If you’re considering a career as an aged care worker, you could be on the path to a very rewarding and meaningful future.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of Australians aged 85 years and older is projected to double by 2042. This means the need for aged care workers is growing, and the demand for qualified aged care staff with it.
The aged care sector is also facing significant reform, in light of the findings of the interim Royal Commission report. The final Report is expected to address strong recommendations around education and training, as well as better attraction, retention, remuneration and careers for staff working in the sector.
What does that mean for you? The overhaul of the sector will likely lead to better, more rewarding opportunities for staff. Employers will also be looking for qualified staff to enhance the standards of care they offer.
What could you earn working in aged care?
You might be considering an aged care career because of your interest in caring for others. That’s a good place to start. But a rewarding salary is an equally important component for a successful career. The aged care sector has the potential to offer you just that.
Your salary as a professional in the aged care sector will vary depending on responsibilities, qualifications, hours and location.
According to the latest Fair Work Ombudsman pay guide, as a full-time aged care worker you can expect to earn between $801.40 and $973.40 weekly. Pay rates increase for overtime ($31.64 – $38.43), public holidays ($52.73 – $64.05) and weekend overtime ($42.18-$51.24).
|Classification||Weekly salary ($)|
|Aged care employee level 1||801.40|
|Aged care employee level 2||834.60|
|Aged care employee level 3||867.30|
|Aged care employee level 4||877.60|
|Aged care employee level 5||907.30|
|Aged care employee level 6||956.20|
|Aged care employee level 7||973.40|
Source: Fair Work Ombudsman, July 2020
Rates can also vary slightly across states:
|State||Average hourly rate ($)|
|Australian Capital Territory||21.28|
|New South Wales||22.67|
What does a career in aged care look like?
A rewarding career allows you to expand your knowledge and skills, and offers an advancement path. Working in aged care, you may start as a personal care worker in a variety of settings, from residential and community to accommodation.
As a personal care worker, you will provide care to ageing individuals or individuals living with a disability. Either in a facility or in their homes. You may help people eat, bathe and get dressed, and you may accompany them to appointments.
Or you could be working as a community care worker, supporting people living with a disability, by bathing, dressing or feeding them. Your aim will be to support people living a full life.
As you gain more experience and upskill, you may advance to a care supervisor position, or a program or community coordinator. Or you may choose to specialise in a particular area, such as disability care or leisure and health.
Study to become an aged care worker
A career as an aged care worker offers many benefits beyond personal meaning and a competitive salary. The demand for highly skilled workers is always increasing in the growing aged care sector, which means job security can be higher than in other sectors. As is the flexibility to work hours that suit you and your circumstances, and can have the benefit of higher hourly rate.
If you’re just starting to consider aged care work, the Certificate III in Individual Support will give you a qualification to gain employment in the sector. You’ll learn technical, factual knowledge, as well as theoretical concepts so you can provide person-centred support. This course also includes a practical component, so when you’re ready to enter the job market, you have both qualifications and experience to support your application.
If you’re already working in the sector, you may consider advancing your skills and career with the Certificate IV in Ageing Support. This course will build on your existing skills and qualifications, and could open new career pathways to supervising or managerial roles, as well as higher salaries.
Both of these nationally accredited courses open rewarding opportunities in a sector that needs passionate individuals to transform how we care for our elderly. Our educators think about a career in aged care as a vocation rather than a random choice. Does that sound like you?