Working with older Australians can be a rewarding and meaningful employment path. 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.
Keep reading to learn about the most important employment information in the Aged Care industry and how to advance your career in the sector.
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).
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.
Payscale.com 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.
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.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.
Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.
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 percent have no post-school qualifications and 29 percent 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.
The care of older people is a complex and diverse branch of health care. This nationally recognised 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.
The disability sector continues to grow as a fulfilling place for individuals who care about the rights and independence of others. Working with people with disability can also 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.
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.
This nationally recognised course lets you study online and on-campus in Adelaide, to build your knowledge and practical skills to deliver exceptional care to aged care patients and clients from all walks of life.
Whether you’re already working in Aged Care or looking to start a career as an aged care worker, this nationally accredited qualification, based in Adelaide, can give you the skills and career confidence to make a positive impact on the lives of your clients.
This course is delivered using a flexible methodology, combining online learning and face-to-face learning, in Adelaide. Upon completion of the course, you'll be able to pursue various roles in a range of professional disability services, including group homes and respite centres.
This nationally recognised course could enable you to find work as an assistant in nursing or nursing support worker. This course is delivered via the flexibility of a blended learning model, combining online study with practical skills development at our state-of-the-art clinical skills labs on campus in Adelaide.
This nationally recognised course lets you study online and on-campus in Perth, to build your knowledge and practical skills to deliver exceptional care to aged care patients and clients from all walks of life.
Whether you’re already working in Aged Care or looking to start a career as an aged care worker, this nationally accredited qualification, based in Perth, can give you the skills and career confidence to make a positive impact on the lives of your clients.
This course is delivered using a flexible methodology, combining online learning and face-to-face learning, in Perth. Upon completion of the course, you'll be able to pursue various roles in a range of professional disability services, including group homes and respite centres.
This nationally recognised course could enable you to find work as an assistant in nursing or nursing support worker. This course is delivered via the flexibility of a blended learning model, combining online study with practical skills development at our state-of-the-art clinical skills labs on campus in Perth.
Our aged care courses can be delivered online, giving you the flexibility of organising your study around your life. You can enrol any time of the year and study at your own pace.
If you prefer to learn in a physical setting with face-to-face interaction, the Open Colleges School of Health also has campuses in both Adelaide, South Australia and Perth, Western Australia.
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. Upon completing your course, you'll graduate with a government-accredited, nationally recognised qualification that can boost your chances of employment.
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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