Aged care is one of Australia’s fastest growing industries and offers exciting career opportunities.
Aged care workers care for elderly people, often with very complex care needs. They provide personal, physical, and emotional support to older people who require assistance with daily living. Most clients requiring aged care have developed some form of dementia, mobility problems or incontinence, or are nearing the end of life.
Why is aged care a great career choice?
While many other industries have experienced a downturn through the global financial crisis and its after effects, the need for aged care has continued to grow. The aged care industry offers secure employment in a growing industry supported by both side of politics.
Aged care employment offers a lot of variety in where you can work and what you do. Aged care services are provided in in residential aged care facilities, directly into people’s homes and in respite and palliative care facilities. Services can include personal care, help around the home, respite and social support.
Aged care work is rewarding in itself and provides the opportunity to meet a wide variety of older people. When you provide support to older people you are able to make a tremendous difference to their quality of life and achieve real personal satisfaction through your work.
The growing demand for aged care services offers you the opportunity to keep progressing in your career. There are a variety of administrative, coordination, training and management roles that can be achieved with qualifications like the Certificate IV in Aged Care (CHC40108), the Certificate IV in Home and Community Care (CHC40212), the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110), and the Certificate IV in Frontline Management (BSB40812).
Aged Care Services Include:
- Personal care – Assistance with personal hygiene, grooming and other items of personal care
- Domestic assistance – help around the home including housekeeping, cleaning, washing, and meal preparation
- Social support – maintaining social contact, taking older people to community activities, and helping people connect with friends and family
- Respite – taking the place of the normal family carer so they can take a break
- Palliative Care – providing support to older people in their end-of-life period
Aged care workers may be required to work in shifts – in evenings, weekdays and weekends when working in residential aged care facilities, or may find community care roles that can fit their availability. According to industry, qualified aged care workers can expect to earn about $800 per week with opportunities to progress through promotion to coordination roles or more complex care roles.
Aged Care Qualifications
To get an entry level career in aged care, all you need is an updated Senior First Aid certificate and a Federal Police Check. This will qualify you to provide housekeeping and domestic support.
Having a relevant Certificate III or Certificate IV qualification is beneficial when seeking a job and will qualify you to undertake more personal or complex roles. Most aged care employers require the Certificate III in Aged Care (CHC30212) or Certificate III in Home and Community Care (CHC30112) – the entry-level qualification for the aged care industry. In some cases, employers will hire you even without the Certificate III but will require you to enrol for one.
The Certificate III in Aged Care (CHC30212) principally prepares you for work in a residential aged care facility. The Certificate III in Home and Community Care (CHC30312) is the equivalent qualification primarily targeted towards developing skills for supporting older people in their homes. The Certificate III in Aged Care (CHC30212) and Certificate III in Home and Community Care (CHC30312) train you in the core technical skills you will need for aged care work. These qualifications can open plenty of doors, including caring for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, residential care facilities, and in people’s homes. Personal care qualifications such as the Certificate III in Aged Care (CHC30212) and the Certificate III in Home and Community Care (CHC30312) can also be a pathway to becoming an Enrolled Nurse.
A Certificate III in Aged Care (CHC30212) or Certificate III in HACC can qualify you to work as a nursing assistant, community care worker, field worker, or personal care assistant. The qualifications can also lead to further study towards a Certificate IV in Aged Care (CHC40108) or Home and Community Care and the Diploma of Community Services Coordination (CHC52212).
Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications can qualify you for meeting more complex care needs and leadership roles such as team leader or service coordinator. The Certificate IV in Aged Care (CHC40108) and Certificate IV in Home and Community Care (CHC40212) provide more opportunities for career progression. They are designed for people already employed in aged care or those with experience in this area of work, and helps build on your existing knowledge and develop leadership skills. The Certificate IV helps you develop towards supervisory or management roles in the aged care industry.
Demand for employees is growing rapidly. To start your career in aged care you can pay for your course privately and get started immediately or explore opportunities for government funding. You may qualify for a traineeship or training incentive. Traineeships combines workplace training with paid employment. They usually take 12 months for Certificate III and 24 months for Certificate IV qualifications. Talk to us about other payment options and training incentives that may be available to you as these keep changing as government training priorities and funding opportunities change.
Aged care courses can lead to exciting and rewarding career opportunities in a growing industry. Many skills from an aged care course are transferrable and can lead to employment in a variety of other areas. Many aged care careers offer flexibility and there are many part time, casual and full time roles available.