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.

    You usually need a formal qualification in society and culture, behavioural science, human welfare, community service, or another related field to work as a Welfare Support Worker. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Welfare Support Workers.

    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

    All Welfare Support Workers

    • $1,328 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 46,700 workers Employment Size
    • High skill Skill level rating
    • 63% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 43 years Average age
    • 74% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Welfare Support Workers (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 46,700 in 2018 to 52,100 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 30,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 6,000 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Welfare Support Workers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Public Administration and Safety; and Other Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,328 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (63%, similar to the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 74% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200847800
    200942600
    201049200
    201146100
    201250300
    201348300
    201459300
    201555600
    201659600
    201751200
    201846700
    202352100

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings13281460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance58.5
    Public Administration and Safety21.6
    Other Services4.9
    Education and Training4.8
    Other Industries10.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateWelfare Support WorkersAll Jobs Average
    NSW29.031.6
    VIC24.025.6
    QLD18.220.0
    SA10.57.0
    WA11.410.8
    TAS2.62.0
    NT2.61.0
    ACT1.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketWelfare Support WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.5-5.05.0
    20-246.0-9.39.3
    25-3423.9-22.922.9
    35-4424.1-22.022.0
    45-5424.6-21.621.6
    55-5910.8-9.09.0
    60-646.9-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.2-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate11.2-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree26.8-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma26.0-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV20.2-21.121.1
    Year 128.7-18.118.1
    Year 112.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below5.0-12.512.5

    You usually need a formal qualification in society and culture, behavioural science, human welfare, community service, or another related field to work as a Welfare Support Worker. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Welfare Support Workers.

    Membership with the Australian Community Workers Association may be useful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • first aid certificate

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Psychology

      74% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      71% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Therapy and Counseling

      70% Skill level

      Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

    4. Clerical

      59% Skill level

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    5. Sociology and Anthropology

      55% Skill level

      Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 21-1093.00 - Social and Human Service Assistants.

    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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Contact With Others

      99% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    2. Telephone

      98% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      97% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Electronic Mail

      91% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    5. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      87% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 21-1093.00 - Social and Human Service Assistants.

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