Welfare Support Workers provide support, information and advice to clients on emotional, financial, recreational, health, housing and other social welfare matters, and evaluate and coordinate the services of welfare and community service agencies.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed. Two in five workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed.

Tasks

  • assessing clients' needs and planning, developing and implementing educational, training and support programs
  • interviewing clients and assessing the nature and extent of difficulties
  • monitoring and reporting on the progress of clients
  • referring clients to agencies that can provide additional help
  • assessing community need and resources for health, welfare, housing, employment, training and other facilities and services
  • liaising with community groups, welfare agencies, government bodies and private businesses about community issues and promoting awareness of community resources and services
  • supporting families and providing education and care for children and disabled persons in adult service units, group housing and government institutions
  • supervising offenders on probation and parole
  • assisting young people to solve social, emotional and financial problems
  • preparing submissions for funding and resources, and reports to government bodies and other agencies

Job Titles

  • Community Worker
  • Disabilities Services Officer
  • Family Support Worker
  • Parole or Probation Officer
  • Residential Care Officer
  • Youth Worker
  • Community Worker

    Facilitates community development initiatives and collective solutions within a community to address issues, needs and problems associated with recreational, health, housing, employment and other welfare matters.

    Specialisations: Community Development Officer, Community Support Worker, Housing Officer

  • Disabilities Services Officer

    Works in a range of service units which provide education and community access to people with intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities.

  • Family Support Worker

    Assists the work of Social Workers and Welfare Workers by providing services and support to families.

  • Parole or Probation Officer

    Supervises offenders who have been placed on probation by court order or released conditionally from corrective service institutions.

  • Residential Care Officer

    Provides care and supervision for children or disabled persons in group housing or institutional care.

  • Youth Worker (also called Youth Officer or Youth Support Worker)

    Assists young people as individuals or groups to solve social, emotional and financial problems in an agency framework.

    Specialisations: Juvenile Justice Officer, Youth Accommodation Support Worker, Youth Liaison Officer

Fast Facts

  • $1,084 Weekly Pay
  • 52,300 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 67.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 35.7 hours Average full-time
  • 42 years Average age
  • 67.3% female Gender Share

The number of Welfare Support Workers grew moderately over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 52,300 in 2017 to 63,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 40,000 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: Welfare Support Workers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Public Administration and Safety; and Other Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,084 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (67.6%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 67.3% 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
200742400
200847900
200942800
201049200
201146200
201250400
201348300
201459500
201554500
201658500
201752300
202263900

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.
EarningsWelfare Support WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10841230

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 Assistance64.4
Public Administration and Safety20.7
Other Services4.3
Education and Training2.5
Other Industries8.1

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.
StateWelfare Support WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW30.531.6
VIC21.926.2
QLD18.619.7
SA10.16.7
WA10.410.8
TAS3.22.0
NT3.01.1
ACT2.41.8

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 BracketWelfare Support WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.4-5.25.2
20-246.5-9.99.9
25-3423.9-23.623.6
35-4424.9-21.721.7
45-5421.1-20.820.8
55-5911.4-8.88.8
60-649.3-6.06.0
65 and Over2.5-4.04.0

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 QualificationWelfare Support WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate12.2-8.68.6
Bachelor degree25.7-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma21.7-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV21.7-18.918.9
Year 129.1-18.718.7
Years 11 & 106.6-17.717.7
Below Year 102.9-8.18.1

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed. Two in five workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed.

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 Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

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

Employers look for Welfare Support Workers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic, and can communicate well with others.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    90% Important

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

  2. English Language

    79% Important

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

  3. Education and Training

    76% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Administration and Management

    74% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  5. Medicine and Dentistry

    72% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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, 21-1094.00 - Community Health Workers.

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. Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

    97% Important

    Communicating with customers, the public, government, and others in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

  2. Building Good Relationships

    95% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  3. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    95% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  4. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    94% Important

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

  5. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    92% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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, 21-1094.00 - Community Health Workers.

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