Job Spotlight – Aged Care

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Salary Range:  Entry-level aged care workers currently earn around $43,000 per year, but that figure doesn’t tend to go up much even when you’ve been in the industry for 5 or more years. If you’re looking for more, there are lots of other opportunities within the field, including management and senior administration roles, entrepreneurial opportunities for those in technology, hospitality or business, and your skills will be recognised in many countries overseas if travel is on your mind.
Future Growth: Job Outlook rate the growth as ‘very strong’, and unemployment is already below average.
Qualifications and skills required:
A Cert II or III (or 1 year of relevant experience) is usually required, however if you’d like to get started there are often assistant positions available that you could combine with study.
What does the work look like?
Aged carers provide support and assistance to elderly people to help them with their self-care and wellbeing. The care provided is usually physical and emotional, and you might work in an aged care facility, hospital, clinic, or in private homes. Your main role is to improve their quality of life wherever possible, so this doesn’t mean simply doing things for them – you’ll assist them to maintain their normal activities such as dressing, washing, socialising and eating in a way that gives them as much control as possible over their lives.
Should I work in aged care?
Aged care can be demanding, and the best people are equipped with bucket-loads of compassion and patience. You’ll be dealing with lots of different people from different cultures, and you’ll often see people when they’re not at their best. Being active will help you with the physical demands of the job, and you’ll gain a strong sense of satisfaction from helping others.
How do I get started? Your pathway will depend on your goal – there are lots of Aged Care Cert III courses available across Australia, but if you dream of becoming a nurse then you’ll need to go to uni to study nursing.There’s lots of financial support for people to get into aged care and upskill – check out the Federal Government’s website for lots of resources. There are also lots of nursing scholarships available here.There are thousands of courses, certificates and degrees available, and finding the right one is up to you. Here are some places to look:
  • Your local TAFE – just about every TAFE Campus across Australia offers Aged Care courses.
  • Private training providers offer courses in classrooms and online, just search for them on google – “aged care [my location] courses” but remember that unlike TAFE, many of these organisations are designed to make money, not just train students. Private providers often offer more flexible learning and a higher level of student support.
  • Complete a nursing degree – just about every university offers nursing so search for degrees in your preferred location.

Resources – Seek Learning
Student Edge
Blog – 7 things no one told you about working in aged care