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5 reasons why you should work in disability support

By Emilly Parris

A career in disability support is an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. For many, it’s more than just a job—it’s a way to help those with disabilities gain independence in their lives and feel part of their community.

In Australia, there are currently more than 4.4 million Australians living with some form of disability, many of whom are aged 65 or older.

There are many challenges faced by people with disabilities—from physical barriers and lack of accessibility to stigma and misinformation about disability. These limitations can affect the opportunities of people with disabilities, such as finding work, socialising and performing the daily tasks that many take for granted.

That is why disability support workers are important not only right now, but in the future. They are required to assist people with disabilities and to advocate for better awareness about what disability is and isn’t. If you’re considering working in this challenging, yet highly rewarding field here are five reasons disability support might be the right career path for you.

Top 5 reasons why you should work in disability support 

  1. You want a meaningful career helping people from all walks of life.
  2. You want more than a desk job.
  3. You're looking for a versatile career path.
  4. You want a stable career with many opportunities.
  5. You're organised and motivated.

1. You want a meaningful career helping people from all walks of life.

As a disability support worker, you have the chance to help people directly. Beyond assisting with the basics like showering, preparing meals and grocery shopping, you’ll also provide companionship and emotional support. This means you’re an incredibly empathetic person who can see beyond someone’s disability. To you, physical limitations are not a barrier to understanding another person and you’re more than willing to acknowledge their needs whilst also treating them with kindness and respect.

2. You want more than just a desk job.

carer assisting elderly patient

Disability support work is better suited to those who prefer a hands-on working environment where they can work directly with people. It’s a career that will keep you busy and on your feet most of the time.

Disability workers can work in a range of settings including client’s homes, respite centres, aged care facilities or in schools. Some disability support workers visit their clients regularly at their homes, while others live with their client in order to provide 24/7 care. 

3. You’re looking for a versatile career path.

As a disability support worker, you’ll be helping disabled clients with a range of tasks—from mobility support to personal grooming and sometimes housework. No single day will be the same, which means you must be flexible and willing to help in any way you can to ensure your client is cared for. If you prefer a varied role with a wide range of responsibilities, disability work could be your calling.

4. You want a stable career with many opportunities. 

carer concept

With Australia facing an aging population, demand for aged and disability workers is expected to increase in the following years. According to data from Job Outlook, demand for aged and disabled carers is growing very strongly with more than 179,000 job openings expected over the next five years. Aged and disability care work also has lower unemployment, which means qualified workers are less likely to be out of work. 

While formal qualifications are not essential for entry into disability work, many disability support workers complete a certificate III or IV, which can increase their chances of being hired and provide leverage for salary negotiations.

5. You’re organised and motivated.

A disability workers’ role involves organising and managing a variety of tasks, so it’s important to have a routine that works for you and your client. From general tasks like dressing and grooming to helping your client get to their appointments on time, excellent organisation is essential to thrive in this career.

Is being a disability support worker hard?

While the role of a disability support worker is challenging, it can be a rewarding career option for those that are naturally empathetic and want to help those with disabilities. There are plenty of job roles in the field and it's a very hands-on career option if you can't stand the thought of working a traditional desk job. You'll have the opportunity to work with other people and be able to make a difference in the disability field. 

Are you ready to make a difference?

Disability support is an incredibly rewarding profession that allows you to make a real difference to people’s lives. If you’re interested in becoming a disability support worker, you may want to look into Upskilled’s CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). There are no prerequisite entry requirements to enrol in the course.

This certificate is specifically designed to help you gain the necessary qualifications and experience to succeed in this field. With this foundation, you can begin applying for jobs or use it as a stepping stone to progress further in your studies.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in June 2020. Content has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 
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