If you have a caring nature and love supporting those in need, an aged care course may be your next big opportunity. Aged care workers are in massive demand throughout Australia. This means that the ageing support industry is one of the easiest to enter country wide.
The career opportunities for compassionate individuals with the correct aged care qualification are varied and exciting. All you need to get started is determination, passion for the industry, and an accredited qualification from a recognised organisation like Sage Education.
In this article, we’ll explore what an aged care worker is, what you’ll be expected to do in your role, and how you can get started today by enrolling in an aged care course with Sage.
What is an Aged Care worker?
Aged care work encompasses a range of professional services designed to provide physical, social and emotional support to seniors.
Aged care work is more than just helping with physical tasks; aged care workers are compassionate people who facilitate the well-being and empowerment of older people in every aspect of their daily lives.
From encouraging social engagement and arranging activities to offering companionship and providing emotional support, aged care workers are committed to improving the lives of older people in every way.
Government-funded aged care services are managed and standardised by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which regulates and sets quality assurance standards for people and organisations providing aged care.
Individuals with an aged care qualification can work in people’s homes, local communities, or in a residential aged care facility.
In all environments, aged care workers are expected to be communicative, compassionate and supportive. Building strong relationships with older people is one of the most crucial (and rewarding) aspects of working in the aged care industry. Let’s look at some key responsibilities you’ll be expected to fulfil in an aged care role.
What will be expected of me as an Aged Care worker?
A care worker’s responsibilities revolve around assisting and supporting older people in need. Some support will be physical, while some care may be emotional and psychological. Here are some of the core tasks and responsibilities you may carry out as a care worker:
- Medication management: In your role, you’ll help with prescribing, organising and administering medications in line with an individual care plan. You’ll also need to ensure you carefully track and document medication administration.
- Assisting with Activities of Daily Living (ADL): As an aged care worker, you will be expected to help elderly clients with tasks such as bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing and moving around.
- Offering emotional support: Providing companionship and empathy to older people is essential to any aged care role. It’s important to engage in conversation and actively address social and emotional needs.
- Following safety procedures: You’ll be expected to create a safe, risk-free environment for individuals by identifying and addressing hazards, promoting safety, and designing fall prevention strategies in line with health and safety guidelines.
- Assisting at meal times: As an aged care worker, you’ll help prepare and serve meals that meet an individual’s dietary requirements. This could involve making food that is suitable for older people with illnesses such as diabetes. You may also need to monitor fluid intake.
- Performing regular health check-ups: You’ll regularly assess, track and record key metrics like blood pressure, pulse and temperature to ensure the well-being of your clients.
- Accurate documentation: You’ll keep accurate records about the care you provide, reporting any changes to relevant supervisors or health professionals.
- Administering first aid: First aid is a crucial skill that all certified aged care workers must possess. Many workers attain a first aid certificate that shows they understand how to assess and administer first aid in emergency situations.
Adaptability is the key to success in an aged care role. No two clients are the same. Your accredited aged care qualification will prepare you for various scenarios, so you’re always ready to provide tailored support and care to those that need it.
What career opportunities are available in the aged care sector?
As aged care specialists are in high demand, qualified workers can find employment in the industry quickly and easily. The key is to attain the correct qualification. A nationally recognised Certificate III in Individual Support course is a great place to start. Those with an accredited certification from a recognised training provider like Sage Education can expect to secure such as:
- Aged Care Support Worker
- Personal Care Assistant
- Respite Care Worker
- Community-Based Care Worker
- Retirement Village Care Worker
Some workers prefer to deliver aged care services in a residential setting. Others love providing companionship and individual support in a home environment. The right career path for you will depend on your skillset, specialisations and preferences.
Some Aged Care courses, such as Sage’s Certificate IV in Ageing Support program, are designed to help workers upskill and move into senior roles in their field. With an accredited Certificate IV course, you could expect to transition into a role such as:
- Care Supervisor
- Community Program Coordinator
- Residential Care Officer
If you’d like to learn more about which Aged Care Course is suitable for you, visit our individual course pages, or get in touch today. Our team is on hand to help you find the qualification path that’s right for you.
How to start your career in aged care: step by step
Becoming a care worker requires commitment, enthusiasm, and passion for the sector. It’s also crucial to ensure you gain an approved qualification that proves you have the core skills needed to thrive in the industry. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
- Assess whether a career in aged care is right for you
Aged care work is as challenging as it is rewarding. Patience, communication skills and dedication are a must. You must be passionate about the role and need to be a caring, compassionate individual who has the determination and adaptability required to succeed as an aged care worker.
- Determine the area you want to specialise in
Many different career paths fall under aged care work. Determine whether you’d prefer to work in a residential or home setting. Also, consider whether you’d like to work with older adults with particular disabilities or needs. Each niche in the aged care industry requires specialist skills and experience. It’s important to consider which area interests you the most.
- Obtain the right qualifications
An accredited qualification from a registered training organisation will provide you with the necessary certification you need to start your career in the aged care industry. A Certificate III in Individual Support course is the minimum requirement to find employment in the sector. This course will provide you with the hands-on expertise and job-ready skills you need to thrive in an aged care role. Sage’s Certificate III course also offers a range of elective modules that provide skills in niche areas for those looking to specialise.
- Gain practical experience
While the skills and knowledge you will gain from your qualification are essential, it’s also important to consider practical experience and volunteering opportunities as a way of boosting your resume. Consider seeking volunteer opportunities or work placements during or after your training. As part of Sage’s commitment to helping all graduates secure employment, we can offer advice, guidance and support to help you gain relevant industry experience.
- Register with relevant organisations
Joining some of Australia’s many boards and organisations can be an excellent way to make connections, boost your resume and stay updated on new advancements in the field. Some boards, such as The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or Nursing and Midwifery Board (NMBA), are required for those looking to become a registered nurse in the aged care sector.
- Start your new career
Now that you’ve decided that aged care is right for you, enrolled in an accredited course and gained some relevant experience, it’s time to secure a role in the aged care sector.
There are multiple ways to accomplish this. Community boards, job sites and agencies are all excellent ways to find an aged care job, but these processes can be labour-intensive and time-consuming. That’s why Sage helps all its graduates secure employment once they finish training. From interview tips and CV touch-ups to networking opportunities and one-to-one guidance, our team is on hand to help you transition into your new role as an aged care professional.
- Keep building your experience
The aged care industry is constantly changing – committing to continued professional development ensures you stay up-to-date on new advancements. Attend regular seminars, take new courses, join workshops and collaborate with other like-minded aged care workers. The more you learn, the more opportunities you have to grow your skill set and progress into senior positions.
Why should I enroll with Sage Education?
Sage is one of Australia’s leading providers of vocational, accredited training programs in the aged care, child care and disability care and first aid sectors.
Since our launch in 1998, we’ve helped over 4000 successful graduates gain the valuable skills and practical expertise they need to succeed in care-based industries.
As part of our customer-first approach, we’re also committed to helping all of our graduates secure employment once they finish their training.
In fact, we’re proud to say that we help over 80% of our graduates secure relevant employment within three months of their course end date.
With Sage’s accredited qualifications and graduate employment program, you could become an aged care professional and secure a role earning $50-60k annually within weeks of your training program.
Still not sure which career path is right for you? We also offer a range of child care and disability care courses. Contact us today to find out more. Our team is happy to help you find a course that meets your needs.