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What is a disability support worker? 

A disability support worker provides a broad range of care, assistance, and emotional support to people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Their primary goal is to empower and encourage their clients to improve their quality of life and help them live as independently as possible. Depending on their area of employment, a disability worker may operate from a residential care facility, hospital, or a private home. 

What does a disability support worker do? 

The main duties of a disability support worker are: 

  • Providing personal care, such as dressing, bathing, and feeding
  • Physical assistance with mobility
  • Administering medication
  • Providing emotional support and companionship
  • Assisting clients with daily household tasks and errands, such as shopping, food preparation, housework, and providing transportation
  • Increasing community participation amongst clients
  • Accompanying clients on excursions or social activities. 

What is the best disability support course? 

If you are interested in a career in disability services, the two main qualifications offered in Australia are:

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)
  • Certificate IV in Disability. 

These disability support courses will equip you with the necessary skills and understanding to take on numerous roles within the disability sector.  

How much can you earn after disability support courses? 

According to current resources, the average annual salary for a disability support worker in Australia is $66,758 or $34.24 per hour. Entry-level disability workers can expect to earn around $60,803 while more experienced workers can make up to $86,255 per year. You may increase your earning potential by studying a disability support course online.

How to become a disability support worker

Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a disability support worker in Australia:

  • Complete a nationally recognised qualification such as the Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) or a Certificate IV in Disability. It’s possible to find disability support work without a qualification, however these studies will increase your chances of employment and equip you with a great foundation of knowledge to provide support and care.
  • Ensure your immunisations are up to date. 
  • Complete a First Aid Certificate, Working with Children Check, Police Check, and NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Worker Screening Check.

To increase your job opportunities, it’s also advised to have a valid driver’s licence and access to a vehicle as many jobs will require you to provide transportation to your clients. 

What are the skills you need to become a disability support worker? 


Excellent communication skills are essential when working in disability services. You will not only have to communicate effectively with your clients, but may also have to speak with their families and healthcare professionals. Solid communication skills can allow you to interpret your client’s needs, convey information in an easy-to-understand manner, and accurately relay information between families and other health professionals. 


As a disability worker, it’s important to be able to empathise with the daily challenges faced by your clients. Some people living with disabilities may feel isolated and disconnected from others. Empathy and compassion are important when providing person centred services and making your clients feel understood. 


People with disabilities may take longer to complete tasks or have difficulty expressing themselves. Patience is an essential skill that allows you to properly support your clients to move at their own pace and not feel rushed. 


You may be faced with many sudden issues and challenges during your daily duties as a disability worker. Problem-solving skills allow you to adequately manage and resolve issues that arise without having to rely on external help. 


Each of your clients may have different needs and require different types of support. Flexibility allows you to be adaptable in your approach to providing care. 

Cultural competence

As a disability worker, you may be required to provide individualised support to clients from various cultural backgrounds. Cultural competence is an essential skill that allows you to operate with sensitivity and cultural awareness when working with diverse people. 

Is it hard to be a disability support worker? 

Disability support work is not for everyone and can be both physically and mentally challenging. You may struggle with long hours, physically demanding work, various challenges, and emotional stress. However, it is an extremely rewarding job that gives you the chance to positively impact people’s lives and build meaningful connections with your community. 

What are the benefits of disability support courses?

While you don’t require a qualification to become a disability worker in Australia, disability courses can be extremely helpful when entering this career path. Completing a disability course will provide you with valuable understanding, skills, and knowledge so you can enter the field with confidence. You will learn how to adequately meet the needs of people with disabilities, follow safe work practices, build communication skills, and contribute to your clients’ ongoing skills development. 

As supervised work placement is part of completing a disability course, you will also have the opportunity to gain practical experience while supported by your trainers. For many people, this can be a less intimidating way to enter the disability and community services sector.  

Should you study a disability support course online?

Yes! There are many reasons why you would choose to study disability support online. Online disability courses are the gateway to entering the community services sector on your own terms. 

Course materials are delivered online and able to be accessed from anywhere in Australia. This means you can easily fit your study into your current life and work commitments. With online disability courses, you can start your training as soon as tomorrow and enjoy flexible delivery of study with the support of experienced trainers and a community of fellow students.

Is disability support worker a good career? 

If you are passionate about working closely with people and making a positive impact on their lives, disability support is an excellent career for you. This rewarding job is not only personally fulfilling and also in high demand. This means that many job opportunities are available, in flexible work arrangements including full-time or part-time work. 

However, it’s important to note that disability work can be challenging and requires a high level of compassion, dedication, and patience. If you believe you have the right skill set and are passionate about helping people, a career in disability support work may be ideal for you.

Disability courses online 

If you feel called to a career in disability support, we offer nationally recognised qualifications with online delivery. You can immediately enrol in any of our disability courses and begin studying as soon as tomorrow! 

Our team of experienced trainers and advisors will support you throughout your disability support training, including assignments and practical tasks. When it’s time for your work placement, you can feel confident earning your practical experience while still under the guidance and mentorship of your trainers. 

Browse our online disability courses and prepare for a rewarding career helping empower and support people with disabilities in your community.


  1. How do I become a disability support worker in Australia?
    You don’t require a qualification to become a disability worker in Australia, however it helps to have a nationally recognised qualification such as a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) or a Certificate IV in Disability.

  2. How long is a disability course?
    This depends on the certificate you have chosen to enrol in and the institution. It will typically take 12-18 months of self-paced study, including 120-160 hours of work placement to complete a disability course online.

  3. How much is a disability course?
    The cost of a disability support course will depend on the certificate you enrol in, the institution, and the payment method you use. Many institutions offer payment plans and may even offer a discount for some students. Browse our courses and ask for a free class pack to learn more about pricing.

  4. Is being a disability support worker a hard job?
    Disability support is a challenging job that can involve long hours, various responsibilities, daily challenges, and emotional stress. However, it’s also a very rewarding career path that positively impacts the lives of people with disabilities.

  5. What is the next level after being a disability support worker?
    If you wish to continue progressing in your career after disability support work, you can consider a job as a Behavioural Support Officer, Community-Based Support Officer, or Residential Care Officer.

  6. What’s the difference between a disability support worker and an aged care worker?
    An aged care worker is more focused on providing personal care and support to the elderly, while disability workers support people with disabilities (who may also be elderly).