June 12, 2024

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Guide to Become a Disability Support Worker in Australia

A job as a disability support worker is a great career choice if you enjoy providing care and support to people in many different ways. A career in disability support can be a fulfilling and flexible one. It allows workers to make an impact on the lives of their clients every day. Every day is different for a disability support worker. However, every day offers opportunities to build relationships and exercise empathy. You can thrive as a disability support worker if you believe empathy transcends physical limitations.

What is a disability support worker?

Support workers for people with disabilities provide assistance. They may work in hospitals, in homes or in specialised care facilities. They can provide support to a wide range of clients or may only work with a few clients.

A disability support worker’s tasks are as diverse as the individual’s needs. They can provide companionship, and help with shopping and running errands. They can assist with daily activities such as grooming, bathing, and eating. They can also assist with domestic tasks like cooking, cleaning, or washing laundry.

There are many options for disability workers in terms of how they work. You can either work full-time for an agency or facility or you can become an independent worker. Many of these workers are full-time. However, part-time work is also available in this sector. The next question that you may be asking is “How can I become a support worker?”

What certifications do you need to become a disability support worker?

There are no certifications required for disability support workers in Australia. There are no educational requirements for disability support workers. In fact, 11% of those who work in the field have completed only Year 10. There are many certifications that can be valuable in this field. Certification will make it more appealing to candidates for jobs in disability support.

Certificate III for Individual Support

The Certificate III in Individual Support prepares you to offer individualised, person-centred assistance to persons with disabilities. The certificate program is a combination of theory and practical training. It allows you to work in either a home or support facility for people with disabilities. You will be able to support a family member in a safe and predictable setting with a lot of autonomy. This is a key skill for home workers.

This certificate can be completed in 14 weeks. However, most programs take six to twelve months. The core curriculum covers the principles of support care, recognizing healthy body systems, and safe practices for client care. To further your understanding of topics such as person-centred and strengths-based care, as well as augmented communication tools, you can choose from a range of electives in disability care. You will need to complete the certificate with a minimum of 13 units of work and 120 hours in a community or home setting. You will be well-qualified to work as a residential care worker, personal caregiver, or disability support worker after you have completed the certification.

A Certificate III in Individual Support costs $2900 on average, though many provinces offer tuition subsidies or other financial assistance. Queensland residents have the opportunity to take advantage of the Certificate III Guarantee. This program supports those who wish to earn their first post-school certificate III qualification.

Certificate IV in Disability

A Certificate IV in Disability will allow you to improve your skills as a disability support worker. The Certificate IV in Disability provides you with higher levels of disability support expertise, which will allow you to be a supervisor or in a more specialized role.

This certificate is awarded to people who have worked in the disability industry for a while and wish to continue their careers. You will be eligible to hold positions such as senior personal care assistant or disability officer after completing Certificate IV in Disabilities.

A minimum of 14 units is required for this certificate. Although this program covers the same topics as Certificate 3, you will be able to apply your skills to a wider range of situations. One core unit in Certificate III is about ethical and legal work. A similar unit in Certificate IV will teach you how to manage ethical and legal compliance. This will prepare you for a supervisory position.

This certification program lasts for an average of 1 year and costs $4000. Some provinces offer subsidies to qualified applicants.

What are the prospects for workers in disability support?

After completing your training, it will not be difficult to find work as a disability support worker in the country. About 18% of Australians live with a long-term disability. There are 4.4million people living in Australia. 32% of those with severe or profound disabilities, or 1.4million people, require ongoing support in order to live independently. While the number of people with disabilities has declined over the years, older Australians are more likely to have a disability. As the population grows older, 50 per cent of Australians 65 years and over have a disability.

The job outlook for Australian disability support workers is excellent. From 2019 to 2024, the number of workers required is expected to increase by 25%.

Salary for Disability Support Worker

The national average salary for disability support workers is $1265/week. This is slightly lower than the $1460/week average across all industries.

This job is ideal for people looking to be a disability support worker. It allows you to support and empower people with disabilities and help them live independently. Disability support may be the right career choice for you if you’re passionate about helping people with disabilities in a variety of settings.