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

  • $900 Weekly Pay
  • 92,700 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 40.2% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 33.9 hours Average full-time
  • 43 years Average age
  • 75.9% female Gender Share

The number of Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers stayed fairly stable over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 92,700 in 2017 to 105,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 64,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (40.2%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunites to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 33.9 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 75.9% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200773100
200874900
200970100
201079900
201184900
201290400
201390800
201486300
201590600
201695500
201792700
2022105900

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Assistance96.4
Administrative and Support Services2.1
Public Administration and Safety1.3
Accommodation and Food Services0.1
Other Industries0.1

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 2017, 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
NSW29.431.6
VIC29.026.2
QLD19.819.7
SA8.16.7
WA8.910.8
TAS2.32.0
NT1.01.1
ACT1.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-192.0-5.25.2
20-2410.0-9.99.9
25-3423.6-23.623.6
35-4417.2-21.721.7
45-5422.5-20.820.8
55-5912.8-8.88.8
60-648.7-6.06.0
65 and Over3.1-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry and Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 31-1011.00 - Home Health Aides.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 31-1011.00 - Home Health Aides.

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