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Aged care worker

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Summary of occupation

An aged care worker provides personal, physical and emotional support to older people who require assistance with daily living. They provide assistance with daily tasks such as showering, dressing, and eating, and often assist with outings and social activities. The level of assistance provided will depend on the ability and health of the client.

Aged care workers provide care either in a client’s home, or in a residential care setting. They carry out their duties under direct or regular supervision within clearly defined care plans or organisational guidelines.

ANZSCO description: An aged care worker provides personal, physical and emotional support to older people who require assistance with daily living.
Alternative names: Home Support Worker, Special Care Worker
Specialisations: Dementia Respite Worker
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Aged care workers need:

  • a caring and supportive attitude
  • patience, discretion and a high level of professionalism
  • good communications skills
  • to be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects
  • to be committed to the rights of elderly people
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Working conditions

Aged care workers may be required to work evenings, weekends and rostered shifts. Their work may include carrying out some supervised medical tasks, such as changing dressings or administering medications. An aged care worker also needs to be aware of any changes in their client’s physical or mental health such as increased discomfort, loss of mobility, hearing or sight loss, signs of depression or anxiety, and report these to their supervisor. They need to also be on the lookout for any safety hazards that may pose risks to themselves, staff and their clients.

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Salary details

On average, aged care workers can expect to earn between $796 and $928 per week ($41,407 and $48,297 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. ​

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Tools and technologies

An aged care worker may work with clients who require assistance with movement. This can require the use of equipment such as hoists to lift the client in and out of bed, or swivel cushions to ease getting into and out of cars. They may also utilise special communication technologies, such as software that produces spoken output for people with hearing difficulties, and magnifies or presents information as Braille for those with sight disabilities. An aged care worker may also need to be familiar with vehicle modifications such as wheelchair hoists, modified driving controls and specially-modified wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

It is possible to work as an aged care worker without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in individual care or a related area.

The Certificate III in Individual Care and Certificate IV in Ageing Support are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship. The aged care work traineeships (level 3) and (level 4) usually take between12 and 24 months to complete.

To work as an aged care worker, you will need to obtain a National Police Certificate.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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