what is a care worker?

Care workers provide essential assistance across various contexts, from care facilities to personal and in-home settings. Their duties range from maintaining hygiene and monitoring health to managing daily affairs for clients, including those with disabilities, substance abuse recovery needs, and elderly individuals.

Their responsibilities may vary based on the setting. Some care workers support families caring for loved ones, while others focus on childcare, addressing emotional and practical needs. They also plan activities and offer guidance in coordination with healthcare professionals.

view vacancies

average care worker salary

The average remuneration package of a care worker in Australia is $59,475 annually. When starting in the role, your remuneration package is $53,625 per year. With experience and additional qualifications, your earnings increase gradually, and you can take home over $89,745 yearly.

how to increase your earnings as a care worker

Various factors influence the remuneration package of care workers. For instance, your work hours determine your earnings. When you work full-time or night shifts, your remuneration package is higher than that of part-time care workers. Your expertise and qualifications also influence your remuneration package. When you have experience working with patients suffering from chronic illnesses or disabilities, you attract a higher salary.

The patients you care for also determine your earnings. For instance, working in a care home for older people attracts a different salary than working in people's homes. The complexity of your duties and your work hours in the facility determine your earning potential. Sick patients require care workers with additional qualifications to provide sufficient care. Hence, the remuneration package is higher compared to care workers who handle simple tasks when supporting patients.

Want to know what you will earn as a care worker? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of care workers

The types of care workers depend on the area of specialisation. You can provide personal care to patients in hospitals or their homes. Some care workers specialise in specific types of patients, like seniors, patients with terminal illnesses, or people with disabilities. As an aged care worker, you provide care to seniors. You work in residential care facilities or people's homes to provide personal care to aged adults. You help them with daily activities, like grooming and dressing, and ensure they take medication on time.

As a home care worker, you care for your patients in their homes by providing basic care. You ensure your clients eat and take medication on time. You also help them with mobility challenges, such as standing and exercising. Sometimes, you run errands for your clients and keep their records.

smiling female sitting on floor looking at male sitting on couch
smiling female sitting on floor looking at male sitting on couch

working as a care worker

Working as a care worker requires compassion since you work with people who require personalised care. Here are the duties, work environments and work schedules of care workers:


education and skills

While you can work as a care worker without educational qualifications, most employers require vocational qualifications. Complete a vocational qualification in technical and further education (TAFE) to gain skills and knowledge in disability or community service. Complete a Certificate III in individual support or Certificate IV in disability.

Aside from educational qualifications, you require experience. It is recommended to have a current police check and first aid certification. If your duties involve driving, ensure you have an unrestricted driver’s licence. Consider volunteering with Seniors and Aged Care or Disability Services to gain experience.

care worker skills and competencies

As a care worker, you require soft skills and personal attributes to excel in the role, including:

  • caring: as a care worker, you provide physical and medical assistance to adults, older people or children. If you genuinely care for your patients, you can help them deal with negative emotions. Since patients often feel isolated, being conscientious makes them comfortable.
  • respectful: as a care worker, you assist patients from different backgrounds. It is important to respect their religious or cultural beliefs to foster good relationships and provide the best care.
  • friendly: as a care worker, you should be open and approachable to enhance your working relationship with patients or co-workers. You also spend most of the day interacting with service users, and if you are withdrawn, your patients may feel uncomfortable in your presence. Friendliness creates a safe space for healing and hope for your clients.
  • flexibility: as a care worker, you need flexibility. Jobs vary depending on the patients you work with. For instance, providing services to a child is different from assisting an adult. Adaptability helps you adjust to new job requirements quickly and provide quality care.

FAQs about working as a care worker

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a care worker.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.