion in the field of science, you could consider becoming a temporary research assistant in either Australia or New Zealand. There are plenty of universities, non-profit organisations and even government agencies conducting research to improve the environment and general quality of life.

This opens doors for temporary research assistant vacancies which are available to working holiday visa holders too!

A bit of head up, some of these projects may require you to travel throughout the country or to stay in rural areas. However, we are pretty sure that most of you will sign up to catch the breath-taking views while getting paid at the same time.

On top of the basic pay, some project managers offer free accommodation or free meals as additional compensation.

Downside: You may be asked to run errands or do things beyond your job scope such as buying coffee and daily necessities to support your team. You need to expect to work at odd hours with very little time for rest when it gets busy.

4. Retail executive


Average wage
Australia: AU$19.32 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$15.71 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM50 – RM70 per hour

One of the most common jobs in major cities is a job at retail stores. It is pretty easy to land a part-time job in any of the major cities, and the requirements are pretty basic As long as you can speak English and have a friendly attitude, you’re good to go.

If you’re visiting during peak holiday seasons, like Christmas, it may be even easier as these retail stores will need the additional help. Expect to receive basic training on your first day and some companies may even offer the incentive of higher pay to encourage the best performance.

Downside: Work routine may get boring from day to day and you need to serve customers who may have a bad attitude or complaints. If you can’t handle that type of pressure, this might not be the job for you.

5. Barista, Bartender or Waiter

Dining area at Mosaic Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur Image sourced from http://www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur/fine-dining/mosaic/

Average wage
Australia: AU$18.65 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$16.61 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM50 – RM70 per hour (excluding tips)

If you are a people person and a food lover, you may enjoy being a barista, bartender or waiter in a pub, café, restaurant or even bistro in Australia or New Zealand. There are plenty of food and beverages operators looking out for part-timers to fill up the vacancies due to the high turnover rate.

If you are lucky, you can even enjoy free meals for working in these restaurants and save more money throughout your working holiday. However, this line of work can be tiring at times especially when the place is fully occupied with hungry customers.

Downside: Customers’ preference towards drinks and beverages can be subjective so try to accommodate to their needs as much as possible, especially when dealing with picky customers. You may also have to deal with impatient customers and, if you’re in a bar, disorderly behaviour should a bar fight break out. Be prepared!

6. Childcare or Nursery jobs


Average wage
Australia: AU$21.41 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$21.66 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM50 – RM68 per hour

You can also look for childcare, au pair, or babysitting jobs when you are traveling to Australia or New Zealand. You just have to be a patient and a loving person to take care of your future employer’s children while they are busy working. Of course, it helps if you’re good with kids too!

Many websites (for example this one)  offer a platform for travelers and families or parents to get in touch with each other, so they can offer what the other person wants - a personal childcare provider and easy money. Apart from children and babies, you can also serve as a senior caregiver in these countries as some families may need the extra help to take care of their elderly family members.

This is also an interesting way to learn about the local’s culture by staying with them most of the time and if you are lucky, they might offer you a place to stay.

Downside: As the nature of the job is a sensitive one since you need to be trusted to deal with children, you may need to acquire a legitimate certificate, evidence of your clean record, or have experience in childcare.

7. Event Set Up Assistant

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Average wage
Australia: AU$26.05 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$24.69 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM50 and above per hour

This job requires you to move around a lot, which is not a bad idea since you are traveling in the country anyway. The only thing is, you will need to prepare yourself for a lot of physical work including setting up booths, running errands, managing logistic, food ordering and basically help in any way to run a successful event.

Downside: It can be an exhausting and labour intensive job, but the pay is pretty decent to cover your expenses and you will be provided with accommodation and food while working.

8. Fruit picking/harvest work

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Average wage
Australia: AU$17.29 per hour on average
(Average) New Zealand: NZ$14.75 per hour on average
Range IN RM: RM34 – RM85 per hour

If you move to Australia, you're going to hear the term "regional work" quite frequently and it usually means farm work such as picking fruit, tending to sheep and livestock or planting crops. Most backpackers on a working holiday visa are allowed to earn a second year in the country if they do regional work for a total of 90 days, which is why many travelers look out for this line of work when they first arrive in Australia or New Zealand.

At some farms, the amount of money you earn will depend on the amount of fruit you harvest or pick at the end of the day. Prepare yourself physically if you are considering this type of role.

Downsides: It requires a lot of physical strength and you need to prepare to work outdoor, including under the harsh sunlight and even during downpours of rain.

9. Hotel concierge or Assistant


Average wage
Australia: AU$17.29 per hour on average
New Zealand: NZ$14.25 per hour on average
Range in RM: RM44 per hour or free accommodation

The only downside here is that this may not be a well-paying job in Australia and New Zealand as compared to the rest, yet it is one of the easiest jobs that you can find while holding a working holiday visa. All you have to do is just hand out your resume at the hotels, complete awalk-in interview and if you pass that, you have yourself a job.

You can earn tips from customers and may even get free meals or accommodation from the hotel operators or owners. Aim for a high-end hotel or hostel if you are hoping for a higher pay.

10. WWOOF jobs (Working Weekends On Organic Farms)

The concept of "WWOOFing" is to work in exchange for food and accommodation. In most cases, the deal will be to work 4hours / day, 5 days/week in exchange for food and accommodation for the whole week. We've heard about all types of jobs being done while WWOOFIng, from the classic gardening and wood chopping to the fun island-sitting, ice cream-scooping or even sheep herding. This is the best way to really discover what New Zealand is all about. You will integrate with a Kiwi family, be treated as part of it, and take part in any aspect of their lives.

Looking for a WWOOFing job will require you to purchase a membership with a WWOOFing organisation but the small fee is well worth it considering that you will be truly living like a local while saving money at the same time. Find out more here.

Downside: Most of WWOOF jobs may require you to work outdoor and involve physical activity. This may not be an ideal job for those who are not an ‘outdoorsy’ person.

Now that you know which jobs to look for, it is best to start preparing for your application and get all your documents ready before the fun begins. We wish you best of luck and have a great journey of your lifetime!

Don't forget to get the best air miles credit card with you and get more rewards from your holidays!

The CompareHero.my team is comprised of many talented individuals, sharing their knowledge, experiences and research to help others make better financial decisions.


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