Aged care workers may be required to work evenings, weekends and rostered shifts. Their work may include carrying out some supervised medical tasks, such as changing dressings or administering medications. An aged care worker also needs to be aware of any changes in their client’s physical or mental health such as increased discomfort, loss of mobility, hearing or sight loss, signs of depression or anxiety, and report these to their supervisor. They need to also be on the lookout for any safety hazards that may pose risks to themselves, staff and their clients.
According to industry, qualified aged and disabled carers can expect to earn approximately $800.00 per week (full-time and before tax).
An aged care worker may work with clients who require assistance with movement. This can require the use of equipment such as hoists to lift the client in and out of bed, or swivel cushions to ease getting into and out of cars. They may also utilise special communication technologies, such as software that produces spoken output for people with hearing difficulties, and magnifies or presents information as Braille for those with sight disabilities. An aged care worker may also need to be familiar with vehicle modifications such as wheelchair hoists, modified driving controls and specially-modified wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
You can work as an aged care worker without qualifications; however, entry into this occupation may be improved with qualifications or previous work experience.
The Certificate III and IV in Aged Care are offered at various TAFE Colleges (or Institutes of Technology) throughout WA.
The Certificate III in Home and Community Care is offered through Polytechnic West (Midland campus).
A Senior First Aid Certificate is also an advantage when seeking employment.
You can also become qualified to work as an aged care worker by completing a traineeship, which combines workplace training with paid employment. Training may be delivered entirely in the workplace, or some aspects of training may be delivered on the premises of a registered training organisation, such as a TAFE College (or Institute of Technology). The traineeship normally takes 12 months (Certificate III) and 24 months (Certificate IV).
If you are still at school, you may be able to access a traineeship through your school. You generally start your school-based traineeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work.
Talk to your school's VET Coordinator to discuss possibly starting your training now through VET in Schools.
If you get a full-time traineeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for a traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.