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Your Frequently Asked Questions About Aged Care Jobs in Australia

This article is sponsored by Mercury Colleges

Aged care is a dynamic, people-focused, community-based job that involves assisting and caring for ageing members of our society. It’s an incredibly rewarding job, and allows you to work with a range of unique individuals to provide compassionate support and companionship.

We spoke to Marinela (Nelly) Clarke, a Nurse/Educator in Ageing Support at Mercury Colleges with over 20 years of experience in hospital, residential care, nursing home and community service settings, for her advice on starting your career in this unique field.

Aged care courses can unlock some very rewarding career paths,” shares Nelly. “With Australia’s population getting older so quickly, aged care is one of the few industries where job security and new opportunities are almost guaranteed for decades to come.”

If you’re interested in entering the industry, here’s what you need to know.

How to become an aged care worker in Australia

Gaining a qualification in aged care gives you the academic training and practical experience to really understand and thrive in the role. It is also, in most cases, a requirement for aged care roles.

“A nationally accredited Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) is the minimum requirement to enter in aged care industry and to get a job as a support worker, aged care worker, or carer,” shares Nelly. “It will give you the skills to work as an aged care worker in the expanding aged care industry.”

Students will learn to support relationships with clients and families, meet personal care needs, work legally and ethically, manually lift clients in and out of beds, transport clients, perform domestic duties and commit to the rights of the elderly to live dignified lives,” she explains.

You may also wish to gain further certificates that will improve your skills and increase your chances of employment in the industry. For example, if you are interested in moving into a supervisory role, you can consider completing a Certificate IV in Ageing Support as well.

Where can you study aged care in Australia?

Colleges and TAFEs around Australia offer students certificates in aged care. Many of these institutions additionally provide flexible online study arrangements or a combination of academic and practical learning.

For example, Mercury College has a 52-week course for a Certificate III in Individual Support, based on a 20-hour per week study load. This is available to international students in both Sydney and Adelaide. The course is specifically designed for international students and offers a mix of learning platforms. You can attend the College two days a week for classroom contact hours and have access to the online learning platform outside of this time. 

Plus, there is a 120-hour work placement tabled into the course to ensure you’re job-ready upon completion. 

How much does it cost to study aged care in Australia?

If you’re an international student, or living in Australia on a student visa, the cost of the course will vary depending on your institution. At Mercury College, for example, the cost of the Certificate III in Individual Support course is $8,000. It’s best to contact your chosen education provider for an accurate figure, and to find out about scholarship opportunities.

Is Australia a good place to study aged care?

Australia is a fantastic place to study aged care. 

Due to Australia’s ageing population, there is great job security and potential for diverse career opportunities. This means if you stay in Australia after completing your course, there will be plenty of places where you can apply to work and different roles to consider.

Plus, Australia is experiencing high demand for additional aged care positions, which will continue to grow in the coming years. Aged care in Australia already creates $20 billion per year in revenue, and this figure is expected to increase at a rate of 4.7 per cent a year over the next five years.

There are over 24 million people in Australia, and it is predicted that by 2047, 7.5 million of these will be classed as seniors. This is driving a demand for qualified aged care professionals with an expected 69,200 job openings [by] 2025,” Nelly explains.

What roles are there in aged care? 

There is a range of diverse roles available, meaning there are opportunities to try different positions throughout your career and find the pathway that best suits you. 

You may work at a client’s home and provide support services while travelling around to residential locations. This often means working independently as a single staff member. Alternatively, you might operate from a centralised care home. This means you are likely to work with a team of staff supporting you.

As a carer, every day will look different. Day-to-day tasks of aged care include helping to cook, clean and complete chores. You may need to provide personal care, such as showering and dressing your supported person. You may also provide social and emotional support, such as reading, going for walks and playing games. 

How much do aged care workers get paid in Australia?

The base income for a new aged care worker in Australia is $21.96 per hour, or $834.60 per week. The overall average income for aged and disabled care workers in Australia is $1,265 per week.

Support workers are essential for assisting older people to lead comfortable lives, and many more compassionate, responsible and caring individuals are urgently needed. If you have the desire to support your community and change the lives of people every day, consider studying aged care in Australia and pursuing a caring career in this rewarding industry.