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Is It Easier To Find A Job In Melbourne Or Sydney?

Over the past couple of decades, Australia has made great strides. Sydney and Melbourne are the most popular destinations, yet everyone agrees that they're all pretty.

These cities have been around for quite some time and have established themselves as prosperous hubs with thriving economies, robust job markets, and abundant resources.

This age-old conundrum of "which city is better to live and work in, Sydney or Melbourne?" has never been resolved. If you're looking to launch a company, start a family, or advance in your job, which option would you choose and why? Let's compare the advantages and disadvantages of each place so you can make an educated selection.

FAQs About Melbourne

Sydney is the easiest city in Australia to find employment according to figures which compare vacancies recorded by job aggregator Adzuna with the number of people officially recorded as being out of work.

Well, it is always going to depend on your skills and experience, but on paper, the answer is No. The unemployment rate in NSW is 3.9% - in January 2019 alone, there were over 47,000 new jobs created in NSW. In addition, NSW has the highest employment participation rate at 65.2%.

There are more jobs in Sydney.

The job market is bigger, but the quality of work and 'talent' in Creative and Digital in Melbourne is not a small country town, not even close.

Melbourne is notorious for how hard it is to find a job, especially if you don't have experience in the career you want to pursue. The amount of people living in the city, the skilled job seekers, and the fact that a lot of companies outsource their workforce makes job hunting in Melbourne hard.

The slowdown in employment growth

Since the end of the mining boom, Australia's economy has not fared well, and as a consequence, many people have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced. About 1.8 million Australians are looking for more work or some work. It also typically takes longer to find employment.

Realistically speaking, $60,000 is not enough to support a family of four in Sydney, Melbourne, or another expensive city. In a less expensive location, however, it could be the right income for your needs.


If you're a lover of big city life and are looking to either travel or work in Australia, you probably share the dilemma that many backpackers have of deciding which is best - Sydney or Melbourne.

This is not a new argument. The only reason why Canberra was built as the Capital was that a decision could not be made between the two.

The problem is they're both great cities, and if they were found in a pack of Top Trump cards, though the figures would vary between points, ultimately, they would be just as powerful as the other. But this may be the easiest way to assess the two and work out where best suits you.

Living in Australia Pros and Cons

Australia has become a stunning country where one can develop emotionally and professionally despite its unusual wildlife and sandy deserts.

It can be difficult to relocate to Australia from another nation. Naturally, the initial culture shock can be rather challenging. Not that that's a bad thing, though! It's just that you might be surprised by how kind and chill Aussies are. To an extent, it's fair to state that Australia is a really classless society.

Before making the move to Australia from a nation where English is not the primary language, it is imperative that you become fluent in the language. Learning English is a need for getting by in daily life and in the job market. Your ability to communicate clearly and fluently will be very useful.

The cost of living in Australia's major cities may seem excessive at first, depending on where you're relocating from, but the high pay you can expect to receive after you find a job there will more than make up for it. Similar to those of the United Kingdom and the United States, the housing market in Australia is booming in Melbourne and Sydney. But let's dig a little further and compare and contrast two of Australia's major cities.

Job Opportunities

is it easier to find a job in melbourne or sydney

Job opportunities in Melbourne and Sydney are distinct. Both Sydney and Melbourne are important to Australia's economy, however Sydney is better known for its banking industry and Melbourne for its manufacturing.

According to Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, in 2015, New South Wales added about 180,000 new employment, an increase of around 5%.

The home service market is booming in Sydney and Melbourne, providing excellent opportunities for investment and expansion.

Sydney and Melbourne's thriving housing markets attract a greater number of investors, who in turn boost the cities' infrastructure, making it easier for businesses providing services such as gardening, housekeeping, and handyman work to thrive there.

The demand for domestic service providers has skyrocketed during the past few years. It would be wise to start a cleaning or gardening service in both cities. If you're a foreigner moving to Australia, this could be a terrific option, as it typically doesn't necessitate any prior expertise or qualifications and can give you with a nice salary and room to grow your business.

It's possible that we have a position available for you in the home services industry. Feel free to look over our services, which include cleaning, gardening, handyman, and pest control.

How to Find a Job in Melbourne

To be hired in Melbourne can be a bit of a challenge. Even without experience, it is possible to obtain work in Melbourne, as we detailed in a blog post.

The most difficult part of starting a career as a foreigner is finding that first job. The ability to provide local references and work history is highly sought after by businesses. Soon after that, things will begin to improve.

We recommend that anyone relocating to Victoria begin networking with local businesses in advance of their arrival. You should look them up online and try to get in touch with them. You can find a job much more quickly with the help of these relationships.

Melbourne is an excellent place to work in the auto sector, as several major manufacturers, including Ford, Holden, and Toyota, all operate factories in or around the city.

In addition, bankers enjoy good fortune (but even more in Sydney). Of Australia's top four banks, two are headquartered here in Melbourne.

The city is home to many prominent businesses, including BHP Billiton, Australia's largest company, and numerous biotech firms. The country's main port is located in Melbourne as well.

How to Find a Job in Sydney

Sydney is the city with the most job opportunities for people in the business.

Being the financial capital of Australia, Sydney contributes a quarter of the country’s GDP. The banking industry in Sydney is the strongest in the whole country providing well-paid jobs for skilled professionals. All 20 of the top foreign banks have their headquarters in Sydney.

Retail is the largest employer, and manufacturing is the second biggest industry after financing. This makes the city suitable for people with different experiences and professions.

Sydney is a great place to start a pest control business, as some critters prefer urban territories, and the city of Sydney provides pest control only in public areas.

Step-by-Step Process of Finding a Job

Acquire all needed documents:

  • Passport and visa
  • Tax file number (declaration form)
  • Driving licence
  • Professional certificates
  • Emergency contact details
  • Bank account details

Be familiar with the local etiquette and customs. Moving from one place to another, you’re bound to have an adjustment period. Around the world, people do things differently. When searching for a job, make sure you understand local business etiquette and speak the language well enough (including terminology).

Search for a job online. You can do that through websites like Seek and Indeed or find the websites of companies you’re interested in and directly approach them. The main job listing websites can be a great place to start, but you can broaden your chances of finding a workplace by asking in forums and Facebook groups.

Searching for open positions in person Looking online is one thing, but if you need to find a job ASAP, go outside. Ask in places where you think you can work. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your CV with you as some employers might want to see it right away. In other cases, they would want you to send the CV as an email.

Average Pay

As both cities are expensive to live in, pay plays a major role when choosing where to live. You will have to pay the bills, and the difference between both cities is big.

In both cities, 20% of the richest households account for 61% of household wealth.

Average Salary in Melbourne

The average salary in Victoria is around A$75,000 as of 2016.

Melbourne might have 5% to 10% lower salaries compared to Sydney, but the rent on average is 30% lower in Melbourne, which makes the difference. Of course, it depends on what suburb you choose to live in.

Average Salary in Sydney

Being a city that is financially growing, the average yearly salary in Sydney is above A$80,000. Of course, as the industries are well developed, and the jobs are more demanding professionally, the median salary could easily be surpassed.

Travel Time to Work

In recent years commuting has become like a second job (it turns out it can even be bad for you). People can travel hours to work, and this is where Melbourne is the clear winner of both cities.

Average Commute Time Melbourne

Melbourne is a city with a European feel. This means narrower streets and a home closer to work. Most people commute around 15 km to work. This is no problem, as most of the city is covered by the tram system (which is comfortable and said to be the best in Australia).

With the help of public transport, going to and from work is easy and fast.

Average Commute Time Sydney

Sydney has notorious traffic. The distance in commute is, again, around 15 km, but it takes much more time compared to Melbourne. That is if you’re travelling by car. The streets are small, and gridlock is much more likely to happen.

However, if you can take the daily ferry to the centre, it can be very nice. It can also be a great way to start the day.

Living Expenses Comparison

Both cities have their pluses and minuses. It depends on the individual and their needs which city is better for them. Melbourne might have cheaper housing options, but Sydney can provide more professional growth.

Cost of Living in Melbourne

As a result of Melbourne's thriving economy, even low-skilled employees may find work quite easily. Not exactly cheap, but about A$100,000 cheaper than the average Sydney home.

In Melbourne, lodging is where you'll spend the most money. In Melbourne, a rental flat of 80 square feet, on average, will set you back about A$2,500 per month. The cost of rent varies greatly from one geographic location to the next. Including the cost of dinner out and a concert or show, a night out will cost you about A$70. Costs range from AU$120-150 per night for two people.

Cost of Living in Sydney

Living accommodations are where people spend most of their money. An 85 ft2 apartment will cost around A$3,800 per month. Buying a home can be extremely expensive, costing more or less around half a million.

Going out, a dinner, gig, and a drink will cost around A$100 for two. Consider the cost of utilities, which depending on what and how much you use, can be around A$300 per month.

Sydney or Melbourne – Which is Better to Live in?

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Saying one city is better than the other is hard. This is a very subjective opinion, that depends on the person and what you like.

Melbourne is a more family-oriented city. The hustle and bustle are less, while work and business opportunities remain plentiful.

Sydney is a more career-oriented city. A lot of banks and funds go through it, and it allows the banking industry to boom.

It depends on what you’re looking for. Both cities provide plenty of work, but Melbourne is more family-friendly and less expensive.

Let’s look at their summarised pros and cons.

Living in Melbourne Pros and Cons

Melbourne Pros

  • Melbourne is voted the most livable city globally by the Economist for the seventh year in a row.
  • Great job, market.
  • Cheaper real estate for renting or buying in comparison to Sydney.
  • Similar population to Sydney with a higher growth rate. This can be a pro and a con, depending on what you prefer.
  • Melbourne has some good highways that are wider than two lanes and, in some cases, five lines wide. This decreases gridlock in peak hours.
  • Melbourne’s well-managed network of trams covers the entire city smoothly.
  • Healthcare jobs in the public sector are better in Melbourne. The healthcare system is much better organised in Melbourne, and there are more public sector jobs for allied health (dieticians).

Melbourne cons

  • The salaries are around 5-10% lower compared to Sydney.
  • The job market is smaller than in Sydney.
  • It can be challenging to find a first-time job in Melbourne, although Melbourne is still better than other states.

new job

Living in Sydney Pros and Cons

Sydney pros

  • Sydney provides more job opportunities compared to Melbourne. If it’s professional services, you’ll most likely have access to a larger client base in Sydney. Professional, science and technologies are supplanted by construction.
  • IT, design and tech jobs are way better in Sydney. More start-ups, more banks and financial services. Google, Atlassian, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and most bank headquarters are in Sydney (NAB and ANZ are in Melbourne but have development teams in Sydney).
  • NSW has more employment opportunities compared to VIC. By mid-June of 2017, Sydney had a lower unemployment rate than Melbourne (3.83%, VS 4.3%).
  • Sydney is Australia’s key financial hub. Large, prominent transactions often take place there.
  • Sydney is the better choice if you’re a frequent flyer. The airport has many daily international connections all over the world.
  • The startup scene in Sydney seems bigger and more advanced than in Melbourne.
  • Sydney enjoys sub-tropical weather with moderate summers, rains and winters. The average temperature varies from 18 degrees to 24 degrees.
  • Nice hiking trails, many beautiful beaches, a gorgeous commute by ferry (depending on where you live) are all highlights of Sydney off-work life.
  • If you are passionate about music and art, then Sydney is considered Melbourne moreover.

Sydney cons

  • During peak traffic hours, it could take more than two hours to leave the city.
  • Sydney has a lockout law with 1.30 am lockouts, and 3 am last drinks at bars.
  • The train system is not as good as Melbourne’s.

Iconic Value

If asked to state landmarks of Australia, Sydney's Royal Opera House and Harbour bridge would be quick to come to mind. As well as this, worldwide Sydney would be the most famous and therefore receives a 9/10 on this rating. 

To a tourist, nothing beats the thrill of finally getting to witness in person images they've seen their whole lives, and Melbourne doesn't come close on this front save for one street: Ramsey Street. If you're a fan of Neighbors, you'll love the fact that you can schedule a tour of the set, but otherwise, Melbourne only gets 6/10 for renowned attractions.


Home to the infamous Bondi, Sydney once again takes the lead with an 8/10. Better waves make it great for surfing or just spying on surfers, and the water in this part of Australia is about as crystal clear as you can get. Not just at Bondi, but it's also worth checking out other beaches like hopping on a short ferry ride to Manly. Melbourne's beaches are not far behind, with a 7/10.

St Kilda being a city beach, is easily reached by tram, full of tourists, and unfortunately, litter is probably the main reason Melbourne's beaches are not viewed that highly. This isn't to say that there are not some great parts. Just take a car down the coast in search of your winning spot. Half Moon Bay is a cute local find, but if you're without a car, take a train out to Brighton Beach, and you're still onto a winner.

The Arts

In spite of Sydney's reputation as a magnet for international a-listers, Australia's arts sector is centred in Melbourne. There are always a tonne of vintage-style posters all over the city, announcing upcoming events in great detail.

Melbourne deserves a perfect score since it has something for everyone, whether they're into music, fashion, theatre, dance, art, or something completely off the beaten path. Without a doubt, this draws hundreds of hipsters, and if you can't handle them, you're better off in Sydney. This is still a fantastic resource for the arts, but it caters to a much wider audience.


Simply put, both cities have their pluses and minuses. While Melbourne can be more welcoming to people who are interested in raising a family, have a stable job or running a business, Sydney offers amazing opportunities to people who travel often, want to live in Australia’s most populated city, and enjoy the real hustle and bustle.

The final decision on where you want to find a job is up to you. There is no “one” winner as we’re all different. Ask yourself – what do you enjoy, and what would you like to change where you live right now?

At the end of the day, if you’re young, try both. Sydney and Melbourne have plenty of people living there to allow residents to develop big businesses and live comfortably.

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