What healthcare careers are in high demand in 2021?

A nurse speaks with a client

Australia’s labour market has been significantly affected by COVID-19.1 Fortunately the job market has been improving in some fields since its low in May 2020. To help Australia recover, the National Skills Commission (NSC) has developed a range of tools and resources to support job seekers, including the Australian Jobs 2020 Publication.

The NSC has also determined which occupations have remained resilient, meaning that the job or industry ‘has positive employment growth prospects as Australia’s labour market recovers from the impacts of COVID-19’.1 Among the top of these industries is Health Care and Social Assistance.

Health Care and Social Assistance is Australia’s largest employing industry, making up 14% of all Australian workers.1 Today, we’ll break down 3 of the top employing jobs in the industry, discuss the rise of community and personal service workers, and explore the qualifications you need to be employed in the health care and social assistance industry.


According to the National Skills Commission, ‘It is important to remember that the labour market can change quickly. It isn’t easy to forecast future labour market conditions and it isn’t recommended to base employment and training decisions solely on predicted shortages. It is far better to train in an area in which you have an interest and aptitude.’1

A nurse with her client


Nurses provide care to patients in hospitals, medical practices, at home, or in community healthcare settings.2 There are a wide variety of nursing roles, including Enrolled, Registered, Clinical, Theatre, Practice, and Mental Health Nurses.

All nurses need to apply annually to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. However, to become an endorsed enrolled nurse or registered nurse, you will need a diploma or bachelor qualification that Celtic Training does not currently offer. The smallest of these qualifications, the Diploma of Nursing, takes roughly 1.5-3 years at TAFE3. You can read more about these requirements here.

Fortunately, Celtic Training offers qualifications that can set you up to become an Assistant in Nursing in much less time. An Assistant in Nursing works under a Registered Nurse to deliver care to patients. Like a Registered Nurse, you will be following care/therapy plans for your patients. Working as an Assistant in Nursing empowers you to care for others and help them live dignified and fulfilling lives.4

‘To become an Assistant in Nursing, you need to complete a qualification in Health Assistance. Certificate III is the minimum qualification level and includes work placement consisting of around 120 hours.’4

To help students get started in the health care industry, our Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) course only takes 11 weeks to complete, including work placement. This is a great option if you are interested in joining the health care industry but are not sure if you are ready to commit to a longer diploma or bachelor’s degree yet. It also opens immediate and in-demand employment options, such as aged, disabled, and home & community support worker roles.

Individual Support students using a hoist

Aged and Disabled Care

The next top employing occupation in health care and social assistance is aged and disabled care. According to JobOutlook, ‘Aged and Disabled Carers provide general household assistance, emotional support, care, and companionship for aged and disabled persons in their own homes.’5

Daily tasks may include

  • ‘accompanying aged and disabled persons during daily activities
  • assisting clients with their mobility
  • preparing food for clients
  • arranging social activities
  • performing housekeeping tasks such as vacuuming and cleaning
  • assisting in personal hygiene and dressing
  • providing companionship, friendship, and emotional support
  • may do the shopping and run errands
  • may live in with the person.’5

There has also been a rise in home-based client care. A new trend of the aging baby boomer generation is the desire to ‘age in place’ or at home instead of an aged care facility.6 A recent report by Deloitte noted that more government funding is likely to be invested into home care, as shown by the chart below.6

Deloitte graph aged care provision ratio

Additionally, a recent Productivity Commission report into Caring for Older Australians found that over 3.5 million Australians will be using aged care services by 2050. As a result, ‘the aged care sector will need 1 million extra workers by 2050, which is a quadrupling of the current workforce.’

As we have mentioned, completing the Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) is a great way to start your career as a support worker.

And while aged and disability support workers are continuing to rise in demand, other forms of care are also growing in demand.

A mental health worker chats to a client

Mental Health Support

Last month, ABC News released an interview with Professor Patrick McGorry, who leads the Melbourne youth mental health facility Orygen. McGorry said that, because of COVID and lockdowns, ‘The temperature has risen in terms of anxiety, and that means that a proportion of people will tip over into the need for care. We’ve seen a surge of demand.’1

‘Data given exclusively to 7:30 shows 83% of psychologists surveyed around Australia reported an increase in clients’ levels of anxiety, depression, and distress in last year’s lockdowns.’1

To help reach these people in need, we currently offer an introductory qualification to start your mental health career: The Certificate IV in Mental Health.  Last fortnight’s blog covered what jobs you can get with this qualification. You can read the blog here.


All in all, health care is a fantastic, diverse, and very in-demand industry. As health care training providers, we are happy to help you find what skills you need to reach your dream career.

How to learn more

If you’d like to learn more about Australia’s resilient and emerging occupations, check out the official Australian Jobs publication by the National Skills Commission.

Additionally, if you have any questions about any of our qualifications, feel free to enquire below. We’ll help you take the next step as a health care professional.

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