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How to Become an Aged Care Worker - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to Become an Aged Care Worker - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

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/ How to Become an Aged Care Worker - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

Thinking of a Career as an Aged Care Worker?

Working with older Australians can be a rewarding and positive employment path, and as the population continues to age, there are a growing number of real career opportunities for people who have the talent, professional background and skills to provide positive assistance to older persons who may need additional support.

Job Outlook Average Salary Work Hours Age Groups
Education Level Skills Trends Courses Interview with a Pro


Aged Care workers Job Outlook

The graph shows historical and projected (to 2019) employment levels (thousands) for this occupation.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, DEEWR trend data to November 2014 and DEEWR projections to 2019. Estimates have been rounded.

Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Aged and Disabled Carers is expected to be high (greater than 50,000). Job openings can arise from employment growth and people leaving the occupation.

Employment for Aged and Disabled Carers to November 2019 is expected to grow very strongly. Employment in this very large occupation (141,000 in November 2014) rose very strongly in the past five years and in the long-term (ten years).

Aged Care Worker Salary

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS EEBTUM survey August 2014 cat. no. 6310.0. Estimates have been rounded and consequently some discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Note: These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate. lists the wage for an aged care worker (with five years’ experience, living in Sydney) as being between an average of $31 000 to a maximum salary of $55 000.

Aged Care Workers Weekly Work Hours

The graph shows the average weekly hours (by gender and full-time and part-time) worked for this occupation, compared with all occupations. 

Aged and Disabled Carers have a relatively low proportion of full-time jobs (39.6 per cent). For Aged and Disabled Carers working full-time, average weekly hours are 37.5 (compared to 40.9 for all occupations) and earnings are below average - in the third decile. Unemployment for Aged and Disabled Carers is average.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Aged Care Workers Age Profile

 Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Aged Care Workers Education Levels

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Statistics on Aged Care

The aged care workforce is highly educated. Fully one quarter of recently appointed staff were currently studying some post-school qualification, as were 19 per cent of all staff. Only 12 per cent have no post school qualifications and 29 per cent have more than one such qualification.

An overwhelming 94 per cent of workers are women and 43 per cent of the aged care workers are 45 years or younger, compared with 67 per cent of all Australian workers. (Source: The Care of Older Australians: A picture of the residential aged care workforce.)

There are government studies that reveal that there could be a vast shortage of aged care workers by the end of this decade, (Aged Care Union, United Voice, Federal Government). This means that the job prospect outlooks for this industry are high.

What Aged Care Qualification Do You Need?

Certificate III in Aged Care

The care of older people is a complex and diverse branch of health care; this certificate is the first step towards gaining the knowledge and practical experience required to work in one of the many areas of this rapidly growing sector of community engagement.

Certificate IV in Aged Care

Aged care workers provide care either in a client’s home, or residential care setting. They carry out their duties under regular guidance within defined care plans or organisational strategies. This course will prepare you to gain work in different types of facilities, and to potentially manage others.

Certificate III in Disability

The disability sector continues to grow, and working with people with disability can be a worthwhile investment towards your future employment prospects. This entry level course will give you the knowledge to gain employment in different types of positions working with people with disability.

Certificate IV in Disability

This certificate is the next step for those who have some current experience, or those who have completed their certificate III. It will equip you with the management qualities to support other employees and to create frameworks for an effective workplace.

Certificate III in Home & Community Care

This course covers new and innovative subjects such as commitment to the philosophy of 'positive ageing' and supporting the rights of the older person. It will give you a good working knowledge of safety procedures, communication strategies, and creating individualised health care plans.

Certificate IV in Home & Community Care

This course is the next step in your home and community care learning pathway. It covers skills that will allow you to maintain effective relationships with your clients, such as how to instruct and support others. These skills could prepare you to step into a team leader or supervisor role.

Foundations in Aged Care

This course as been specifically designed for people who wish to gain entry to the Certificate IV in Aged Care. Gain experience in working with people with dementia and learn how to support the emotional health of older Australians through completing these necessary subjects.

Foundations in Home & Community Care

This course is a simple, low-cost way for you to complete the three prerequisite areas of competency from the Certificate III in Home & Community Care, allowing you to move directly into your Certificate IV. It is ideal for newcomers to the industry.

Why Study Aged Care through Open Colleges?

Our aged care courses are delivered online, giving you the flexibility of organising your study around your life. You can enrol anytime of the year and study at your own pace.

Among other things, you'll learn how to respond holistically to client issues, refer appropriately and to recognise and respond to individuals at risk.

You’ll also learn how to provide services to older people with complex needs, assist clients with medication, how to work within a relevant legal and ethical framework and how to use current medical terminology to communicate your patients’ needs.

Your course includes comprehensive student support to help you throughout your study. Some of the diplomas and certificates allow you to graduate with a government-accredited, nationally recognised qualification that can boost your chances of employment.

Interview with an Aged Care Professional

Maree Sharp  Client Co-ordinator @ Adssi HomeLiving Australia

Maree Sharp

Client Co-ordinator @ Adssi HomeLiving Australia


In two sentences, tell us a bit about your role in aged care.

I assess clients for eligibility for a package of care called a Community Aged Care Package, which is government funded.  Through this package I assist clients to remain living independently in their own homes by providing practical services such as household chores, transport, gardens and lawns, personal care etc – things people may find difficult as they age.

What does an Aged Care worker do on a day to day basis?

On a day to day basis I have continuous communication with clients about their care. I do home visits, organise appointments, transport, change in services for clients. I attend network meetings, organise case conferences between other care givers and agencies, update clients file notes and write ‘Personal Centred Care Plans’ in agreement with the client. I am also responsible for managing the budget for each client in terms of the care they are eligible for.

What are the best parts of the job?

It’s very satisfying knowing you are enhancing the lives of clients to empower them to remain living in their own home for as long as they are able.  I like having the continued communication with the clients, supporting them to make decisions about their services and helping them retain their independence.

What skills/attributes do potential Aged Care Workers need to have?

A caring attitude, a positive outlook, great communication skills, a natural empathetic personality and the ability to understand the clients’ needs are all important.

You need to be adaptable and flexible to individual needs, and have the ability to remain professional within boundaries and to encourage a person’s capabilities so they retain their independence and self esteem.

What are your favourite things about working in the aged care industry?

To start with, visiting the client in their home, listening to the person’s story and learning about their background, how they grew up etc to get a full picture. We’ve all got a story. It’s great knowing you are enhancing people’s lives with continuing care and empowering them to live independently in the community and maintain the lifestyle they are used to.

Thanks, Maree for sharing your story with Open Colleges.

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