How to Work as a Hairdresser in Australia

by charlottegw / last updated October 1, 2018

Hairdresser in australia

Would you like to work as a hairdresser in Australia? Business and legal expert Adam Bernstein shares everything you need to know to get a job in a salon down under.

For decades the Australian government has been on a mission to address a significant skills gap in the economy. The list is updated regularly, but hairdressing is still listed as one of the professions where overseas workers are in demand.

Why hairdressers?

As Australia’s population increases, so does the country’s service sector. This has resulted in an increased demand for the skills needed to meet the population’s needs. The majority of British stylists travel on working holiday visas, which means they tend not to stay long and leave salons unable to retain staff, which leads to an unwanted turnover of clients. Continuity of service from well trained and likeable staff is vital to the long-term success of a salon.

How to move to Australia in the short term?

In the past, both ‘hair salon manager’ and ‘hairdresser’ were listed on the Australian government’s consolidated sponsored occupations list (C-SOL). This is a comprehensive list of jobs that are in demand and can be sponsored by an Australian employer. However, that list was replaced last year by a new combined current list of eligible skilled occupations.

Sadly, while hairdressers are on the new list, hairdressing and beauty salon managers have been removed as part of the process, which condensed the list from 651 to 435 occupations. This list will be updated by the Australian government every six months. So if you want to be a hairdresser in Australia check again in a few months

The changes mean that you will need to apply for a temporary skill shortage (TSS) visa, which was introduced in March 2018. To get the visa, you’ll need to have at least two years’ work experience in hairdressing. The hairdressing sector will need to pass a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers; and employers will need to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.

How to move to Australia permanently?

If you want to seek permanent as opposed to temporary work, you will have to meet the government’s English language requirements. You will also need to have at least three years’ work experience and be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of your application, (unless exemptions apply). You will also need to be paid the Australian market salary rate and meet the temporary skilled migration income threshold (TSMIT)2. Plus, the prospective employer must pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.

In essence, when looking to become a hairdresser in Australia or elsewhere in the world, sponsors will be looking for senior stylists with many years of experience. Training qualifications, in particular PTLLS or A1 assessor qualifications, are especially attractive, as they show that a worker has the necessary skills to bring on the next generation of hairdressers.

For more details on visas and working in Australia go to

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