Special Care Workers provide care and supervision for children and young people in residential and institutional facilities, and provide care and support to people in refuges.

    You can work as a Special Care Worker without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in residential care, community services, social services, child, youth, and family intervention, or related studies might be helpful.

    Tasks

    • planning and implementing programs of supervision and care for children in residential care
    • supervising and arranging activities to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children in residential care
    • waking children and ensuring they are washed, dressed, fed and ready for educational and recreational activities
    • supervising children during domestic activities such as eating meals and showering
    • maintaining discipline, enforcing regulations and behaviour standards, compiling disciplinary reports and assisting in implementing remedial measures
    • organising refuge accommodation
    • providing emotional support to residents of refuges
    • referring residents of refuges for health and welfare assistance
    • ensuring security of refuge

    More about Special Care Workers

    All Special Care Workers

    All Special Care Workers

    • $1,341 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 3,300 workers Employment Size
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • 52% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 46 hours Average full-time
    • 38 years Average age
    • 69% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Special Care Workers (in their main job) grew moderately the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 3,300 in 2018 to 3,500 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2018.
    • Location: Special Care Workers work in many parts of Australia. Western Australia and the Northern Territory have a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Education and Training; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Public Administration and Safety.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,341 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Around half work full-time (52%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 69% 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
    20083100
    20094100
    20103600
    20111600
    20122100
    20133200
    20143200
    20151500
    20164200
    20172000
    20183300
    20233500

    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.
    EarningsSpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings13411460

    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)
    Education and Training47.2
    Health Care and Social Assistance37.7
    Public Administration and Safety4.9
    Accommodation and Food Services4.7
    Other Industries5.5

    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.
    StateSpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
    NSW20.531.6
    VIC21.625.6
    QLD23.920.0
    SA6.67.0
    WA18.710.8
    TAS1.82.0
    NT5.51.0
    ACT1.31.9

    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 BracketSpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-193.6-5.05.0
    20-2417.4-9.39.3
    25-3423.3-22.922.9
    35-4416.4-22.022.0
    45-5418.0-21.621.6
    55-599.0-9.09.0
    60-646.7-6.06.0
    65 and Over5.5-4.24.2

    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 QualificationSpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate7.8-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree19.6-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma20.6-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV18.0-21.121.1
    Year 1222.4-18.118.1
    Year 113.6-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below8.0-12.512.5

    You can work as a Special Care Worker without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in residential care, community services, social services, child, youth, and family intervention, or related studies might be helpful.

    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 Health Industry and 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 Special Care Workers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and communicate clearly, with strong people skills.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Therapy and Counseling

      87% Skill level

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

    2. Psychology

      71% Skill level

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

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      67% Skill level

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

    4. English Language

      58% Skill level

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

    5. Clerical

      52% Skill level

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

    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, 21-1021.00 - Child, Family, and School Social 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

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

    1. Telephone

      100% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    2. Contact With Others

      99% Important

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

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      98% Important

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

    4. Electronic Mail

      96% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    5. Work With Work Group or Team

      93% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    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, 21-1021.00 - Child, Family, and School Social Workers.

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