The aged care sector in Australia (and around the world) is growing at a fast pace, as more of our population become older and, as a result, require the services of aged care professionals to maintain quality of life.
If you recently finished high school, or you’re a few years into your working life, a career in aged care may not be the first option that pops into your mind. In fact, people of all ages often have a limited idea about the types of jobs available in aged care, along with the potential for exciting career growth and fulfilment.
But this is only scratching the surface of why working in aged care can be a great choice for young people, whether it’s something you’re interested in doing short-term or longer.
What’s it like working in aged care?
That depends on the job you have. Like many roles that are focused on people, every day will be different. You may have a general care role in an aged care residence — this is called residential care. Or, you may work directly within peoples’ homes helping them maintain independence — this is known as home care. Some people working in aged care have roles specifically to coordinate special programs for aging residents, or you might be focused on leisure and health to support the health and wellbeing of the elderly.
Aged care offers a range of different working opportunities. The common thread between them all is that you’ll be focused on improving the lives of others. Sometimes this is as simple as providing a listening ear, and other times you’ll be required to be more hands on, assisting with mobility and daily tasks.
What skills do you need?
There are certain skills and expertise that you’ll need to learn to become qualified to work in aged care (more on that later). Aside from the formal learning, there are also key character traits that make some people especially suited to working in aged care. These include being compassionate, patient, and responsible. Since aged care is people-focused, it’s also a major advantage if you enjoy building relationships with other people and naturally enjoy being helpful. For further reading, check out our article on the five signs you should say yes to working in aged care.
If you’re not sure if you have these adaptive skills that will help you thrive in aged care, don’t be concerned. Our aged care courses focus on supporting the development of these skills alongside learning the more technical skills required to work in the sector. Through training and self-reflection you will be ready to shine as an aged care worker!
What can you learn?
As part of your formal training, you’ll get many valuable and transferrable skills, in areas such as:
- First aid
- General health and wellbeing
- Relationship building
- Grief support
- Relevant legal and ethical considerations
Aged care also provides a unique working environment where you’ll have the chance to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, with different needs. Many aged care workers gain invaluable life skills, including stories and life-advice from people who’ve lived long and interesting lives.
Your Selmar trainers also have a wealth of sector experience to pass on to you. Each Selmar learner gets their own dedicated trainer who will support you every step of the way, from help understanding and completing the theory elements of your course, to being your rock through the practical placement component. The practical placement is where you get to apply what you’ve learned in a real-world environment. We help you to match up with an aged care provider who will show you the ropes and help you gain a thorough working knowledge of aged care, so that you can graduate feeling confident and capable.
Can you turn your job into a career?
Absolutely! Aged care can be a long-term career with room to grow and progress.
The aged care sector is currently going through a period of change, making it an exciting time to enter the workforce. The recent Royal Commission into Aged Care has initiated many sector changes that are leading to better quality care, including more training to ensure workers are highly skilled. Adding to this, the number of aged care workers employed in Australia is set to grow from approx. 255,000 to 1 million by 2050. With so much growth and opportunity to up-skill, there has never been a better time to carve out a career in aged care.
How do you get started?
Our Certificate III in Individual Support provides the entry level qualification you need to work in aged care. This is a 12-month course, which you can complete through a workplace or via distance study mode. Whatever training delivery mode you choose, our experienced and supportive aged care trainers will be with you every step of the way to ensure you’re receiving an outstanding learning experience. Further, our learner success team is there for you if you need an extra helping hand with literacy, numeracy or even when it comes to applying for jobs.
Whether you’re interested in working in aged care for a short time or a long time, there are so many opportunities to grow and learn skills that you can use for life.
For more information about working in aged care, feel free to reach out to the team at Selmar with any questions you have.