Individual Support Workers
What is a support worker?
An individual support worker assists people in the areas of aged care, home care, community care, and disability services. They help older people or disabled individuals increase their physical, mental and social participation in their own lives to build confidence, independence, and self-reliance. Individual support is a very tailored line of work that involves putting other people’s needs first to help them lead happier lives.
Courses for support workers generally have three areas to specialise in:
- Disability — Working with individuals to assist with personal care, mobility support, daily tasks and social events to improve their quality of life.
- Aged care — Working with older people in a residential aged care setting to provide care, supervision and support in daily activities and personal tasks.
- Home and community — Working with individuals and older people in their own homes to provide person-centred support, assist with their day-to-day activities and promote independence.
Individual support worker job outcomes
There are various care worker roles to choose from after studying an individual support worker course, including:
Which individual support course should I choose?
You might currently be a support worker and looking to upskill, or you might be new to the field — either way, a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) teaches you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a support worker. There are many Registered Training Organisations (RTO) that offer this support worker course for you to choose from.
Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) covers a range of core units including:
- Working with diverse people
- Communicating in the health, community services, and disability sector
- Empowering older people
- Recognising healthy body systems
- Providing individualised support
- Following safe work practices for direct client care
- Case management
- Promote mental health
The majority of this course can be completed via online learning and either part-time or full-time. However, there is one mandatory face-to-face requirement: work placement — an invaluable opportunity to hone your skills and build resilience before entering the workforce. This is your chance to learn on the job, experience multiple community care settings and engage with different individuals to give you the confidence you need to tackle any situation when you’re out in the field.
After studying for a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015), you might want to look into further study to depend develop your skills and knowledge in a particular area. There are various ageing, disability, and home and community care courses you can choose from. Some of the most popular are Certificate IV in Ageing Support and Certificate IV in Disability which leads to careers as an aged care worker or disability support worker.
There aren’t many entry requirements for enrolment apart from getting a Working with Children Check and a police check. Working in the healthcare industry also means that you’ll need to be up-to-date with your covid-19 vaccinations.
Individual support industry outlook
The healthcare and support services sector is one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing service industries.
If you’re wondering whether a course in individual support will leave you scrambling to find a job — stop right there. Australia’s demand for individual and community support workers is ever-increasing, with solid employment growth expected up to 2025. In other words, the industry is waiting for you.
In 2022, more than 2 million people were employed in this industry, and the demand for aged care and disability support workers jobs in particular is projected to increase by 28% by 2026. So now is the perfect time to study a support worker course.
Is being an individual support worker right for you?
Now that you understand the industry’s demand, it’s a matter of answering a fundamental question: is individual support right for you? Being responsible for another person’s life is a confronting thought for some — but if the prospect of this brings a smile to your face — then it’s likely you’ve found your calling. There’s no denying that any caretaker role will sometimes be gruelling, but this is temporary. The gratitude you will receive from your clients will last a lifetime.
Aside from being a rewarding career, being a carer also has a lot of flexibility. This is far from your usual 9.00 am – 5.00 pm office job — your hours are always changing, and you can travel from place to place to service your clients.
If you’re a positive, resilient person who loves helping others and wants to make a difference in your community, then individual support might be a great fit for you.
Browse courses for support workers and apply now to make a start on your dream career.