Blogs (Career Inspiration Articles)

Top 6 jobs for school leavers

Whether you will go on to further study and need some cash - or you're planning on going straight to the workforce - here's some ideas.

Top 6 jobs for school leavers

Whether it’s a casual gig or an early career-play, your first job can offer you more freedom through financial independence, as well as teaching you valuable and rewarding skills. To help you out, here is a list of awesome jobs that school leavers often thrive in because they offer lots of skills for both advancement and other careers! 


First up, you picked it. On a 'normal' day-to-day basis, baristas are usually the ones who keep our economy going, caffeinating the workforce on a daily basis across the nation.

Making great coffee is as much an art as a science, and baristas are the masters. This engaging job beckons people who take pride in their work and like interacting with customers – and don’t mind being up early!

TAFE NSW offers short courses in coffee skills. Learn the ins and outs of making perfect coffee, including courses that take three days.

Bar attendant

Another one for customer-service gurus. Bar attendants operate the beer taps and liquor stores of pubs and clubs. They also share a love of chatting to customers and keeping the bar spic and span. Working on a bar can be a lot of fun, and you will learn all about good practice in keeping patrons safe.

As a minimum, to work on a bar you will need to gain your Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. You can gain this online through TAFE Digital. You just need to be 18, so most recent high school graduates qualify. Then, if you want to take your bartending skills to the next level, checkout your advanced options including cocktail masterclasses.


There’s nothing that brings people together like good food. Kitchenhands work alongside qualified chefs in preparing professional, quality dishes in restaurants and other kitchens.

These culinary sidekicks enjoy working hands-on, and they shine in a fast-paced environment with plenty of communication.

Employers want to find school leavers who can be trusted to work independently and hygienically in a kitchen. So get qualified! Explore food-handling courses – including short courses.


Whether you're considering online sessions or not, parents are always looking for people to help out their children with school work and exam preparation. Tutoring is highly rewarding work, and can pay very well. Recent school leavers like you are just what the doctor ordered, because you have fresh memories of the course content, and you have a close understanding of today’s high-school experience.

If there is any subject which you had a knack for, you could reach out to your former teachers to put you in contact with parents looking for a tutor. Don’t think that you need to be a straight-A student to be a good tutor. Communication and teaching ability are incredibly important. To give you that edge, check out an online short course in your favourite subject area.

Getting a trade

If you feel like jumping straight from school into an in-demand career-path, a trade apprenticeship could be for you. Tradespeople work as carpenters, electricians, hairdressers and more. Once accredited, in-demand tradespeople  can find work almost anywhere in Australia, many working for themselves.

The structured theoretical component of apprenticeships for school leavers can be studied through TAFE NSW, and you may even have your course fees funded by the NSW Government! Here are our 20 most popular apprenticeships. Remember there are pre-apprenticeship options too to give you a taste of the trade and a great foundation in some of the skills.



Joining the Australian Defence Force is an enormously meaningful career-path that many school leavers take. The opportunities are diverse, from general-entry roles right through to university sponsorship and officer training at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

People in the ADF report an enormous sense of pride and purpose in serving their country, as well as competitive pay and superannuation.

TAFE NSW has a range of defence-related courses that can assist your application to the ADF.

These are just a few of the many, varied and exciting job options that school leavers often choose. Hopefully we’ve sparked some ideas for you to pursue, so you can start forging a career to be proud of, not to mention earning some money after all those years of schooling and hard work.

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