How to become a Welfare Worker

Welfare workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities to improve quality of life by empowering, educating and supporting people and by helping them to change their social environment. Some specialise in helping families, adolescents, people with substance abuse issues, homeless people, people with disability, people escaping domestic violence, victims of crime or criminals.

Personal requirements of a Welfare Worker

  • Able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people
  • Tolerance and an open mind
  • Good planning and organisational skills
  • Able to take initiative
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Able to deal with conflict in stressful situations
  • Commitment to human rights and social justice

Education & Training for a Welfare Worker

To become a welfare worker you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you complete a degree specialising in human services, community welfare, community development or a related discipline. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:

strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 1.5%

NSW 38.9%

NT 3.7%

QLD 15.7%

SA 6.5%

TAS 2.5%

VIC 20.5%

WA 10.8%

Hours worked:




Gender split:

Male 28.4%

Female 71.6%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 0%

Not completed Year 12: 6%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 9.2%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 19.3%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 22.1%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 27.3%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 16.1%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 34.1%

Above 35 years: 65.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Additional Information
To become a member of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) you need to complete an approved degree or two-year diploma in community services work, human services community welfare, community development or a similar discipline that is approved by ACWA. Contact the association for further information and a current list of approved courses. You will need to undergo a Working with Children Check and a check for working with vulnerable people.
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