Start a rewarding new career supporting people to help themselves by studying an allied health course. Allied Health courses cover a range of areas, from occupational therapy and physiotherapy, through to speech pathology, podiatry, nutrition and rehabilitation.
Due to the wide variety of roles in the allied health industry, the day-to-day tasks you can expect to perform will vary, depending on your career path and area of specialisation. However, all allied health roles are centred on the client, and work to support the client to drive their own care and flourishing. As a result, you can expect to perform the following tasks in an allied health role:
In performing these tasks, you may visit the client’s home to observe and assess their environment, talk to the client and their family, perform exercises and activities with the client, recommend and supply items to assist the client in achieving their goals, and maintain written documentation of the interventions conducted and the client’s progress against their goals.
Allied health is considered a holistic health service, which focuses on adapting a person’s environment to fit the client. As such, the client is an integral part of the therapeutic process, and a successful allied health professional will work to support the client to unlock their own potential and meaningfully engage in all aspects of their life.
Allied health course graduates may work in a range of roles in the allied health industry, including working as a:
You’ll enjoy working in the allied health industry if you:
The Australian Government’s Job Outlook predicts significant growth in a range of allied health roles over the next decade. As Australia’s health system adapts to a growing and ageing population, demand for health professionals across the sector is increasing, including in allied health roles. Job Outlook reports strong growth until at least 2020 for employment opportunities in the occupational therapy, speech pathology, physiotherapy, dietician, social work and pharmacy professions, and also identifies 50,000 new opportunities opening in the health and welfare management sector.
If you choose to undertake complementary study in management, administration or clerical work, you may build a more specialised skillset and be uniquely placed to fill an important management vacancy in the allied health sector.
PayScale reports average salaries for a range of allied health professionals. If you choose to work as an allied health assistant to any specialist, you can expect to earn approximately $54,000 per year.
According to PayScale, an occupational therapist can earn between $45,000 and $78,000, depending on experience, with an average salary of $62,000. A physiotherapist can expect to earn between $49,000 and $88,000, with an average salary of $68,000. A nutritionist can expect to earn between $45,000 and $78,000, with an average salary of $53,000. There’s a reasonably strong correlation across the allied health profession between experience and earning capacity, with more experienced practitioners earning higher salaries.