Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers
Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers provide assistance, support and direct care to patients in a variety of health, welfare and community settings.
assisting patients with their personal care needs such as showering, dressing and eating
assisting patients with their mobility and communication needs
participating in planning the care of individuals
following therapy plans such as interventions to assist those with dementia and behavioural problems
observing and reporting changes in patients' condition, and reporting complaints about care
assisting with rehabilitation exercises, basic treatment and delivering medications
providing direct support and assistance to therapists
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 107,000 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 38% of people employed as Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 28 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,282 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,148
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,378
Median hourly earnings are $32, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 45% of Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers is 43 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 78% of the workforce. This is 30 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Nursing Support or Personal Care Worker. Although most workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or a university degree.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Health Industry and Community Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||3.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||10.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and physically fit with good people skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Looking for ways to help people.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Reading work related information.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Teaching people how to do something.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
32%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Using maths to solve problems.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
57%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
36%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
33%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
30%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
28%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
28%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
27%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
27%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
24%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
24%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
23%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
21%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
21%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are far away.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
76%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
72%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
66%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
65%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
65%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
63%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
59%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
56%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
54%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
53%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
48%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
48%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
47%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
47%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
45%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
44%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
43%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
39%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
87%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
87%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
86%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work with people in a group or team.
84%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
79%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Talk on the telephone.
75%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
74%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
74%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
72%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
71%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
71%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
70%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
69%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work to strict deadlines.
67%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
66%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 31-1011.00 - Home Health Aides.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.