How to become a disability support worker

Posted on 05/12/2022


Looking to work in disability care, but not sure how to get all the training, experience and skills?

This is a very challenging but crucial and rewarding job where you get to make a huge difference in the lives of people living with a disability. You could be working in a wide variety of locations like hospitals, specialised care homes and even in a client’s home.

Read this article for answers to questions like:

  • What is a typical day at work like?
  • What qualifications do I need?
  • How do I get a job in disability care?

Let’s start by looking at what your day-to-day job tasks actually involves.

Typical day in the life of a disability support carer


Wondering what disability support staff do?

Working as a disability support worker is all about being there for your client/s, so they have the best quality of life possible. This could be anything from helping them to bath or shower, to cooking nutritious meals for them and helping out with household chores like shopping and cleaning. You are also a friend and companion for them, and this social aspect is one of the most important aspects of the job.

It is a challenging but rewarding job, so you need to be patient, understanding, and empathetic; as well as reliable and emotionally resilient.

If you are looking for a job in care, most employers like to recruit staff who have a qualification.

Qualifications you need to work in disability care


If you want to get started in disability care work, the best entry-level qualification is the Certificate III in Individual Support or Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). These courses run over 12-18 months, depending if you study part or full-time. If you want to go further you can study further for a Certificate IV in Disability, which gives you the skills to supervise staff as a disability team leader or senior personal care assistant.

Besides your qualification, you will also need a First Aid Certificate, police check, Working with Children’s Check (WWCC), and for some roles a valid driver’s licence.

Want to advance your career in aged care and become a supervisor? Then you could sign up for a Certificate IV in Ageing Support after you complete your Cert III.

How do I get a job in disability care?

The best way into this sector is by getting qualified and hands-on experience with a disability support worker traineeship.

A traineeship is where you combine on-the-job training working under a supervisor with full or part-time study. A full-time traineeship is around 38 hours per week over 12 months, or longer if you choose part-time.

Interested in learning more about our health and care traineeships? You can visit our career profile page to learn more.