The job of Australian social workers is simply to provide comprehensive assistance to people with various problems such as domestic violence, discrimination, addiction, illness, bereavement, and poverty.

It is these social workers who have been very active even in the corona.  In addition to counseling, work to solve problems from the inside, such as planning and planning of community groups such as support for the formation of unions for new immigrants, investigating problems hidden in society, developing, and revising policies is also included. It is a very important job in society and at the same time it is a very difficult job, so highly qualified people are required.

If you want to become a social worker in Australia in the future, you will need to take a university program approved by the Australia Association of Social Workers (AASW) and pass the AASW Skills Assessment.

There are currently 35 universities (as of 2021) that have programs approved by AASW, including schools waiting for approval. (*Click here for a list of universities approved by AASW)


English Entry Requirement

  • IELTS 7.0
  • TOEFL Internet based 90-100 with 20 in each band


Academic Entry Requirement

  • Bachelor degree: High school graduate or Foundation or Diploma
  • Master degree: Bachelor degree in Social Science Field



Permanent Residency Options

If you study Social Work at university for more than two years, you will have the chance to obtain Permanent Residence with one of the below pathways.

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the assessing authority nominated by the Australian Government to provide expert advice to the Department of Home Affairs about qualifications and skilled employment experience with the skilled occupation Social Worker’ (ANZSCO 272511).

There are several visa options under the Social Work occupation that can lead to Permanent residency in Australia.

Below are the examples:

  • 189 – Skilled Independent (subclass 189) – Points Tested
  • 190 – Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) – Family Sponsored
  • 482 – Temporary Skilled Shortage (subclass 482) – Medium Term Stream
  • 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) (subclass 494) – Employer sponsored stream

For the 189, 190 and 491 visa subclasses, you will need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test. For the 482 and 494 visa subclasses, these are not points test based but you need to have a sponsor and are usually required to have at least 2-3 years of experience in the nominated occupation you are wishing to apply.


Career outcomes and Job prospect in Australia

Beside Social workers, there are many job titles that exist including Child and Family Social Worker | School Social Worker | Mental Health Social Worker | Clinical Social Worker | Social and Community Service Manager | Social Work Teacher.

Furthermore, these are the typical employers that would need to recruit a Social Worker for their company:

  • Emergency Rooms
  • Pediatrics
  • ICU
  • Hospitals
  • Others

Currently, there are about 28,300 social workers in Australia. The government has announced that it will need about 34,700 social workers, up 20% by 2022. In addition, the average ratio of people working as social workers in Australia is 88.6% for women: 11.4% for men, which is significantly higher for women.

The average salary of a Social Worker is AU$67,775 but this number could differ depending on experience.


Salary information of Social Work in Australia

(Source: Payscale)


What type of Social Work courses available in Australia?

The most common is to take a higher education program (Bachelor or Postgraduate Degree) that is accredited by AASW.  Studying social welfare requires a high level of language proficiency of IELTS 7 or higher. Otherwise, people’s hearts will not open.

For example, admission requirements for Master of Social Work:

・ IELTS6.5-7.0 (7.0 for most universities )

・ Bachelor’s degree

・Studying Social Science as a bachelor’s degree


Australia has 35 universities that provide the Social Work courses:

You can check the list of 35 universities and programs in the link in the first paragraph, but I will mention below 4 of them.

  • University of the Sunshine Coast (Sunshine Coast, Queensland – regional area) -Master of Social Work (2 years program, conditions: Have studied social sciences for at least a year at university, have a degree related to Social Work for more than 3 years, in addition, studying social and behavioral sciences for at least one year. Scholarship available.
  • Flinders University (Adelaide – regional area) Master of Social Work (2 years program, conditions: Bachelor’s degree holder in a field other than Social Work and at least one year of studying social sciences at university.
  • Southern Cross University (Gold Coast, Queensland – regional area) -Master of Social Work (2 years program, conditions: Bachelor’s degree holder with more than 3 years and at least one year of studying social and behavioral sciences at university. Scholarship available.
  • Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane) – Master of Social Work (2 years program, conditions: GPA4 / 7 and at least one year of studying at least one Social Science subject at university)


Skills assessment – by AASW

A Skilled Migration Assessment for the Social Worker occupation is a service performed by AASW on behalf of the Australian Government. You must have graduated completely from the applicable qualification to apply for a skill assessment.

You must include the following information with this application: (failure to submit all required documentation may delay your assessment)

  • Certified copy of qualification papers (please also submit evidence of your undergraduate degree if you have completed a Master of Social Work (Qualifying) degree) (ie. degree certificate);
  • If the above is not yet available, please arrange a letter of completion from your institution verifying that you have completed and passed all course requirements and you are eligible to graduate with a social work qualification, please also include the date your degree is due to be conferred;
  • Certified copy of academic transcript of educational courses completed, if available. This document should show the subjects, results/mark, the length of study and whether this study was conducted full time or part time (please also submit evidence of your undergraduate qualification if you have completed a Master of Social Work (Qualifying) degree);
  • Evidence of meeting the English language requirements, please refer to the AASW English Language
  • Certified copy of identity page of passport.
  • If applicable evidence of change of name, certified copy of change of name document (ie. marriage certificate);
  • If applicable, agent’s authorisation form (an agent/proxy is a person authorised by you, to lodge an application and deal with the AASW on your behalf);
  • Assessment fee

There are many reasons why you should study Social Work now, such as the overwhelming demand for social workers, the great tuition fees, and the potential for permanent residence. Social workers also play a very important role in society. If you want to get a job that is useful for people in need, or if you want to change to a more livable society, you should consider your path as a social worker!

If you are interested or would like to know more detailed information, please contact SOL Edu!


What qualifications do I need to become a social worker in Australia?

To become a social worker in Australia, you must complete a university program that is approved by the Australian Association of Social Work and pass the AASW Skills Assessment for social workers. As of 2021, there are 35 universities in Australia that offer a program approved by the AASW. For more information on how to study social work in Australia, contact SOL Edu today.

What are the requirements to study social work in Australia?

To study social work in Australia there are a few requirements you must meet however this varies based on the institution and the study level. Generally the requirements you must meet are a score of 7.0 for the IELTS and either a high school graduate, foundation or diploma.

Is there a demand for social workers in Australia?

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions and is in high demand in Australia especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Australian Association of Social Work the sector will need to grow by at least 15% over the next 3 years to meet demand.

What is social work like in Australia?

Social work is a diverse profession, and the day-to-day reality of the job can vary depending on the country where you work. In Australia, social workers play a vital role in supporting vulnerable members of society. They may work with people experiencing homelessness, mental health problems, or substance abuse issues. They may also work with refugees and asylum seekers, providing them with essential support and guidance.

No two days are the same for a social worker in Australia, but the job is always rewarding. Helping people overcome difficulties and build better lives is an incredible feeling, and knowing that you are making a difference makes social work so special.

Are there permanent residency options for studying social work in Australia?

Yes. If you study social work in Australia for more than 2 years at one of the approved AASW programs you can apply for permanent residency. There are several Australian social worker’s visa options that can be considered such as subclass 189, 190 and 491 to name a few.

How many points are required to obtain a social work visa in Australia?

If you are applying for a social worker’s visa under subclass 189, 190 and 491, you must have at least 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test. At SOL Edu, we can not only help you with choosing the right AASW program for you but also help you obtain permanent residency to continue living and working in Australia as a social worker.