Build the practical skills required to make a real difference in the lives of thousands of Australians by studying a rewarding and in-demand aged care course. Providing personal, physical, emotional support to aged clients, graduates of aged care courses play a vital role in assisting older Australians to live flourishing and engaged lives.
With an old and ageing population, Australia critically needs skilled care professionals to support demands on the health and social service sectors, and help thousands of Australians live meaningful lives. The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects that by 2064 more than 10 million Australians, or nearly a third of the population, will be aged over 65 – tripling the current population figure of 3.4 million people. Job opportunities in the sector are projected to grow strongly in line with increased demand on aged care services, and studying an aged care course can help you start a fulfilling career working in this sector.
Providing the assistance, emotional support, care and companionship required by older Australians, aged care workers support clients to perform everyday tasks and errands, and offer friendship and personal care. Delivered in people’s own homes, these services relieve pressure on the health care system and ensure that the client is at the centre of their own care. Meaningful and fulfilling, aged care work offers a real opportunity for people looking to make a difference in their career.
You can study an aged care course as a Certificate III or IV, or as part of a bachelor’s or master’s degree. After graduating, you may seek employment in home and community care settings, usually working as an aged care worker or community care assistant.
What do aged care workers do?
As an aged care worker, you can expect to work closely with your clients in intimate, hands-on settings, helping them complete a range of everyday tasks to ensure they continue to engage meaningfully and positively in everyday life. Placing the client at the centre of your work, you’ll endeavour to ensure the client directs their own activities, providing support and assistance where needed to help them thrive in their own environment
As an aged care worker, you might perform tasks like:
- Visiting your client at home to check in;
- Accompanying your client during daily tasks and activities, such as shopping and running errands;
- Assisting your client with cleaning, washing, bathing, dressing, organising and taking medicine, preparing food, and other everyday tasks;
- Arranging social activities and organising transport and outings;
- Providing companionship, friendship and emotional support for your client;
- Performing everyday tasks for your client, including cleaning, vacuuming and doing washing; and
- Liaising with family members, social workers, medical professionals, other care providers and other stakeholders to deliver holistic care and support for your client.
In some situations, you may also live with a client, and work intimately with them to ensure they can continue to participate fully in society with your support.
Is aged care right for you?
You’ll find working in aged care rewarding and energising if you:
- Want to help people in your work
- Are empathetic and patient
- Care deeply about other people
- Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Have excellent organisational and time management skills
- Are a good listener
- Want to make a real different to someone else’s life
With Australia’s ageing population, demand for skilled aged care workers is growing rapidly. The Australian Government’s Job Outlook reports that the sector has been growing strongly in size for the past decade, and predicts that growth will continue until at least 2020. Currently, approximately 140,400 people are employed as aged and disabled care workers in Australia, and the sector will employ approximately 183,400 people by 2020. Job Outlook considers this growth in job opportunities to be very strong.
PayScale reports that aged care workers may expect to earn a salary between $34,000 and $60,000 per year, with an average industry salary of approximately $44,000 per year. Entry-level workers can expect to earn competitive salaries, with aged care workers with less than five years’ experience earning on average approximately $43,000 per year.