The aged care sector is one of the fastest growing in Australia. Our population is increasing and Australians are living longer, which directly translates into demand for trained professionals in the aged care sector.
Working in aged care has its challenges, but it can also offer plenty of rewards. For one, it’s a stable industry that offers plenty of room for growth. But on top of that, you’ll get to witness small miracles and you’ll probably learn a thing or two working with elderly folks who have more than a few colourful stories to share.
Does working in aged care sound like the right career path for you?
Read on to find out how to get a job in aged care, what kind of qualification you need, and where you can find work experience in aged care.
What kinds of jobs are there in aged care?
The aged care sector makes up a large part of the healthcare industry in Australia. Therefore, it makes sense that there are a number of different of jobs you could consider following.
Working in aged care means that you’ll be working with clients who are still living independently at home but need a helping hand, or with clients living in residential aged care. You could also work as part of community services, organising local events for senior citizens that help them get out and about, connect with other people, stay healthy and have fun.
You can find out more about your aged care career path in our blog: ‘What are the different types of jobs in aged care?’
What kind of qualification do I need to work in aged care?
To work in aged care you don’t actually need a formal qualification. However, when you start applying for jobs you’ll find it highly valuable to have a VET qualification under your belt, such as the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support.
Studying a course in aged care will help you to get a better understanding of the industry you’re looking to join, and it means you’ll also be able to acquire job-related skills even before you’ve started working. This will give you a lead over other job applicants who don’t have any training or qualifications.
Is government funding available with any aged care courses?
Because of the demand for workers, there are certain government initiatives that aim to encourage people to study a course in aged care.
These government funding subsidies change depending on the state and the course, and there are certain eligibility requirements you have to meet. But if you do your research beforehand, you should be able to find an option to suit your needs.
For example, in South Australia students may be able to save $300 off the Certificate III in Individual Support if they meet the eligibility requirements*. While in Western Australia students who are aged 24 years and under may only need to pay $400 for the same course*.
Can I study aged care online?
There are a lot of education providers out there on offer, and many of them offer online courses in aged care.
Online study is a great option for students who are balancing other commitments but still want to study. Online study gives you the freedom and flexibility to fit your study around your life, so you can get qualified in your own time.
However, if you like the idea of online study but also want a hands-on experience, you could study what’s known as a ‘blended learning’ course.
A blended learning course offers you the best of both worlds: the flexibility of online study with the practical experience of on-campus training. Blended learning often incorporates a few days a week of campus-based learning where you interact face-to-face with other students and teachers and also gain hands-on experience. But it also includes an online element which means you can still study from home (or the park, or your favourite café, or anywhere else you choose) and work on these sections of the course in your own time.
Where can I get experience working in aged care?
An essential part of just about any VET course is getting practical experience in the real world. And aged care is no different.
If you’re considering studying an aged care certificate, then check to see if your education provider offers work placement as part of the course.
Work placement will teach you real-world skills and allow you to see what it’s like to work in the industry firsthand. Aside from teaching you important skills, it will also give you a glimpse into what your future career could look like.
As part of OC’s Certificate III in Individual Support, there are 120 hours of work placement that will need to be completed. To make your learning experience as smooth as possible, placements are arranged, fully facilitated and supported by Open Colleges School of Health.
And who knows – you could even find a job before you’ve finished your work placement.
Are you ready for a fulfilling career in aged care?
Working in aged care is not a career that’s suited to everyone, it’s true. But for those who do follow this path it can be hugely rewarding and fulfilling.
Whether you’re looking for your first job, returning to the workforce after a break, or are thinking of switching careers, working in aged care can provide rewarding work in a stable industry.
Empower older Australians and help them to live their best lives. Enrol in OC’s blended learning aged care course today and see where your career in aged care could take you.
*Please make sure you read all the terms and conditions beforehand. The student tuition fees listed in this article are indicative only and are subject to change. Additional fees may apply such as student service and resource fees.?If you want to find out more information about eligibility in relation to the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support and you reside in South Australia or Western Australia, contact Open Colleges on 1300 886 204. Follow this link to learn more.