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about support work

About Support Work

Your life experience has given you the skills to become a great disability support worker. Why not put those deadly skills to use and start making a difference today.






Let’s yarn about support work.

A disability support worker supports a person with a disability in everyday life.

As a support worker you will be working closely with the person you’re supporting. Often the job involves assisting someone to learn new skills so they can live more independently and reach their goals. The job may include facilitating daily personal hygiene, assisting with housework, and providing emotional support. You may need to go to appointments and attend activities in the community – it really depends on what the person enjoys and what they decide to do. No two days are the same and being flexible to the needs of the person you’re supporting is important to be successful in the role.

If you’re supporting another Aboriginal person, you can help them remain connected to their culture and grow their cultural confidence. If it is your preference to support an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, please raise this with the service provider during the interview process. Many Aboriginal people in Western Australia don’t currently receive support from another First Nations person but would like to be. The sector needs more Aboriginal people supporting Mob!

To hear more about the job from a support worker, watch this video.

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What do I need to get started?

If you’ve spent time caring for family and community members, you’ve got all the right experience to be a great support worker. 

Not every employer requires formal qualifications or experience to get started and many offer paid training opportunities.

Great support workers will have:

  • A positive attitude and an interest in people. 
  • Empathy and compassion for the person you’re supporting. 
  • Great communication skills – it’s important that you can yarn well and listen to verbal and non-verbal cues of the person you are supporting. 
  • Patience – people with disability have a range of different challenges and needs, so it’s important that you can be patient and understanding. 
  • Reliability – your employer will create rosters and schedules to ensure the needs of the person you are supporting are met. It’s therefore important that you are reliable, and can commit to being available to the person you are supporting. 
  • Flexibility – be able to assess and adapt to various situations and the different needs of the person you are supporting. 

While it’s not essential, tickets in first aid and CPR are useful to have. Some employers will require a current WA driving licence and most employers will require a NDIS Worker Screen Check. 

A Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) is very highly regarded by many employers. This course is currently free via Jobs and Skills WA. Click here to learn more. 

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Is disability support work for me?

The disability sector has changed a lot in recent years because of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS has also created a lot of jobs so there’s plenty of opportunity to grow and develop your career in the direction that you want. Many people start as a support worker as it’s a great way to understand the sector.

The NDIS has created a self-assessment tool for you to take to find out if the job would be right for you. To access the self-assessment tool, click here.

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What are the benefits?

As a disability support worker there are many benefits:

  • It’s flexible around your life so you can continue meet your family and community commitments.
  • You can bring your personality, cultural experience, and unique background to your role.
  • There are a lot of opportunities to advance in the disability sector as it’s growing.
  • There are ongoing training and development opportunities.
  • Get job satisfaction, security and stability due to the high demand.
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What can I earn?

The amount you will earn depends on a number of important factors including:

  • Employment type – casual and permanent staff members will earn different amounts
  • Experience and qualifications – more qualified and experienced staff will generally earn more than someone who is starting out in the sector and requires more supervision and support. Qualifications like first aid and a Certificate III Individual Support (Disability) and Certificate IV Disability will mean a higher rate of pay is provided.
  • Shift type – staff working overnight shifts will generally earn more due to the unsocial working hours. If worked, overtime rates will also contribute to take home pay.
  • Enterprise agreements – many employers have legal agreements in place that will determine a worker’s pay rate over and above award rates.

When you’re are applying for a role, the rate of pay is generally listed. If it’s not, you can find out by asking the employer directly.  

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Apply For a Job

Before you search, remember that some employers require experience while others don’t, so look out for the right role for you.

Find Out More

National Disability Services (NDS) is Australia’s peak body for non-government disability service organisations, representing more than 1100 non-government service providers.

For more information about NDS and the organisations it works with visit