How to Become a Disability Support Worker
The role of a disability support worker is to provide community services and personal care for people with disabilities. Disability support work is extremely rewarding as your work can make a real difference in the emotional wellbeing and lives of others. A career in support work offers variety. You may be providing support to others in specialised care settings such as supported independent living homes or visiting clients at their own homes to assist with household tasks and daily activities.
If you’re considering becoming a disability support worker, we’ve done all the research to help you kickstart your career as a disability support worker in Australia.
Demand for disability support workers
There is a growing demand for disability support workers. It is a large industry with strong employment prospects. According to Job Outlook, the number of both aged care and disability support workers will reach 276,100 by 2025. The Federal Government’s Budget will also commit an extra $13.2 billion to the NDIS over the next four years which will provide many more employment opportunities to those in the disability support industry.
Disability support worker qualifications
Whilst no formal qualifications are required to become a disability support worker, most employers do require at least a high school diploma and completion of either Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) or Certificate IV in Disability, from a registered training organisation or TAFE. To give yourself better employment prospects, we recommend completing one of these training programs. If you are also considering becoming an NDIS support worker, employers will often require you to have completed the NDIS Worker Orientation Modules.
Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)
Many registered training organisations, including Centacare, offer Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). This entry-level course will teach you how to provide support and assist with the delivery of activities to improve quality of life for people with disabilities. You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience. Another benefit of enrolling in the course is work experience. At Centacare, we organise for students to undertake 120 hours of work experience with a disability services provider so they can put their learned knowledge into practice before applying for work
Types of jobs in disability care
When applying for work as a disability support worker in Australia, you’ll find a variety of roles, these include:
Personal care worker
A personal care worker provides both physical assistance and emotional support to those with a disability. Duties include assisting with personal hygiene, community services and daily living tasks.
Live in support worker
Similar to a personal care worker, a live-in support worker provides personal care assistance whilst either undertaking extended shifts in the same home as your client/clients or they will move into the same home as their client.
SIL support worker
NDIS participants who are eligible for Supported Independent Living (SIL) arrangements will be assigned a support worker who helps with varying levels of support depending on the needs of the participants. It could be as simple as providing supervision or living arrangements or more active duties, such as assistance with medication and overnight support.
Mental health support worker
Mental health support workers assist those who have psychological or mental health disabilities. Duties may include providing emotional support, helping clients to access community services and more.
Once you’ve got the necessary qualifications and have done some research into what type of role you are looking for, you can start applying for work as a disability support worker. To give yourself the best possible chance, preparation is key. It’s important to research common disability support worker interview questions and answers to help prepare you for the job interview as well as researching both the company and the role you are applying for.
Start your new career with Centacare!
Disability support workers make a positive impact on the lives of others. It’s an extremely rewarding career with lots of opportunities for career growth and progression. If you’re looking to launch your new career, our team is here to help. Contact us today to find out more!
According to Indeed, the average disability support worker salary in Western Australia is $30.93 per hour. However, a disability support worker’s salary can of course vary depending on the company, level of experience and type of support work you provide.
An NDIS support worker assists clients with meeting the goals of their individualised NDIS plan. NDIS plans are fully tailored to the individual. When looking for roles as a support worker, you may consider working as an NDIS Support Worker. Daily tasks vary and could include improving quality of life through social activities, helping NDIS clients become more independent in their daily lives or assisting clients with developing the practical skills and knowledge to secure future employment.
Anyone can become a disability support worker. To thrive and grow in the profession, some tips on working as a disability support worker include learning how to work with empathy, learning to maintain a positive work-life balance and learning different stress management techniques.
Although no formal qualifications are required. Most employers in Western Australia would like their employees to have at a minimum completed CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). If you are interested in further study CHC43115 Certificate IV Disability will also provide you with the practical skills and knowledge that disability workers possess. In addition to educational qualifications, having a valid drivers licence, current Working with Children Check and current First Aid Certificate would also be beneficial, but not mandatory.