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What skills do I need for a career in aged care?

If you want a fulfilling career that allows you to give back to the community and provide much-needed support to those who may struggle with day-to-day tasks, then aged care could be the right job for you.

The aged care industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, and the federal government’s Department of Employment predicted more than 50,000 positions will be created in the sector between 2013 and 2018.

In fact, the aged care labour force is expected to expand by more than 12.1 per cent over a five-year period – but how do you know if a career in care is the correct move?

One way to identify the roles that are best suited to your talents is to take the Harrison Online Career Assessment. After completing a comprehensive set of questions, your answers are matched to job criteria from hundreds of Australian apprenticeships and traineeships.

Registering with Apprenticeship Central also ensures you will have access to a variety of other valuable resources and tools for jobseeking. You can even use the results from your assessment to guide your search of our extensive database of available apprenticeships and traineeships in the local area.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to know more about the key skills involved in an aged care role, here are some of the main characteristics employers look out for in candidates.

Good communication: Carers spend most of their working hours chatting to clients, as well as liaising with other aged cared employees and health care professionals. Excellent reading, writing and verbal communication is therefore important.

Supportive and caring nature: Aged care is a demanding job and it requires someone who is genuinely passionate about providing assistance to the elderly with patience and commitment.

Physically fit: An aged care role can be physically demanding, as you may be required to help clients with mobility issues.

Professionalism: Some elderly people are extremely vulnerable, particularly when their physical and mental health has substantially deteriorated. Carers must remain discreet and professional at all times when conducting their duties.

Ability to perform domestic tasks: Cooking, cleaning and other household jobs are a typical day-to-day requirement for aged care workers. You must therefore be able to perform these duties quickly and to a high standard.

Safety awareness: Carers need to look out for potential safety hazards that could cause serious harm, not only to clients, but also to fellow workers and themselves.

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