Welfare support workers help individuals and families with emotional, financial, or other social welfare matters.  They may help secure housing or food or refer clients to agencies that can provide additional services.

Where welfare support workers are employed

Welfare support workers work for state, territory and federal government departments, local councils, hospitals, health centres, unions, industry, non-government organisations, and community groups. Increasing numbers are self employed in private practice or as consultants.

Welfare support workers may be employed as fieldworkers, project officers, program coordinators, community health workers, student or staff counsellors, or human services workers. Some welfare workers are employed in supervisory, administrative or policy-making roles.

Demand for this occupation is largely influenced by government funding in the social welfare field.


Full-time welfare support workers in South Australia generally earn between $1,000 and $1,249 per week.

Graph of pay scale for Welfare support worker

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 2,926 people employed full-time as welfare support workers in South Australia, compared with 2,377 in 2006.

How to become one

To become a welfare support worker you usually have to complete a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in community services work or community services advocacy. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

See courses related to this occupation

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 South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) with English.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.   

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities, visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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