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Do I need to be qualified to work in aged care?

Wondering how to get started in aged care? With a range of different pathways on offer, including fully-funded traineeships and a focus on transferrable skills, your new career could be closer than you think.

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05 January 2024

News | Aged Care Homes, BaptistCare

Wondering how to get started in aged care? With a range of different pathways on offer, including fully-funded traineeships and a focus on transferrable skills, your new career could be closer than you think.

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If you’re interested in a purpose-driven career that offers meaningful work, long-term security, and rich opportunities for professional growth, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better match than aged care.

But how do you get started? What are the main career types in aged care? And importantly, what qualifications, skills, and experience will you need to work in this field?

Our blog has got all your questions covered:

Jump to:

What are the benefits of working in aged care?

Regardless of which type of role interests you, there’s never been a better time to start a career in aged care.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the demand for aged care services is set to double by 2050, providing long-term job security and an exciting period of growth for those working in the sector.

As one of our BaptistCare talent acquisition specialists put it, “the aged care sector is never shutting down.”

With this growth comes the need for more committed, compassionate individuals to take on the job of caring for the elderly in our communities, and in return, reap the benefits of deeply rewarding work, career progression opportunities, and the chance to make a genuine difference in people’s lives.

Residential Aged Care qualifications

Residential care workers support people who live in an aged care facility, sometimes referred to as a nursing home. Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, they take care of elderly residents who commonly have higher care needs than those living at home, for example, those living with advanced dementia.

  • If you choose to work in residential care, you’ll need a minimum of a Certificate III in Individual Support or equivalent

  • Some providers (such as BaptistCare) offer paid traineeships to support you in obtaining this qualification. See Learning on the Job for more information.

Home Care qualification

Home care workers look after older people in and around their own homes. They provide one-on-one personal care like washing, dressing, and toileting, or domestic duties like preparing and serving a meal, cleaning, or doing the laundry. Home care workers also often transport their clients to and from appointments.

  • Many home care service providers, such as BaptistCare at home, do not require their employees to hold a formal qualification and instead provide all the training they need.
  • You will, however, need your own insured vehicle, a valid driver’s licence, and a willingness to learn.
  • Home care positions are often recruited with a focus on prior relevant experience and transferrable skills.
  • As you grow and develop throughout your career, you can gain further qualifications in aged care such as a Certificate IV and diplomas, or you might prefer to move into a specialised clinical field.

Volunteering roles

Whether you’re looking to gain experience in aged care and see if it’s the right career for you, or simply want to give something back to your community, volunteering is an enriching experience that makes a genuine difference in the lives of older people.

  • Volunteering within aged care services does not require a formal qualification and therefore is a great way to get a feel for the line of work you are interested in.

Patience and respect

Most older people live at a slower pace, often with reduced physical mobility, hearing loss, or a memory that’s not quite as sharp as it used to be. Aged care workers are respectful and patient, taking time to listen carefully and repeat themselves when needed.

Empathy and a positive attitude

Practicing empathy is also a crucial skill for care workers. Elderly clients might be lonely or in pain, and their care worker could be the only person they have meaningful interaction with all week. In this way, care workers need to have a positive, cheerful temperament that can help boost their clients’ wellbeing.


Resilience is key when it comes to working in aged care. Like many roles across the healthcare industries, aged care workers can be faced with confronting situations while caring for their clients – this is part of the job. The role of the care worker is to continue to bring new positivity and perspectives into their client’s life, even under challenging circumstances, supporting them to live a meaningful and independent life.

Transferrable skills

If you’ve provided care for someone previously, whether in your personal or professional life, chances are you have highly transferrable skills that will stand you in good stead for aged care.

Aged Care providers often consider a person’s skills holistically, looking at their overall life experiences and personal motivations for moving into aged care.

Can I learn on the job?

If you’re keen to get started but aren’t yet qualified, you can begin your career as a trainee, working towards gaining your Certificate III in Individual Support through a fully funded government traineeship program.

BaptistCare proudly delivers such a program in partnership with TAFE NSW.

The traineeship program provides eligible applicants with a supported online course, complemented by fully supervised on-the-job training. You can find out more by making an enquiry at the bottom of this page.

Join an award-winning organisation

At BaptistCare, we believe that our people are our greatest asset. That’s why we’re committed to providing a supportive, inclusive, and engaging workplace, placing employee wellbeing right at the centre.

Our people-first approach has earned us awards for being an exceptional employer, and we’re proud to support our teams to flourish and grow.

When you choose to work for BaptistCare, you will receive a range of benefits including salary packaging, a generous reward and recognition program, hours that promote healthy work-life balance, and our commitment to support your ongoing learning and development.

Find aged care jobs near me

Join us! Apply for an aged care job with BaptistCare in four easy steps:

  1. Search for a job at BaptistCare via our  Careers page
  2. Sign in or create an account in minutes
  3. Complete your application - Upload your résumé and supporting information or apply using your up-to-date LinkedIn or SEEK profile.
  4. Confirm, review, and submit

We will email a confirmation acknowledging that your application has been submitted. Our Talent Team will review your application and will advise you of the outcome via email or phone.