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Is a career in aged care right for you?

by Chloe Baird
Posted: March 11, 2021

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If you’re thinking of following a career in aged care then the time is now.  

The aged care industry in Australia is seeing significant growth, and there will always be a need for qualified, compassionate and dedicated workers.  

This makes working in aged care an ideal choice for those looking for a stable career that can also offer room to learn and grow.  

Read on to find out the benefits and the challenges that come with a job in aged care, and what kind of qualification you can benefit from. 

Aged care career

How do I know if aged care is the right career for me? 

It’s true that a career in aged care isn’t suited to everyone. But for those with the right personality, this can be a hugely rewarding and fulfilling career path.  

To work in aged care, there are a few key skills you need. You might find that some of these come naturally to you already. Others come with practice.  

Do you see yourself as someone who is: 

  • a good communicator and listener 
  • an efficient multi-taster 
  • physically fit 
  • flexible and adaptable 
  • polite and professional 
  • compassionate and caring

These are all necessary skills to be a great Aged Care Worker. If you identify with the above points, and are also committed to supporting and empowering elderly people, then a career in aged care might be perfect for you.  

The benefits of working in aged care 

There are plenty of great reasons to consider a career in aged care, even if becoming an Aged Care Worker had not previously crossed your mind.  

For one, the aged care industry is growing rapidly. This means that you’re all but guaranteed a steady, reliable source of income. Between 2014 and 2019, the amount of people employed as Aged and Disabled Carers grew by 34%. And there are no signs of this trend slowing down any time soon. This is due to the fact that Australians are living longer and our aging population is steadily growing.    

There are also many different types of jobs you can pursue in aged care. So you have plenty of opportunities to find your niche within the industry.  

And if you’re thinking of studying a VET qualification in aged care, you may find that there are government funding options available. This makes studying an aged care qualification much more affordable than courses in other areas that lack the same kind of demand. ? 

For example, in South Australia students may be able to save $300 off the CHC33015 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*. 

Most of all, you get to work with a huge variety of people, all with different stories and experiences. 

Aged care worker

The challenges of working in aged care 

Caring and supporting elderly people does come with its challenges, which is why you need to be professional and understanding at all times.  

Just like any job out there, there are certain issues that Aged Care Workers face. Some of your clients will need more assistance than others, and you need to be ready to help them with whatever they need – whether that includes personal care, taking them to appointments or simply spending time with them and being a good listener.  

Working in aged care can sometimes be a physical job, in that you need to help clients with mobility issues. You’ll also spend most of your time on your feet, so if your ideal job involves a desk then a career in aged care may not be right for you.  

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face working in age care is dealing with grief, loss and clients who may be living with mental health issues or diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The thing to remember here is that while some days can be tougher than others, you get to finish your workday knowing you’ve made a real difference in someone’s life. 

Working as an Aged Care Support Worker– the numbers 

  • The majority of people working as Aged and Disabled Carers work part-time hours. Around 33% of people work full-time hours, which equates to a 43-hour work week.
  • The average weekly salary for full-time workers is $1,265.
  • The majority of workers are female (80%).
  • More than 58% of people who work as Aged and Disabled Carers hold a VET qualification.
  • The healthcare industry is the largest in Australia and employs 1.7 million people.

What kind of qualification do I need to work in aged care?

Presently, there is no minimum required qualification to work in aged care. However, obtaining a nationally recognised qualification will make you stand out when you’re applying for jobs. Especially if you’re up against other applicants who don’t have any qualifications.  

And while it’s not absolutely necessary for workers to hold a certificate or a diploma, the recent Royal Commission into aged care has recommended a mandatory minimum qualification of a Certificate III by 2022. Currently this is a recommendation and not a legal requirement. But it further proves that workers who hold a certificate or a diploma are much more valuable to employers than those who don’t.  

Ready to start your career in aged care? 

Are you ready to begin a fulfilling and rewarding career in a rapidly growing industry? 

OC offers the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support at both our West Australian and South Australian campuses.  

This course is a blended learning course – which means that it combines the benefits of both online and on-campus learning.  

It also includes 120-hours of work placement which will allow you to get first-hand, real-world experience in a workplace of your choice. For students in South Australia, there’s also the opportunity for them to complete their work placement at one of Southern Cross Care’s highly reputable residential care homes.  

As this course is offered on campus, there are specific start dates. Click through to the course page to check out our enrolment dates and make sure you don’t miss out.  

What are you waiting for? Enrol today and take the first step towards a rewarding career in aged care

*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 560 994. Follow this link to learn more.

 

Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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