How to Get Your RSA

I am currently facing the hard job of finding a job. For everyone looking for short term work with little to no experience, you understand the struggle. I apply to about 10-15 jobs a day from online sources or walking by help wanted signs. It’s hard not to feel defeated when you are getting no replies, or only rejections. Right now I have found that the best way to enjoy this is to occupy my time with loads of tourist attractions. This upcoming weekend I am going to Taronga Zoo.

If you are a backpacker, some of the easiest jobs to get are being a charity salesperson, working in hospitality, and day labour work. All of these options have their pros and cons. Charity salesperson is hard work out on the streets from 9-5 every weekday with loads of rejection Day labour work can sometimes be unreliable, and the hospitality industry takes a lot of patience. I have chosen to work in the hospitality industry doing cafe jobs, bartending. and waitressing.


If you decide to come to Australia on a working holiday visa and want to serve alcohol (either bartending or waitressing) you have to get RSA certified. RSA stands for responsible service of alcohol. Basically this certification teaches you the basic Australian liquor laws and what your work will expect of you. I got my RSA a week ago and it was extremely easy. All you have to do is sign up for a course near you, either by phone or online. I chose the Coffee School because it was the cheapest and closest to me. The course is a one 6 hour lecture followed by a short exam.

Spoiler: most teachers will tell you the answers to the exam question or they let you use notes, so don’t stress. You will pass!

This was a long day on a very dry topic, so here are some times that I think would have made my experience more enjoyable and will hopefully help yours.

3 Tips on RSA Day

  • Bring snacks. (or even just gum)
  • Dress super comfy: chances are your room will be either very hot or very cold, and those chairs get uncomfortable fast so be prepared with an outfit that makes you happiest.
  • Bring a friend: if you know some people who want to get their RSA, encourage them to sign up with you.

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