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What is disability support and how can you become a disability support worker?  

What is disability support?  

Disability support is a role to care for people with disabilities in the community or a residential setting.  

A disability support worker may be ideal for you if you appreciate hands-on learning and have the motivation, willingness, and ambition to pursue a job that will allow you to make a positive impact in another person’s life. 

What are the job titles in disability support?  

The disability support roles include: 

  • Disability support worker, team leader or supervisor
  • Community outreach worker
  • Day support disability officer
  • Behavioural support office 
  • Social educator (disability)
  • Disability employment officer
  • Residential care officer

What are the everyday tasks of a disability support worker?  

A disability support worker assists people in leading independent, productive lives and achieving their everyday goals. Typical tasks may include: 

  • Helping people with daily activities
  • Determining the requirements of clients and planning, designing, and implementing educational, training, and support programmes
  • Companionship and assistance with shopping
  • Creating and coordinating instructional activities
  • Providing workplace assistance
  • Communicating with family members, carers, and health care providers, and monitoring for physical and mental health changes


Why start a career in disability support? We summarise three reasons for you.  

1. Job security. 

Healthcare and social assistance are the industries that employ the most people in Australia right now. This fast-growing sector provides a plethora of job opportunities. According to Jobs and Skills Australia, the number of disability/welfare support workers is predicted to expand rapidly over the next five years, potentially reaching 94,700 by 2026. The average salary for disability support workers nationally is $1265/week.  

(Source: Jobs and Skills Australia) 

2. Job flexibility.  

A career in disability support provides you with a lot of job flexibility, including work hours and location. You have the option of working in various places, and you also have the option of working intimately with people in care facilities, rehabilitation centres, or individuals’ homes. Support worker jobs are also available full-time, part-time and casual if you want flexibility in your working hours. 

3. Rewarding career.

Working directly with persons who require assistance in their daily lives is extremely satisfying, and a career in disability support provides daily opportunities to assist others in living their lives to the fullest. Now you know the expectation of the disability support worker and you agree it’s a career for you. 

How to become a disability support worker in Australia? What skills do you need? 

To start a meaningful career in the disability sector, you must first acquire the necessary theories, skills, and practices. Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Disability are two nationally recognised qualifications that are highly sought after by employers in the care industry. Certificate III in Individual Support will prepare you to provide individualised, person-centred support to people with disabilities.

Certificate IV in Disability is a higher level of competence in disability support. The course includes 14 units, some of which are covered in more depth than in Certificate III. You will also have the opportunity to apply your skills in a broader variety of situations. For example, one core unit in Certificate III teaches you to work legally and ethically, while a similar unit in Certificate IV teaches you to manage legal and ethical compliance, preparing you for a supervisory role. There are two units in common with the Certificate III in Individual Support and the Diploma of Community Services. If you have completed them before, you can have those two units waived when you enrol in Certificate IV in Disability and may obtain the qualification in a shorter timeframe. The other 12 units are highly relevant to disability support.

Both qualifications require students to complete at least 120 hours of work placement as part of the course requirements. You will work at a disability facility, an aged care facility, and/or a community care setting to practice what you learn in class.

GBCA offers both Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Disability under the Victorian government’s Skills First funding. If you are eligible, your tuition fee will be subsidised and you will only need to pay a $50 enrollment fee. At GBCA, we understand the industry and will assist you in finding a work placement. Our work placement coordinator, GBCA trainers, and the student will work together to secure a work placement. Once you are marked satisfactory in the required units, you can complete an online application form for a work placement. You can indicate your availability and preferred location. We will endeavour to place you in an aged care facility, a disability facility, and a community care setting of your choice.

Please explore our website to discover the curriculum and enrollment details for the Certificate IV in Disability program: