Disability workers provide care either in their client's own home, or in a residential care setting. They are often expected to carry out their work in rostered shifts and may be expected to work weekends and at night. Sometimes, disability workers may be required to live-in with their client. They carry out their duties under direct or regular supervision, and within clearly defined care plans or organisational guidelines.
According to industry, aged and disabled carers can expect to earn approximately $800.00 per week (full-time and before tax).
A disability worker usually works with clients who require assistance with daily tasks and activities. This can include the use of equipment such as hoists to lift the client in and out of bed, or swivel cushions to assist clients when getting into and out of cars. They may also utilise special communication technology, such as software that produces spoken output for people with hearing difficulties, and magnifies or presents information as Braille for those with sight disabilities. A disability worker may also need to be familiar with vehicle modifications such as wheelchair hoists, modified driving controls and specially modified wheelchair accessible vehicles.
It is possible to enter this occupation without formal qualifications; however, formal qualifications may improve your employment opportunities. Entry to the following certificate courses usually requires Year 10.
The Certificate III in Aged Care, Certificate IV in Aged Care, Certificate III in Disability and Certificate IV in Disability are all offered through various TAFE locations.
The Certificate III in Home and Community Care is offered through North Metropolitan TAFE (Midland campus).
You can also complete a traineeship in Aged Care, Disability or Home and Community Care. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally prefer Year 10.
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.