All you need to know about a Disability Support Worker  

Disability Support Worker can be an extremely rewarding career as you’re assisting others to experience a more enabling life every day. What does the day-to-day look like for a Disability Support Worker, what is their average salary expectation and what are the requirements to becoming one? In this article, we are going to provide some insights into the career of a Disability Support Worker. 

Daily tasks of a Disability Support Worker

As a support worker, your main tasks will vary according to the personal needs of each client; nevertheless, the scope of work usually includes the following tasks:  

1. Assisting with mobility and movement from and to places, gatherings or social events 

Clients may need assistance with movement from and to places, for instance their home, gatherings or social events. Support workers can work with a range of mobility vehicles such as wheelchairs, hoists, or cars.  

2. Assisting with communication 

Difficulties or inabilities in communication may occur from clients’ mental or physical conditions. A Disability Support Worker’s responsibility is to comprehend the clients’ needs and requests, as well as to act as a bridge of communication.  

3. Personal care tasks 

Clients may need assistance in performing everyday tasks such as eating, bathing or getting dressed. A support worker should acquire their daily routines and how to assist with such tasks efficiently.  

4. Peripheral tasks 

If you are a Disability Support Worker working in the domestic realm, your scope of work can also extend to light housework tasks such as meal prepping or cleaning. 

5. Providing companionship and emotional support  

As someone working closely with clients on a daily basis, disability support workers can be a consistent source of emotional support for clients. Providing a sense of companionship beyond mere care service can establish meaningful relationships between the care giver and the care receiver.  

Employer types

As a Disability Support Worker, you have the chance to explore flexible working arrangements, which can include:  

  • Working for a disability service provider organisation. 
  • Direct employment by a client with disability under a NDIS plan. 
  • Work under temporary short-term contracts. 
  • Work as a sole trader and establish your own business. 

Salary expectations 

The average salary for a Disability Support Worker in Australia is $67,421 per year or $34.58 per hour. Entry-level workers can expect $62,215 per year, and as their level of skills and experience move up the ladder, they can expect up to $99,091 per year. 

Skill requirements 

Alongside an interest in helping people to reach their potential and live the life they want, there are a range of desirable skills and attributes for a Disability Support Worker: 

  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written 
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • Teamwork and collaboration  
  • Planning and organising skills 
  • Literacy, basic numeracy and computer skills  
  • Reliability and trustworthy, with flexibility to handle novel situations 

Furthermore, while there are entry-level positions that don’t require qualifications, it is recommended that prospective disability workers undergo training to equip themselves with the appropriate knowledge and skills before stepping into the workforce. A qualification that will facilitate your pathway as well as bring the essential skills into practice is the Certificate IV in Disability.  

Being a Disability Support Worker requires timely and effective responses to individual needs, which is why The Certificate IV in Disability covers the fundamental practical knowledge that enables students to provide the most appropriate responses, such as recognising healthy body systems, providing person-centred services to people with disability with complex needs or recognising and responding to crisis situations. To enhance and implement acquired knowledge, students also undergo 120 hours of work placement that thoroughly prepares them to step into the future role of Disability Support Worker.  

If you have an interest in supporting the lives of others and is ready to start making a difference today, enrol in the The Certificate IV in Disability or contact us at enquiries@gbca.edu.au for any further enquiries.  

Recommended reads: 

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

What can I do with a Certificate IV in Disability Qualification?