Working as an Aged Care Worker requires patience, empathy and a desire to help those who are unable to look after themselves. Alongside this, there are a number of skills you’ll need to have if you plan on studying and securing a career in the field.
An Aged Care Worker is responsible for providing personal, physical and emotional support to those requiring assistance. They assist clients within their own homes or in residential care, with daily activities ranging from showering, dressing and feeding clients to assisting with social outings and shopping. Read more about the job description of an Aged Care Worker.
What technical and professional skills do I need to become an Aged Care Worker?
A qualification in aged cared will be highly regarded if you want to secure a job in the industry. Courses like the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) (CHC33015) provide a great starting point, meet most minimum education requirements for aged care jobs, and give you a practical understanding of what’s required in the role.
A vocational training course such as the Certificate III will teach how you to look after an elderly person’s care needs and the safety procedures you’ll need to follow when working in the aged care sector.
Is a work placement recommended when studying to be an Aged Care Worker?
Work placement (or work experience) is extremely important from a skills development perspective, giving you a real insight into the industry and what duties you would need to perform on a regular basis.
When preparing for a career as an Aged Care Worker, look for courses that include work placements as a requirement, ensuring you get hands-on experience before you start working out in the field.
“A work placement gives students the benefit of truly understanding their working environment and prepares them to make the transition from student to worker,” explains SEEK Learning Consultant Ben Howell.
“Having documented experience on your resume will also give potential employers the reassurance that you can hit the ground running without too much supervision,” he adds.
An Aged Care Worker may also be required to assist clients that have mobility issues using specific machines, wheelchairs and various mobility devices, which can take some practise. They will also be expected to be familiar with communication and hearing aids; skills that are often honed during a work placement.
Should I become an Aged Care Worker?
“The most important traits Aged Care Worker have include a caring and supportive nature, good communication skills and patience,” says Ben.
Other attributes you’ll need to be successful in the role include:
- A strong sense of empathy and acceptance of other cultures
- Good physical fitness
- A desire to help others
Ben notes that in many cases, people who have previously looked after family members through an illness or old age are often drawn to aged care work as a career.
“Students in aged care work tend to find that the carer role they’ve played in the past turned into a passion and career goal,” he says.