With Australia's growing elderly population, aged care workers are in high demand. They provide personal, physical, and emotional support to older people in need of assistance. There are many different degrees of aged care work, some being more demanding than others. And all different levels of aged care work has many benefits.
Interested in working in the aged care community? Here's a list of reasons why it might just be the career for you.
A shortage means you'll get lots of opportunities. Aged care work is one of the fastest growing industries with a huge demand for professionals in the field. Given the lack of aged care workers, anyone who enters this field will have a large variety of career opportunities to choose from. Different aged care areas include personal care, social support, palliative care, respite, dementia care, and many others. And with a Certificate IV in Aged Care, you'll be qualified for a number of different roles in management, administration, training, and coordination. And some aged care training programs offer financial government subsidies in order to encourage more people to join the industry.
Get comprehensive training in many different disciplines. As an aged care worker, your skill set will be varied, and you'll gain educational experience in mental health, cardiology, physical therapy, social work, personal care, and orthopedics. These skills will broaden your horizons and keep you fulfilled both personally and professionally.
Take a huge step to advancing your career. Because of the varied experience you obtain as an aged care worker, many nurses and medical professionals begin their careers in the field. It's a great way to get a feel for the world of caretaking and medicine.
Develop fulfilling relationships. No matter your focus, all aged care workers work very closely with the elderly community The patient-to-caretaker encounter is an a regular one, so you'll foster close and trusting relationships. You'll advocate for the patient in making important decisions, so close and trustworthy relationships are important. You'll hear stories and share experiences, and create a bond with your patients in ways that don't happen in other medical settings.
It's personally and professionally rewarding. The average yearly income for an aged care worker in Australia is around $66,594, and Victoria is one of the top three regions for aged care work in the whole country. Aged care work is very flexible, so you can look forward to a healthy work/life balance. Some work nights, weekends, or shorter shifts to fit around school and family obligations. There's also no age barrier, so anyone at any age can join the field. And as mentioned above, the aged care community opens the door to many more professional opportunities that workers can look forward to in their future. And being in a field where you get to develop close relationships with your patients will keep you emotionally satisfied.
How to become an aged care worker in Victoria
Victoria is one of the top 3 regions in Australia for aged care employment. Aged care courses can be paid for privately, but there are also many government funded payment plans and opportunities. You might qualify for a traineeship or training incentive that combines workplace training with paid employment.
An entry level career in aged care requires an updated Senior First Aid certificate and a Federal Police Check. With this certification, you'll be qualified for housekeeping and domestic support.
A Certificate III prepares you for a more complex role in your patient's lives. This certification is not always required to work in aged care, but oftentimes they will expect you to enroll in Certificate III training. It's a great starting point to becoming a trained nurse. nursing assistant, community care worker, field worker, or personal care assistant. Getting Certificate III certified leads to further study for Certificate IV and usually takes about 12 months to complete training.
There are two types of Certificate III training that are almost equivalent but vary slightly:
Certificate III in Aged Care - if you're looking to work in an aged care facility.
Certificate III in Home and Community Care - if you're looking to work for the elderly at their home.
A Certificate IV builds on already-existing age cared skills and trains you to become a team leader or support coordinator in supervisory or management roles in the field. Certificate IV usually takes 24 months to complete training, depending on whether you're already Certificate III.
Similar to Certificate III, there are two types of Certificate IV:
Certificate IV in Aged Care
Certificate IV in Home and Community Care
Interested in getting started? Here's a list of different training and nursing programs around Victoria.