Working in Cairns

Cairns offers attractive work opportunities across many industries, in particular the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. With an international and domestic airport connecting Cairns with the rest of the world, the city is a dynamic regional hub that continues to grow.

Tourism is a significant industry in Tropical North Queensland with 2.4m visitors annually creating a strong employment demand. Employment opportunities abound in hotels and resorts, on cruise boats to the islands and Great Barrier Reef, at tourist attractions as well as complimentary businesses such as restaurants, bars, tour booking agents and retail outlets.

Agriculture is another strong industry in the Cairns region. Sugarcane plantations surround the city and the Atherton Tablelands, approx. one hour west of Cairns, is considered the area’s food bowl. Mango, banana, pineapple, avocado, macadamia and tea crops thrive in the hinterland, creating a need for seasonal harvest work.

The mining industry has a strong foothold in north Queensland too with national and global mining corporations represented in Cairns.

How to find work in Cairns

Before you start work it is important that you have an Australian visa that allows you to work (see below).

There are plenty of online job sites in Australia such as Seek, CareerOne and Jobsearch which allow you to search by location, job type or your skill set.

The local newspaper The Cairns Post has a Job Vacancy classified section, with Saturday being the most popular day for job advertisements.

Other options include recruitment agencies, notice boards at education institutions or by connecting with social media groups. Word of mouth is another common way to find part-time work so don’t be shy in letting people know what sort of work you are looking for.

Working in Australia

Working conditions throughout Australia are of a high standard with employees treated fairly and with respect in the workplace. Award rates and work conditions must comply with mandatory requirements that are made freely available to every employee.

International students must comply with relevant visa regulations and it is essential that you know the conditions regarding employment that relate to your Australian visa.

More information about work visas

Study Cairns has recommendations where students can find out more about working in Australia while studying.

Check the Study In Australia website for information on the types of visas on offer for international students.

Do you want to volunteer?

The Student Hub welcomes students who want to help by volunteering their time and skills to assist other students. We’re also developing an exciting Internship Program and are happy to assist with finding an internship or volunteer position for you.


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