Introduction

The role of Australian social workers entails providing comprehensive assistance to individuals facing a wide range of challenges, including domestic violence, discrimination, addiction, illness, bereavement, and poverty. Their responsibilities extend beyond counselling, as they actively strive to address internal issues, such as organizing and facilitating community groups, supporting the establishment of unions for new immigrants, investigating societal problems, and participating in policy development and revision. This profession holds immense significance in society, but it is also undeniably demanding, requiring individuals with exceptional qualifications.

To pursue a career as a social worker in Australia, aspiring professionals are required to enroll in a university program that has received approval from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and successfully pass the AASW Skills Assessment. As of 2023, there are currently 37 Australian institutions offering AASW-approved programs. Contact SOL Edu today at [email protected] or +61 7 3003 1899 to know which universities provide the approved courses.

Why study Social Work in Australia?

  • Professional Accreditation: Social work programs in Australia are accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), ensuring that graduates meet the professional standards and requirements of the field. This accreditation enhances employability and professional recognition both within Australia and internationally. 
  • Diverse Field Placements: Australian social work programs typically include field placements or practical work experience as an integral part of the curriculum. These placements provide valuable opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, develop practical skills, and establish professional networks. 
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Social work programs in Australia offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of social issues and equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to address complex challenges. This includes areas such as mental health, child protection, indigenous issues, community development, and social policy. 
  • Multicultural Environment: Australia is a culturally diverse country, and studying social work in such an environment provides students with exposure to a wide range of cultures, perspectives, and social issues. This fosters cultural competence and prepares graduates to work effectively with diverse populations. 
  • Employment Opportunities: Social work is a recognized profession in Australia, and there is a high demand for qualified social workers across various sectors, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, healthcare settings, community services, and private practice. There are about 35,000 social workers in Australia in 2023, but the demand for this occupation has been grown strongly and Australia may need up to 49,300 social workers by 2026.  

What are career outcomes after studying Social Work in Australia?

Studying social work in Australia can lead to diverse and fulfilling career outcomes.  

  • Social Worker: The most common career outcome is working as a professional social worker. Social workers can be employed in various settings, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, hospitals, schools, community centres, and private practice. They provide direct support, counselling, and advocacy to individuals, families, and communities facing social challenges such as mental health, sexual assault, family violence, loss and grief, illness, separation and substance addiction. 
  • Child Protection Worker: Many social work graduates pursue careers in child protection, working for government child protection agencies or non-profit organizations. They play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of children who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. 
  • Mental Health Worker: Social workers can specialize in mental health and work in settings such as mental health clinics, hospitals, community health centres, or private practice. They provide counselling, therapy, and support services to individuals with mental health conditions. 
  • Community Development Officer: Social work graduates can work as community development officers, organizing and coordinating community programs and initiatives. They collaborate with community members, organizations, and government bodies to address social issues and promote community well-being. 
  • Disability Services Worker: They offer emotional support and companionship to individuals with disabilities. They provide a safe and nurturing environment, engage in conversation, and help individuals build and maintain social connections. 
  • Policy Analyst/Advocate: Some social work professionals choose to work in policy development and advocacy roles. They contribute to shaping social policies, advocating for social justice, and working towards systemic changes to address societal inequalities. 

Want to know more details of the social work occupations? Fill out the enquiry form or email to [email protected], our Education Counsellors will contact you within 24 hours!  

What are entry requirements to study Social Work in Australia?

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 

How to become a social worker in Australia?

To become a social worker in Australia, you typically need to follow these steps: 

  1. Education: Obtain a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from a university in Australia. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the AASW. Completing an accredited program ensures that you meet the educational requirements for professional recognition. 
  2. AASW Membership: Apply for membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). Membership with the AASW is essential for professional recognition and accessing various benefits and resources. To become a member, you will need to provide proof of your social work qualification and meet the membership criteria set by the AASW. 
  3. AASW Skills Assessment: Undergo a skills assessment by the AASW. This assessment is necessary for eligibility to apply for certain visas, such as the skilled migration visa. The AASW assesses your social work qualification, educational background, and work experience to determine whether it meets the required standards for social work practice in Australia. 
  4. Registration: In some states or territories in Australia, social workers are required to register with the relevant regulatory authority. This may involve completing an application, providing proof of qualifications and AASW membership, and paying the necessary fees. Check the registration requirements specific to the state or territory where you intend to practice. 

It’s important to note that specific requirements and processes may vary between states and territories in Australia, so it’s advisable to consult the AASW and the regulatory authority in your intended practice location for the most up-to-date and accurate information. 

How to pass a Social Worker Skill Assessment?

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. 

Please ensure that you include the following information and documentation with your application. Failure to submit all required documentation may result in a delay in the assessment of your application: 

  1. Certified copies of your qualification papers, including your degree certificate. If you have completed a Master of Social Work (Qualifying) degree, please also provide evidence of your undergraduate degree. 
  2. If your qualification papers are not yet available, please arrange a letter of completion from your institution. This letter should confirm that you have successfully completed and passed all course requirements, making you eligible to graduate with a social work qualification. Additionally, include the expected date when your degree is due to be conferred. 
  3. Certified copy of your academic transcript, if available. The transcript should include details of the educational courses you have completed, including subjects, results/marks, the duration of study, and whether it was conducted on a full-time or part-time basis. If you have completed a Master of Social Work (Qualifying) degree, please also submit evidence of your undergraduate qualification. 
  4. Evidence demonstrating that you meet the English language requirements as specified by the AASW. If you complete all secondary education, taught in English, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America, and successfully completed the three years or more full- time tertiary program (at Bachelor Degree level or higher), taught in English, in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America, then you are exempt for English language requirement.  
  5. Certified copy of the identity page of your passport. 
  6. If applicable, provide evidence of a change of name. This may include a certified copy of the change of name document, such as a marriage certificate. 
  7. If applicable, include an agent’s authorisation form. This form grants authorization to an agent or proxy who will lodge the application and deal with the AASW on your behalf. 

Please ensure that all documents are certified copies to meet the required standards. Including these documents will help facilitate a smooth assessment process for your application. 

Need assistance to complete the Social Work Skill Assessment? Contact us today at [email protected] or +61 7 3003 1899 

Migration Options – What are visa available for Social Workers in Australia?

After completing at least 2 years of studies in a university in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, you will be eligible to apply for a 485 visa with unlimited work rights. However, if you undertook and completed at least 2 years of study in a ‘Regional Area’ such as the Gold Coast and Adelaide, you can be eligible for an additional 1 or 2 years of the 485 Visa (a total of 3 or 4 years). After visa 485, you will have great potential to become a permanent resident with many visa options. Below are the examples:

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

FAQs

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

To become a social worker in Australia, you must complete a bachelor or a master program that is approved by the Australian Association of Social Work and pass the AASW Skills Assessment for social workers. As of 2023, there are 37 institutions 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. 

Is there a high demand for social workers in Australia?

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions and is in high demand in Australia. According to the Australian Association of Social Work, the sector will need to grow by at least 15% over the next 3 years and Australia may need up to 49,300 social workers by 2026.

If I do not meet the English requirement for a Social Work course, what should I do?

Many universities (such as Flinders University, University of Southern Queensland, Curtin University) in Australia provide a package program including English course/s and Social Course for students who have not met the English requirement. Once you pass the universities’ approved English courses, you can be eligible for the social work study.

When do I need to undertake a placement for my social work course?

During your social work course, it is mandatory to complete a placement, although the specific timeframe varies across universities. Some universities organize placements for students during the summer break or summer semester, while others incorporate placement as a compulsory subject within the course. If you would like to gather more information about the social work placement, contact us today at [email protected] or +61 7 3003 1899.

What social work courses should I enroll to be eligible for a 485 visa after graduation?

To be eligible for a 485 visa upon graduation, you must complete a minimum of 2 years of full-time study as an international student. This requirement can be fulfilled by pursuing either a bachelor’s degree in social work, which typically spans 3 years, or a master’s degree in social work, which typically takes 2 years to complete. It’s important to ensure that the program you choose is approved by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). 

Can a social worker earn a high income in Australia?

The median weekly earnings for a social worker in Australia are $1,736, which surpasses the median earnings for all occupations ($1,593). Additionally, social workers have a median hourly wage of $45, which is higher than the overall median hourly wage for all jobs ($41).