Careers in nursing and community services


    If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, you might consider a career in nursing and community services. Whether it’s assisting an elderly person with their medication, teaching a toddler their ABCs, or helping someone overcome mental health or addiction issues — this career path is certainly a rewarding one. 

    Read on to find out more about this impactful industry and how you can start your career in nursing and community services with a qualification from TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA). 

    What is nursing and community services? 

    The nursing and community services industry is also known as the healthcare and social assistance sector. It provides medical and care and support services to people who need them. 

    The industry is made up of many different types of professionals, including: 

    • nurses;
    • health specialists;
    • aged and disability carers;
    • child carers;
    • youth workers; and
    • mental health specialists. 

    Each of these careers involves different tasks and duties, but they all involve helping people live healthy and fulfilling lives. 

    The nursing and community services industry

    The healthcare and social assistance sector is Australia’s largest employer. According to a National Industry Insights report(opens in a new tab), there were 1.8 million people employed in this industry in 2021 in Australia. This number is predicted to increase to 1.9 million by next year. 

    However, the industry is also facing significant worker shortages across many occupations. Australia’s nursing shortage(opens in a new tab) means that nurses are in demand all over the country. Australian childcare centres are also struggling to find qualified staff(opens in a new tab). This makes early childhood education another in-demand career. 

    If you want a career that can take you overseas, then nursing and community services could be the right choice for you. These occupations are in high demand all over the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)(opens in a new tab) there is a global shortage of nurses, with the greatest demand for professionals being in South East Asia and Africa.

    Careers in nursing and community services


    A nurse cares for patients who are unwell or require medical treatment. Nurses are usually required to perform the following duties: 

    • monitor and assess patient health; 
    • prepare a patient for treatment or surgery; 
    • administer medications;  
    • perform wound care;
    • operate and monitor medical equipment; and
    • advise patients and their family members.

    A nurse in Australia can expect to earn an average salary of between AUD$80,000 and AUD$85,000(opens in a new tab).

    If nursing is the career for you, you can get started at TIWA with a 52831WA Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing Studies. If you enjoy this course, you can further your studies with a HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing

    Aged and disability care worker

    Aged and disability care workers provide support to people who are unable to care for themselves. These workers may provide physical or emotional support depending on the patient and their needs. 

    An aged care or disability worker’s tasks might include: 

    • assisting with medications; 
    • assisting with dressing and personal hygiene; 
    • preparing food, going shopping and performing other household tasks; 
    • supporting patients with social outings and recreation; and
    • providing emotional support and friendship. 

    An aged care worker can expect to earn between AUD$50,000 and AUD$60,000(opens in a new tab). A disability worker can expect an average salary of AUD$50,000 to AUD$70,000(opens in a new tab)

    You can begin your career in aged and disability support with the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) at TIWA. 

    Community worker

    A community worker helps individuals, families and communities overcome challenges and access the services they need. These services can include housing, employment, education, recreation and health care.

    A community worker can expect an average annual salary of between AUD$55,000 and AUD$65,000.(opens in a new tab) 

    At TIWA, you can begin your career in community work with a CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services and further your studies with a CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Service and a CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services

    Youth worker

    A youth worker supports young people to overcome problems they might be facing and reach their future goals. This can include challenges related to study and work; as well as social, family and mental health issues. 

    A youth worker in Australia can expect a salary of AUD$65,000 to AUD$75,000(opens in a new tab). At TIWA, you can start your career in youth work with the CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work

    Early childhood educator

    Early childhood educators provide care and education to children aged up to five years old. They usually work in a childcare centre or school, and are responsible for helping children meet physical, emotional and educational needs. 

    In Australia, an early childhood educator can expect an average salary of AUD$50,000 to AUD$60,000(opens in a new tab)

    You can begin your early childhood career at TIWA with a CHC33015 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. You can also study a CHC50121 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

    If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact TIWA for advice(opens in a new tab) on how to navigate your study and career journey.

    Last updated on December 1, 2022