Our strides in research and medical technology, improved living conditions and access to public health care system has all contributed to longer life expectancies in Australia. The Australian Human Rights Commission expects the number of Australians aged 65 and over will make up 22.9% of the population by 2055.
While reaching our golden years is something to be celebrated, it does increase the demand for skilled aged care service workers. The sector is valued at AU$20 billion and employs over 224,000 staff across 1800 businesses nation-wide. The latest data from SEEK has also seen jobs in healthcare and medical increase 9% year on year.
Connie Fitzpatrick, Director at Frontline Health Recruitment has seen a strong demand for quality candidates across all areas of the aged care sector. “This is a 24/7 industry and employers need to focus on their culture to attract and retain the best talent,” she said in a recent interview.
What kind of education is required for aged care work?
Post-secondary school education is recommended in this field, and there has been a strong rise in the number of people studying health related courses, which has almost doubled over the past decade. Students can study VET courses specifically for aged care such as a Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate IV in Ageing Support or Diploma in Nursing.
Current state of the industry and workforce challenges
The Royal Commission into the standard of aged care quality and safety will be looking at how older people are cared for and what needs to change in order to make care services better. This came about after disturbing cases of elder abuse in health facilities came to light in an investigation by the ABC. Commissioner Lynelle Briggs said the themes included in the Royal Commission would likely include “quality and safety, access and inclusion, young people with disability, interfaces and transition, future challenges and opportunities to deliver in a sustainable way.”
The Royal Commission is putting industry standards in the spotlight, with many job advertisements calling for higher quality candidates that they can retain for long periods by offering opportunities for upskilling within the business.
Roles expected to boom and expected annual salary
Based of SEEK data, here’s what you can expect to make across a range of roles. The roles selected are just some of the types expected to boom over the next 10 years.
- Managers: There is an increasing number of managerial roles across operations and regional, which are offering salaries of over $100,000 and up to $220,000, which is great news if you’re planning to work your way up in the industry
- Personal Carers: While automation is replacing many functions of roles in other industries, those in carer positions have nothing to worry about. There will always be a need for carers and technology will only help provide a better level of care. If you’re entering into a carer role for the first time you can expect to earn around $45,000 salary or $24 – $35 per hour for part time or casual positions.
- Case Managers: Many health professionals, including registered nurses, are moving into Case Managerial roles, which helps a small group of clients enact their care plans. The average salary for a Case Manager in aged care is $72,607
Domestic workers: These workers make up 20% of the aged care industry and includes the cooks, food service assistants, cleaning and laundry, administration and roles involved with the operational side of running an aged care business.