About Support Work
The disability sector needs more men to fill a range of different support worker roles. Your new rewarding career in disability support awaits.
HOW IS ITMORE THAN CARE?
WHAT DO INEED TOGET STARTED?
IS DISABILITYSUPPORT WORKFOR ME?
WHAT CANI EARN?
How is it more than care?
As a disability support worker there are lots of benefits:
- It really is more than care. It can be a hugely rewarding experience by making a big difference in someone’s life – helping them achieve their life goals, accessing their community and living life their way.
- It’s flexible around you and your life.
- You can bring your individuality and unique background to the role.
- You will be a mentor, a mate, a coach and even a friend.
- There are a lot of career pathways and opportunities to advance in the disability sector.
- There are many ongoing training and development opportunities.
- Job satisfaction, security and stability.
A disability support worker supports a person living with a disability to reach their goals.
As a support worker you will be closely involved in the day-to-day life of the person you support. Depending on the person, you might be assisting them to learn skills so they can live more independently, go to appointments or activities in the community, or even head to the gym. It really depends on what they enjoy and want to do while you’re supporting them. Other parts of the job may include facilitating daily personal hygiene, assisting with housework, or providing emotional support.
No two days are the same and it’s important that you are flexible to the changing needs of the person you are supporting. Disability support work is person-centred meaning the needs of the person you’re supporting are prioritised. They’re in control of their day, and you are supporting them to safely access their community and build connections.
To learn more, watch this video.
What do I need to get started?
To be a great support worker you will need to 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 communicate 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 highly regarded by many employers. This course is currently free via Jobs and Skills WA. Click here to learn more.
Many employers do provide on-the-job training and some even cover costs for you to obtain relevant professional qualifications.
Is Disability Support Work for me?
The introduction of the NDIS has had a big impact on the disability sector and has created many exciting career opportunities.
There is a lot of opportunity to grow and develop your career in the direction you want to go.
The NDIS has created a great tool to help you understand the skills needed for the role and if you’d be a great fit. You can take the quiz here.
What can I earn?
The amount you will earn depends on a number of important factors including:
- Employment type – there are both casual and permanent roles available in disability support
- Experience and qualifications – more qualified and experienced staff will generally earn more than someone who is starting out in the sector.
- Qualifications like first aid and a Certificate III Individual Support (Disability) and Certificate IV Disability will usually mean a higher rate of pay is provided.
- Shift type – staff working overnight shifts will generally earn more. If you ever have to work overtime, you will likely be paid for those additional hours.
- 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.