Disability Support

About the disability support industry

If you’re seeking a highly rewarding and diverse career, disability support might be the ideal pathway. Disability support workers offer services in a range of settings, from group homes to day despite centres, training centres and employment centres. Typically working with Australia’s disabled and elderly community, disability support workers help their clients with day-to-day tasks in order to continue living a full and enriching life. From monitoring medication to organising social events and beyond, a day in the life of a disability support worker is varied and fulfilling.
Certificate IV in Disability by Open Colleges
Certificate IV in Disability by Open Colleges
Certificate IV in Disability by Open Colleges
Boost your job prospects with this nationally recognised disability care course online that will give you advanced skills to move into a supervisory role.
Self paced
Maximum 18 months
Online with Work Placement
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What Are the General Entry Requirements for Disability Support?

The entry requirements to study disability support will vary based on the course you want. Academic requirements will differ between educational institutions and the level of study you undertake. For the most accurate information, you should view the course information on the institution’s website.

Typically, you’ll need to have an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent to complete an undergraduate degree.
For Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses and Certificates, most students will need to have reached a level of study equivalent to the Australian Year 10. Some courses may require extra prerequisite subjects or work experience.

For postgraduate courses, satisfactory completion of an undergraduate degree is required. However, some institutions may take relevant work experience or research ability into consideration as well.

What Skills Are Needed to Study Disability Support?

When studying disability support in Australia, there are several skills that will help you be the best disability support worker you can be. While some things can be learned, these are some intrinsic skills you should possess, or be willing to work on:

  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Communication Skills
  • Positive Attitude
  • Adaptability
  • Quick Thinking
  • Teamwork Skills
  • Time Management

Is a Disability Support Course Right for Me?

If you are passionate about helping people in need, especially people who are elderly or living with a disability, you should do well in a disability support course. If you would describe yourself as empathetic, patient and compassionate, you have the right skills to be a successful and thriving disability support worker.

You also, however, need to possess strong emotional resilience and the ability to cope under pressure. Working with people with a diverse range of needs, many of whom can not complete basic tasks on their own, can be challenging both physically and mentally. While you will learn how to cope with all this in your training, it’s important you feel confident in your skills and ability to deal with difficult situations.

What Are the Different Types of Disability Support Courses?

There are several pathways to study disability support courses, from TAFE certificates to diplomas. To find the best course in Australia, you need to decide where you want your disability support career to take you, while also considering your current level of knowledge and any previous study you’ve done.

Here are some of the different disability support courses available in Australia:

  • Certificate III or Certificate IV courses: For an entry-level role, or to attain formal qualifications for pre-existing career skills, you can complete a Cert III or Cert IV in disability support. In these courses, you’ll learn about a range of disabilities and how you can offer the best support and assistance based on an individual client’s circumstances. Most Certificate courses have no entry requirements, and you’ll likely be able to enrol with a simple working with Children Check and a National Police check.
  • Diploma courses: If you already have some formal training in disability support and would like to study further, you might like to undertake a Diploma of Community Service or Disability Support Services. These diploma courses will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical experience necessary to succeed in this industry.

What Can I Do After a Disability Support Course?

There are several career pathways following a disability support course, from job opportunities within aged care homes, disability support agencies or private employment. You can also work in admin, like becoming a case manager, program coordinator or working specifically with the NDIS (national disability insurance scheme). Here are some roles you can apply for after completing a disability support course:

  • Disability Support Worker
  • Community Care Worker
  • Care Coordinator
  • Disability Coordinator
  • Development Officer
  • Disability Team Leader/ Supervisor
  • Senior Personal Care Assistant
  • Disability Support Officer

Which Are the Top Institutes to Study Disability Support?

TAFE, Griffith University, University of Tasmania, University of South Australia and online education platforms like Open Colleges are some of the best places to study disability support.

How Much Can I Earn with a Disability Support Qualification?

The average disability support worker salary in Australia is $65,374 per year, with entry-level positions starting at $59,475 per year, and the most experienced workers earning up to $79,950 per year.

Are Disability Support Careers Still in Demand in 2022?

With Australia’s ageing population and a growing demand for disability support and aged care workers, this sector is crucial to the well-being of the country. Currently, 2.7 million Australians are working in disability support, with an additional 58,000 disability service instructors and 130,000 disability carers in the field as well. Jobs in the disability support sector are expected to grow at a rate of 25% by 2024, making this career a very much in-demand profession today and into the future.

Are Courses in Disability Support Subsidised?

overnment funding assists students by subsidising their tuition fees, with funding varying between states and territories. In NSW, for example, Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. It helps people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers. Under Smart and Skilled, the NSW Government contributes to the cost of each course with the student paying the balance. There are several disability courses that fall under the Smart and Skilled reform, including Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing & Home and Community Care),
Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), Certificate IV in Ageing Support and Certificate IV in Mental Health.