Want to work in aged care, but not sure how to get the training, experience and skills?
Our ageing population means there is high demand for aged care support worker roles country-wide, so it’s a great time to get into healthcare. It’s such an important job because you will be providing an essential service to our seniors, by supporting them in their day-to-day lives. This type of work can be demanding but very rewarding, so you need to be a people person who is patient, responsible and compassionate.
Read this article for answers to questions like:
- What do aged care workers do?
- What qualifications do you need to work in aged care?
- How do I get experience in aged care?
Let’s start by looking at what a care job involves.
Typical day in the life of an aged care worker
As an aged care worker you will likely be working in either a:
- Residential care facility, like an aged care home, or
- In people’s homes.
If you work in a care home you will be part of a team, which is very different to home-based aged care work, where you will alone with your client in their home.
No matter where you work this job has a lot of variety, all based around helping and supporting the day-to-day needs of your client/s. This could be anything from cooking nutritious meals, to cleaning and making sure they take their medication. There is also an important social aspect to aged care work, because many seniors need companionship and someone to talk to. Other tasks could be taking them on fun excursions, going to the shops or any errands they need help with.
Qualifications you need to work in aged care
We often get asked if you can work in aged care without a certificate. The short answer is no, BUT employers in the aged care sector prefer if you have a qualification to work in their facilities.
The entry-level training is a Certificate III in Individual Support. This is made up of 7 compulsory core units and 6 elective or optional units. If you complete the extra, elective units you qualify with a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing).
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.
When it comes time to apply for aged care jobs you could see them advertised as an aged care support worker, aged care worker, personal care assistant, personal carer, aged care assistant, in-home support worker or elderly care worker.
How do you get experience in aged care?
The easiest way of getting experience, and a qualification, is to enrol in an aged care support worker traineeship.
A traineeship is a combination of work experience and study (toward your Certificate III) – so you work while you learn. You have the option of doing this full or part-time, depending on what suits you. A full-time traineeship is around 38 hours per week over 12 months, or longer if you choose part-time.
You can then apply for roles in the aged care sector, where there is a strong demand for qualified carers that have hands-on experience.
Interested in learning more about a traineeship? Visit our aged care support worker traineeship career profile page, where you can also register to enrol.