What is the Role of an Aged Care Worker in Australia?

Key duties  | 3 truths about aged care workers | Pay | How to get the job

Posted 29th February 2024 | 5 minute read

Written by Jesse Gramenz 

an aged care worker sitting with an aged care resident


Being an aged care worker is a challenging, rewarding and essential role in aged care. But what makes up their day to day work? And should you look into becoming an aged care worker yourself? Let's find out

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Understanding the Basics

An aged care worker's job description encompasses a range of tasks designed to assist the elderly with their daily living. It's about creating a nurturing environment where the elderly can thrive. 

When it comes to the responsibilities of aged care workers, there are two main roles to roles to think about:

1. Personal Care and Support

At the heart of an aged care worker's role and duties is providing personal care. This includes helping with bathing, dressing, and grooming – all while maintaining the utmost respect for the individual's privacy and dignity.

  • Assistance with Mobility: Helping residents move around, including transferring from bed to chair, or assisting with walking.
  • Bathing and Hygiene: Aiding with baths, showers, or sponge baths, and ensuring general hygiene is maintained.
  • Dressing and Grooming: Helping residents get dressed and undressed, including assistance with buttons, zippers, and choosing appropriate clothing.
  • Toileting and Incontinence Care: Assisting with using the toilet, including help with getting to and from the toilet, and managing incontinence products.
  • Oral Care: Assisting with dental hygiene, including brushing teeth and denture care.
  • Hair Care: Helping with combing, brushing, or styling hair.
  • Skin Care: Applying lotions or creams as needed to maintain skin health and prevent bedsores.
  • Feeding: Assisting with eating, including preparing meals according to dietary needs, cutting food into small pieces, or feeding if necessary.
  • Nail Care: Assisting with basic nail care, such as clipping nails, to maintain hygiene and prevent scratches or infections.

2. Emotional and Social Support

Aged care workers often wear the hat of a confidant, offering emotional support and companionship. They understand the importance of social interaction and actively facilitate activities that enrich the lives of their clients.

Working in aged care is so much more than just being a clinical carer.

Aged care workers quite often get the chance to:

  • Be a friend and even family for the person you're caring for when they might not have friends and family of their own
  • Share in someone's life & actually care about them, their goals hopes and dreams
  • Chat about things you're looking forward to in life like holidays, or big events
  • Reminisce with a resident about the places they've been in their life (and where they might still want to go!)
  • Learn each other's culture and sharing different languages (aged care can be very diverse)

Aged care staff in Southport and Arundel get some love from residents

An aged care secret: Residents can look out for you as much as you look out for them. When you work with the same residents every day, they get to know your thoughts and moods just like you get to know theirs. Some of the most beautiful moments I've heard are when aged care workers and residents bond in the good times and the bad.

The same goes for getting to know the sons, daughters, brothers and sisters of aged care residents too! When you sign up to work in aged care, you're not just going to a job -- you're becoming an important part of person's life and their family member's lives too.

Read on: Check out some of our availabilities with our Aged Care Jobs In Brisbane

3 truths about aged care workers

1. If aged care was heaven, aged care workers would be the angels

When you work in aged care, you're not just an aged care worker.

Aged care workers are some of the hardest working, compassionate, loving and respectful people I have ever met. They are often very humble about the work they do, often because they don't always express how important their jobs are.

While you can't always see the halos above their heads, but they are absolutely aged care's angels.

Read on:

aged care worker and staff at haberfieldAged care workers are very, very special people. 📷St Vincent's Haberfield

2. Aged care workers will spend more time with a resident than that resident's family will

While that sounds confronting, it's the reality of aged care (and a big responsibility).

For that reason, being an aged care worker is a really important job but over time it becomes second nature. Aged care residents become like great aunts and uncles and the very best aged care workers share the same level of love and respect they have for their own family with the residents they support.

Aged care staff reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 on residents

3. Aged care workers never work alone

One of the great parts of working in aged care is that, no matter where you go, you'll always be working alongside somebody.

Here's just a few of the other roles you could be working alongside in your day to day life.

  • Care Workers
  • Lifestyle coordinators
  • Pastoral carers
  • Nurses
  • Allied health workers
  • Care Manager
  • Facility Manager
  • Maintenance team
  • Cleaners
  • Volunteers

There's a big family of staff that make up an aged care home. And the best aged care homes will have the best teams to work with -- it's that simple.

carseldine aged care staff receive awards

Staff at St Vincent's Carseldine receiving their awards for the month

How much do aged care workers get paid in 2024?

An aged care worker can expect to earn around 55k to 75k per year depending on experience. It's important to note that there may be other benefits to working in aged care depending on your provider including:

  • Discount gym memberships
  • Shift flexibilities
  • Salary packaging (getting a portion of your income tax free)
  • Training and mentorship programs
  • Wellness programs

How to become an aged care worker

It's important to know, that when aged care providers are looking for aged care workers, they're looking for two things:

1. Proper qualifications

2. Your level of care

1. The qualifications you need to be an aged care worker

To give yourself the best chance to get hired in aged care, you will need either:

  • A Certificate IV in Ageing Support (CHC3015) or 
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) (CHC33015)

Both of these certificates will give you the academic training you need, but also the practical experience of working in aged care to make you employable in the field.

Read on: View courses for becoming an aged care worker

2. The personal characteristics aged care providers look for in aged care workers

At St Vincent's, we like to think that it's not what's on your resume that counts, but what's in your heart. And that approach stems into the care that you provide day to day in an aged care home.

In saying that, here are a few things that an aged care provider might look for in an interview and your experience within aged care:

  • Empathy and compassion to connect with and support elderly clients.
  • Patience in handling slow-paced tasks and repetitive activities.
  • Clear and respectful communication with clients, families, and healthcare teams.
  • Physical stamina for tasks like lifting and moving clients.
  • Keen observation to notice changes in clients' health or mood.
  • Problem-solving abilities for quick thinking during emergencies.
  • Cultural sensitivity to respect diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
  • Efficient time management to juggle multiple tasks or clients.
  • Basic healthcare knowledge, including first aid and medical terminology.
  • Professionalism and adherence to ethical standards in care.

Interview hint: At the end of the day, an aged care provider wants to know that you care about the work you do. Because while on the job skills can be learnt and improved, you can't always train someone to have a passion and a love for other staff, families & residents. That's the special kind of person we look for at St Vincent's.

Parting thoughts

There's a lot to consider when it comes to understanding what an aged care worker's role is. It's challenging but rewarding. It's fun, but can be a bit of a rollercoaster. 

But by having a genuine love for people and getting the right skills to the job well, you can pursue a job in aged care that you love and reap the long term rewards of helping those most in need.

Looking for a start in aged care? Check out our Careers page for a full list of our available roles.