Serving as a disability support worker can be rewarding for many reasons. Not only is helping others a joy in itself, but as a result of the NDIS being rolled out, the sector is booming – which means there are plenty of jobs in the field.
This article will outline the benefits of being a disability support worker and how to become one.
Perks of the role
What makes this job so rewarding (and the main reason people love doing it so much!) is that it gives you the opportunity to help build a better world by assisting others. Some of the other benefits are:
This role has varied hours which makes it easy to fit the job to your schedule. This allows you to have a good life balance and do the things that you love. Whether you want to serve part-time, casual or full-time, there will be an opportunity out there for you.
Becoming a disability support worker is made easier by the fact that many organisations train less-experienced staff on-the-job. This means it is a good career option for those who lack qualifications.
Being a disability support worker means that no two days are the same – you might be taking your client out for a trip to the beach one day, and helping them make meals at home the next. This means that your job is dynamic and changing – you are unlikely to get bored!
Difficult behaviour from clients and their families can make this job challenging and stressful at times. But while the job is not always a breeze, being able to make a positive difference in another person’s life makes it well worth the effort.
While your salary will depend on your individual circumstances (such as your specific role and the state you are acting in), the industry provides competitive rates and (usually) the option to get a ‘salary package’ – tax-free pay.
The release of the NDIS provided Australians with over 70,000 new jobs in the sector – with more to come (although most of these jobs are casual). This means finding employment is unlikely to be too difficult (the same cannot be said for the legal and arts sectors!).
Type of person suited to this job
There are several characteristics and skills that make a disability support worker stand out. These include:
- Having a calm, caring, patient, compassionate and flexible demeanour
- Commitment to respect and responsibility
- Good communication skills
- Ability to act both independently and in a team
- Ability to handle the physical demands of the job
- Ability to perform common domestic tasks
How to get a job as a disability support worker
You can get a job in the field without any prior experience or qualifications – many organisations offer on-the-job training to help get you started.
That being said, having some qualifications could boost your employment prospects and help you on the job. A Certificate III or IV are useful qualifications to have. You may also want to get a job through a traineeship, or get a feel for the sector by volunteering first.
Regardless of your qualifications and experience, you will likely have to complete a WWCC and have a good National Police Certificate, as well as a driver’s licence and access to transport. Having a First Aid Certificate is also recommended in order to get you prepared in the event of an emergency.
Becoming a disability support worker is a great option for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others and have a job they love.