Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers provide assistance, support and direct care to patients in a variety of health, welfare and community settings.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Around half workers have Certificate III or higher Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • assisting patients with their personal care needs such as showering, dressing and eating
  • assisting patients with their mobility and communication needs
  • participating in planning the care of individuals
  • following therapy plans such as interventions to assist those with dementia and behavioural problems
  • observing and reporting changes in patients' condition, and reporting complaints about care
  • assisting with rehabilitation exercises, basic treatment and delivering medications
  • providing direct support and assistance to therapists

Job Titles

  • Hospital Orderly, or Wardsperson
  • Nursing Support Worker
  • Personal Care Assistant
  • Therapy Aide
  • Hospital Orderly, or Wardsperson (also called Patient Services Assistant)

    Assists with the provision of care to patients in a hospital by ensuring wards are neat and tidy, lifting and turning patients and transporting them in wheelchairs or on movable beds, and providing direct care and support.

  • Nursing Support Worker (also called Assistant in Nursing)

    Provides limited patient care under the direction of nursing staff.

    Specialisations: Paramedical Aide

  • Personal Care Assistant

    Provides routine personal care services to people in a range of health care facilities or in a person's home.

  • Therapy Aide (also called Therapist's Assistant)

    Assists therapists in providing therapy programs and in the direct care of their patients in a variety of health, welfare and community settings. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Diversional Therapist's Assistant, Occupational Therapist's Assistant, Physiotherapist's Assistant

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $900 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    87800
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    23.9%
  • Female Share

    76.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    42.4%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 87,800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 34.2 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $900 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 45 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200569500
200670900
200775200
200866400
200978400
201085600
201184600
201288700
201390500
201486000
201587800
202097900

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsNursing Support and Personal Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryNursing Support and Personal Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time42.468.4
Part-time57.631.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)34.240

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance95.2
Public Administration and Safety2.6
Administrative and Support Services1.3
Other Services0.6
Other Industries0.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateNursing Support and Personal Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW35.931.8
VIC25.325.5
QLD20.519.8
SA5.16.8
WA9.511.2
TAS2.22
NT0.71.1
ACT0.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketNursing Support and Personal Care WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192-5.45.4
20-2410.3-9.99.9
25-3420.4-23.423.4
35-4415.6-21.721.7
45-5427.4-21.121.1
55-5912.8-8.78.7
60-647.7-5.95.9
65 and Over3.9-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryNursing Support and Personal Care WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males23.9Males53.6
Females76.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationNursing Support and Personal Care WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate4.1-8.68.6
Bachelor degree15-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV43.8-18.918.9
Year 1218.3-18.718.7
Years 11 & 109.9-17.717.7
Below Year 101.9-8.18.1

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in these occupations.
Around half workers have Certificate III or higher Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and physically fit with good people skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    72% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. English Language

    69% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Psychology

    52% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  4. Public Safety and Security

    52% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  5. Administration and Management

    50% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    95% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Getting Information

    88% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    86% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  4. Documenting/Recording Information

    84% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    81% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

Occupational Information Network Home Health Aides Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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