Pearl collecting in Australia is one of the seasonal jobs that can earn you the most money in this country in a short time, up to AU$3,000 in two weeks.
The best time to look for work in the Australian pearl industry is from April to September. During this time, most companies double the number of their employees, who are almost always students or young travelers.
This type of work is often poorly advertised on online job boards. When these companies need workers, they usually use the contacts they already have or go to the nearest hostels to post a job offer. It is best to go to the areas where the largest oyster beds are located a few weeks before the season begins. There you can directly contact the main production companies and meet other workers who have contacts and can help you.
One of the best places to find work collecting pearls in Australia is Broome in Western Australia.
Do not think that it is an easy task:
- It is a very strenuous physical activity that requires a lot of stamina to work 10 hours or more
- It is a monotonous job, as you have to take care of cleaning the shells, which are encrusted with marine animals, algae and stench
- The work starts very early (the alarm clock is at 4 or 5 in the morning)
Below I list the main pearl companies in the region, on whose websites you can find job offers:
- Paspaley, the largest supplier in the world, located near Kuri Bay.
- Clippers Pearls, another big pearl producer in this area
- Cygnet Bay, they have their oyster farm 200 km north of Broome, the accommodation they offer during the working season is on the mainland so you have to take a boat to the oyster farms every morning
- Willie Creek, another large pearl producer based in Broome and Perth.
Some pearl farming companies are still operating in Queensland waters. This is in the northern part of Australia.
Other pearl-producing pearls are scattered in other parts of Australia, such as Blue Lagoon and MG Kailis on the west coast.
There are also some pearl producers on the Cobourg Peninsula, in the ports of Darwin and Bynoe, but these are smaller and highly fragmented units.
Earnings from pearl collecting in Australia can vary greatly depending on whether you live ashore or aboard while working.
The good thing about living aboard is that you save on room and board while working, as you usually get a free cabin and meals.
If you are on land, you have to leave by boat very early in the morning and return at sunset. In many cases, even on land, accommodation is included.
A worker with no specific skills can receive up to A$20 per hour, with shifts that can last up to 10 hours, earning up to A$200 per day.
Each company has its own rules, working hours and salaries. There are companies that work two weeks at a time and have one week off, and others that work 8 to 12 days and have 4 to 6 days off.
If you are a professional diver, your chances of working in this sector and your salary are much higher, and there is also the possibility of being hired outside Australia. Although this is a riskier job, it is possible to earn up to $1,000 per day.
Collecting pearls in Australia is a job that many backpackers do, and sometimes they do it illegally, but this is something that I cannot recommend at all, as you have no protection.
This is a job that is well suited for those who have a working holiday visa.
For those interested in living in Australia, I recommend reading the article: Move to Australia
For those interested in working in Australia, I recommend reading the article: How to work in Australia