Career Paths

Residential Aged Care

There is a huge and growing demand for aged care services as a result of our ageing population. If you have a passion for people, the aged care sector needs you.

Aged care workers can make a real difference in people’s lives. The work can be challenging but if you’re flexible and adaptable, the rewards are huge.

What does the job involve?

The aged care sector is a large one so there’s a diversity of roles. You could be helping with daily activities including cleaning and hygiene, assisting with outings, providing emotional support, lifting and moving people, and supporting their recreational activities.

What skills do you need?

You don’t need formal qualifications at first. It’s more about being the right sort of person.

  • Be practical, organised and responsible
  • Be reasonably fit, healthy and strong
  • Be supportive, understanding and caring
  • Have good communication skills
  • Relate well to people from a range of cultures
  • Be able to work both independently and with a team

It’s likely you’ll be expected to train on-the-job for the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels 2 and 3.

More advanced roles in aged care will benefit from a Level 4 qualification and higher.

An historic pay equity settlement for care and support workers in New Zealand in 2017 means that care workers are now recognised and rewarded based on their qualifications or their experience.

More information from Careerforce about qualifications in the residential aged care sector.


What roles are available?

Initially you’ll find yourself in roles like these:

  • Support Worker
  • Home Aide
  • Nurse Aide
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Caregiver

More advanced roles include:

  • Senior Support Worker
  • Team Leader
  • Supervisor
  • Trainer/Assessor

Our Stories


Lucia left a job in hospitality to take care of people in a different and more rewarding context – working in a residential aged care facility.

Our Stories


Reigniting joy for older people during the last phase of their lives is a career that is truly life changing for young wahine Māori Yazmin Te-Amohanga, Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui.

Our Stories


Nika’s life is enriched working with those who’ve lived theirs to the full. At just 19, Nika Harley is already enjoying her dream job, while completing qualifications that will enable her to advance a career in the health and wellbeing sector.

What are you waiting for?
Start looking for a job now!

Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

Check out these sites to find the right job for you!