Welfare Workers assist individuals, families and groups with social, emotional or financial difficulties to improve quality of life, by educating and supporting them and working towards change in their social environment.

    A formal qualification in community services work is needed to work as a Welfare Worker. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Welfare Workers.

    Tasks

    • Provides support while exploring alternatives with clients who experience difficulties such as marital problems, unemployment, illness and drug abuse.
    • Assesses risks and provides intensive short-term crisis counselling for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, disasters and other crises.
    • Assists to establish and administer neighbourhood houses, community groups, employment training programmes and other services.

    More about Welfare, Recreation and Community Arts Workers

    All Welfare, Recreation and Community Arts Workers

    • $1,374 Weekly Pay
    • Very strong Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment

    Welfare Workers

    • 20,000 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 64% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 42 years Average age
    • 79% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Welfare Workers (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 17,200 in 2011 to 20,000 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Location: Welfare Workers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Public Administration and Safety; and Education and Training.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (64%, 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 42 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 79% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    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 Assistance56.8
    Public Administration and Safety33.6
    Education and Training2.3
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services2.0
    Other Industries5.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on 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 WorkersAll Jobs Average
    NSW31.031.6
    VIC25.525.6
    QLD18.520.0
    SA7.47.0
    WA11.610.8
    TAS2.52.0
    NT1.91.0
    ACT1.81.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketWelfare WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.2-5.05.0
    20-244.7-9.39.3
    25-3425.9-22.922.9
    35-4424.3-22.022.0
    45-5423.5-21.621.6
    55-5910.6-9.09.0
    60-647.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, 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 WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate16.9-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree41.9-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma22.3-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV9.9-21.121.1
    Year 124.7-18.118.1
    Year 111.3-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below3.0-12.512.5

    A formal qualification in community services work is needed to work as a Welfare Worker. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Welfare 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

    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 and Sport, Fitness and Recreation 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, Recreation and Community Arts Workers who can communicate and are mature and organised.

    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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