Working on a construction site in Australia has many advantages. For one thing, you can work in this profession both in the city and in the country. Secondly, these construction jobs are usually well paid (far above the minimum wage for backpackers). In addition, depending on the region, it is possible that you can have the work days recognized for the second work and holiday visa. It is also relatively easy to find a job, as the demand for workers is high. Here are some tips on how to find a job in construction.

What are the requirements to work on a construction site in Australia?

English skills
Your knowledge must be good enough to understand the instructions of your supervisors and to get the white card. You will also need to learn specific vocabulary related to tools and operations.

White Card
The White Card ensures that all construction workers are familiar with safety equipment, signals, and health and safety laws. This license is mandatory to work in the construction sector. It is recognized throughout Australia. To get it, you’ll need to take a short course either online or in a classroom. This can take several hours and costs between 39 (online) and 100 AUD. There is no exam. Since this course is officially recognized as an Australian short course, you will need a Unique Student Identifier (USI). The creation of this number is done online. You will need a valid Australian visa for this as your passport number is linked to the USI.

In terms of equipment, the term “PPE” is used for Personal Protective Equipment. You will need to invest in a high-visibility jacket, safety shoes and a helmet. Depending on the job site and the environment, protective eyewear and hearing protection may also be required. The White Card requires that you have this protective equipment.

Specific licenses and certificates
To work as a traffic controller, drive heavy vehicles, or do other special jobs, you’ll need other licenses.

What kind of work is needed on the construction site?
If you are mainly attracted by money, you can consider working at night or on weekends, as hourly wages are much higher during that time.

Here is a list of jobs you can do without any experience or qualifications in construction in Australia:

Laborer (unskilled labor).

Your job is to do the most undemanding jobs on the construction site. For example, you will have to carry cement bags, bricks, wooden boards or tools, assist the workmen or fill up and carry buckets with water. You’ll probably also operate some tools, like the jackhammer, and do simple tasks, like insulating or offering pallets for sale. The advantage is that you get to socialize with everyone. The disadvantage is that it is physical work. Pay varies from $25 to $45 AUD per hour, depending on your experience and the difficulty of the work required.


This involves picking up trash, sweeping, cleaning the site, and bagging hazardous and residual waste. The Cleaner is responsible for preventing the accumulation of dust on the construction site that is harmful to the lungs, thus ensuring good working conditions. The advantage is that the physical work is less hard. The disadvantage, however, is that you must wear a protective mask at all times to prevent inhaling dust. The pay is the same as that of a laborer. At very small construction sites, you can do both jobs at the same time.

Traffic Controller

The Traffic Controller swings traffic signs, directs traffic, and escorts visitors or passersby through the construction site. This is a job that requires a traffic controller license, which costs between A$200 and A$500. Most women work in this construction job, as no physical strength is required and you also get paid well. In addition, companies that want to increase the percentage of women in their workforce prefer women for this position. The advantage, as mentioned, is that you don’t have to do any physical work. The disadvantage is that you get bored very quickly and in addition you have to stand around all day, mostly in the sun. Traffic controllers are paid better than other unskilled backpackers in the construction industry: between 30 and 45 AUD per hour.

Skilled trades

Electricians, carpenters, plumbers, finishers or other skilled tradesmen usually have high salaries. Contact the company directly, present your qualifications and experience and ask for at least 30-35 AUD per hour.

Tips for finding a job in the construction industry


ALL backpackers love Gumtree. Post a local ad in the “Jobs” category stating that you are looking for a Construction Job. Also mention all your strengths (good English, good fitness, etc.). Your experience in the construction industry should be in the title of the ad). Then check every day if there are new job offers.

Temporary employment agencies

Temporary employment agencies also offer construction jobs all the time. The registration process is usually free and quick, either online or in person. For this, you’ll need your passport, TFN, and white card. Some jobs require experience, while others specialize in inexperienced workers.

Financial Fiscal Year

The Australian financial year begins on July 1. It’s easier to find a job shortly after that. Companies that have frozen their operations at the end of the fiscal year for various reasons usually resume business then.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is still the best method. Ask everyone you know in Australia if they have any contacts in the construction industry. Don’t hesitate to talk to people in the hostel who work on a construction site in Australia. And, as some Australians like to say, “the best way to find a job is going to the pub “.

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