There is more to healthcare than providing care

18 March, 2021

Healthcare employs over 1.7 million people and is growing fast

The healthcare sector is so much more than doctors and nurses. It covers a broad range of occupations, such as drug and alcohol counsellors, physiotherapists, audiologists, speech pathologists, radiologists, and opticians. The sector also employs people in administration, IT, cleaning and maintenance roles.  

In the five years to August 2020, employment in the sector grew by 16.5 per cent and is predicted to continue growing. The combination of COVID-19, the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and Australia’s ageing population, has increased expectation that demand for jobs in this sector will continue to grow. An employment Survey in April 2020 found that two of the top four occupations in highest demand were registered nurses, and aged and disabled carers. Enrolled and mothercraft nurses, as well as pharmacy assistants were also in high demand.

In Australia, the healthcare sector has the highest rate of employment stability, with nearly nine out of ten (88.7 per cent) employees remaining in healthcare between May and August 2020. Offering both strong growth prospects and outstanding stability make the Health Care and Social Assistance sector very attractive to future employees.

More information:

For more information healthcare careers, including typical day-to-day tasks, average weekly salary and links to job vacancies, visit Your Career- Health Care and Social Assistance for more information on the healthcare sector.

What training is required?

Health care and social assistance is a highly diverse and skilled sector. Almost half (48 per cent) of its workforce has attained a Bachelor degree at a minimum. A further third (32 per cent) has attained a Certificate III qualification. There are opportunities in aged care, disability support and medical administration that do not require advanced qualifications, with 18 per cent of entry level jobs filled with no formal qualification requirements.

Job finding tip

There are entry level positions, such as patient service officers, which do not require formal qualifications, however, a Working with Children Check might be required. The health industry offers a wide range of other jobs, not related to patient care, including IT professionals and administration staff. Most employers in Health Care and Social Assistance use online jobs boards, such as Seek, CareerOne and Indeed, to advertise vacancies. However, around one in five employers use social media to find staff, so make sure to check local jobs groups on Facebook or other social media sites for opportunities as well.

Still wondering about your career path?

Check out the School Leavers Information Kit to see if this is the right option for you. The kit can give you tailored information about education, training and work options as you take your next steps.

If you’d like to talk to someone about a career in the Health care and Social Services sector, you can contact the School Leavers Information Service on 1800 CAREER or text SLIS2020 to 0429 009 435. This service can provide more tailored support about your options and the training opportunities that suit you including help polishing your resume or where to find jobs and training.

More tips to start you on your way

If your wellbeing is being impacted by COVID-19 but you don’t know where to start looking for support, the COVID-19 support page has some information and links that could assist you.


Daniel’s Story

Daniel O’Brien developed an interest in the healthcare system after he spent time in hospital with a fracture when he was in Year Seven.

He turned that fascination into hands-on work, commencing an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASbA) in Year 10 and completing a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance in July 2015.

While he was a trainee, at the Caboolture Hospital, Daniel assisted with patient care, transferring patients, administrative duties, and assisting with surgery preparations. Juggling school with practical and theoretical study was a challenge that Daniel took head-on and his time as an ASbA has reaffirmed his career choice.

Daniel had such a positive experience with his traineeship that he recommends Australian Apprenticeships not only as a great experience but as a viable career pathway.

“An Australian Apprenticeship will leave you highly employable, with a diverse and rich set of skills. I gained so many helpful clinical and non-clinical skills that not many people my age had,” he said.

Daniel’s dedication to his work and learning earned him the 2015 Queensland School-based Apprentice of the Year, a place as finalist at the Australian Training Awards and his appointment as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.

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