Disability Support Worker Traineeship

Start a disability support worker traineeship

Want to become a disability support worker?

Disability support workers make a real difference in the lives of their clients. Each day is different, but typical tasks could include personal care, cooking, cleaning, shopping, driving clients to appointments, and companionship.  

The best way of getting the right skills and experience is by enrolling in a support worker traineeship or course, where you earn while you learn! This can help you land a job in the care sector, where personal support roles are in high demand.

This page will help answer all your questions, like:

  • What is a traineeship and how does it work?
  • What qualification will you earn through a traineeship?
  • What do disability support workers do?
  • How do I become a disability support worker?
  • What jobs are there for disability support workers?

Scroll down to learn more about a traineeship, with answers to all the FAQ about this career. 

Let's start by understanding what a traineeship is...

What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is similar to an apprenticeship – where you combine on-the-job training with study, normally over one or two years. Working under a supervisor you will get hands-on experience in a workplace, while you study for your Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). This is a nationally recognised qualification, so you work anywhere in Australia after you graduate. 

You have the option of doing this full or part-time, depending on what suits you. Other popular traineeships in the care sector include the individual support worker and aged care support worker programs.

What qualification will you get after a traineeship?

If you complete a full traineeship, you will do 13 modules of the Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), and qualify in 12 months full time (38 hours) or 24 months part time (15 hours). This includes your work experience as well as mentorship from us throughout!

Skills you need be a disability care worker

Disability support work is a challenging, but very rewarding career where you need key skills and qualities, including:

  • Patient, adaptable and flexible
  • People person who genuinely wants to help people
  • Empathetic, caring and supportive 
  • Great communication skills, especially listening
  • Physically fit as some roles require lifting
  • Driver’s licence required for some roles

Ready to start a traineeship?

We help match you with a local employer based on your interests and abilities.


What does a disability support worker do?

For people living with complex physical or mental challenges, the main focus of your job is to improve a client’s quality of life. This could be in a dedicated care facility or in a client’s home. Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • Providing companionship, friendship and emotional support
  • Helping with housekeeping jobs like cooking and cleaning
  • Making sure they take their medication
  • Helping clients with their personal hygiene
  • Doing the shopping and other errands
  • Organising social activities and taking them on outings

Hear from one of our trainees!


"I’m grateful for being able to complete my certificate with ACA. I’ve learnt a variety of new and useful skills based of learning programs and been able to transfer that over to the practical side in which I’ve been working with such amazing clients. I’ve been encouraged and supported through the course which has driven me to become the best possible support worker for the clients I am involved with."


Braiden Needham,
Disability Support Worker Trainee, Apprenticeship Careers Australia

Disability support worker qualifications

The best entry-level qualification for jobs in the disability sector are:

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)

If you want to study further there is a Certificate IV in Disability, which gives you the skills to supervise staff as a disability team leader or senior personal care assistant. Other courses you could study if you want to work in the care sector, include:

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community)

You will also want to know what type of jobs you can get after you qualify.

Getting a job in the disability sector

Most employers prefer to employ candidates who have a certificate level qualification from a TAFE or Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to work as a disability support worker. Once you have finished your traineeship and qualified you can apply for jobs advertised at residential care homes or in a client's home. These roles could be listed as:

  • Disability support worker
  • Personal caregiver
  • Care assistant
  • In-home support worker
  • Community care worker
  • Accommodation support worker


Healthcare support worker FAQ:


You don’t need any experience or a qualification to start a traineeship as a disability support worker. You can even sign up if you’re still at school (Year 10, 11 and 12 students), have just graduated from high school or are looking to retrain for a new career.

As a Group Training Organisations (GTO) we hire trainees and apprentices directly and place you with an employer. This means you will be you’ll be paid by us, including your super and all other benefits - with specific rates for full or part-time roles. 

Call us on 1300 765 155 to find out more, or fill in the form and our team will find a role suited to you:

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