Entry-level health care jobs still in demand despite COVID-19

Although recent unemployment data has shown a sharp increase in the number of Australians without jobs, not all industries have been affected in equal measure.

Speaking to news.com.au, SEEK’s National Healthcare Manager James Duncan says the healthcare industry has fared better than many other industries. While it hasn’t been immune to the effects of COVID-19, SEEK job data shows the industry experienced a decline of just 7 per cent in hiring demand, placing it ahead of the average downturn of 23 per cent across all industries.

Specific sectors within the industry have even reported an increase in demand.

“Hirer demand in community services (aged and disability care) is up 7 per cent and it’s the only industry that’s currently in positive growth year on year,” says Mr Duncan.

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With the COVID-19 crisis highlighting the importance of healthcare workers, it’s also increased the scope of jobs available.

Although positions like nurses, doctors and allied health professionals continue to be in high demand, Mr Duncan suggests job seekers to look at the roles aligned with the field.

“IT professionals will also be in high demand as people and providers switch to appointments conducted through Telehealth or Zoom,” he says. “Support services like cleaners, laundry, food services, wardsman and logistics are also in high demand at present and should continue to grow.”

Applicants in regional and rural areas or those who would consider a professional tree change also face better employment prospects.

“Positions in high demand are compounded in regional and rural areas where the demand is even higher and the supply is very low,” he says.

“The key skills that position people well in health care are customer service, time management and data literacy. If you are strong in at least one of these areas, then the healthcare industry needs you.”


Unlike other industries harder hit by COVID-19, Mr Duncan says demand for jobs in health care will continue to grow as it ticks three ”essential” aspects of talent attraction: salary, job opportunity and job security.

The industry expert predicts there could be a lot of crossover from job seekers who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 and from those looking to change industries.

“There’s a broad and fair range of salaries available in the industry, as well as plenty of entry roles and clear career paths for people to develop their career,” he says.

Job security will also be a key factor in our current COVID-19 environment, which Mr Duncan says “the healthcare industry supplies in spades”.

“A big part of the industry is public health but most of the industry outside of public health receives some sort of government funding. This support means job security is high which is in demand in uncertain times,” he says.


While positions like registered nurses, dentists, allied health professionals and doctors obviously require university degrees, there’s also a range of other roles in the industry.

According to SEEK’s Healthcare Pulse Report, the influx job seekers from other fields is being welcomed by hirers, some who are specifically targeting those after a career transition.

“I’ve had direct feedback from hirers that some of the people coming in from other industries are a breath of fresh air,” says Mr Duncan. “They see things differently, are energetic and enthusiastic, and some hirers are using video or text in their job ad to specifically retarget those sorts of candidates.”

If you’re considering a change in careers, or just want to see what’s available, here are seven entry-level jobs.

Nursing assistant

Qualification needed: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (18 months) and 120 hours of work placement.

Most common salary: $50,000

Working under the direction of registered nurses, nursing assistants help patients undertake their daily routine and care regimens. Nursing assistants can also undertake a further two-year diploma if they want to become an enrolled nurse.

Aged care support workers

Qualification needed: No prior study or training is required but a Certificate II in Community Services, a Certificate IV in Disability, or a Certificate IV in Ageing Support can be helpful.

Most common salary: $50,000

Administering tasks like providing emotional support, helping with food preparation, personal hygiene or organising appointments and services, aged care support workers can choose to work in facilities or assist elderly residents at home. It’s also a job that can complement people who require work while studying in the healthcare field.

Disability support worker

Qualification needed: No formal qualifications are needed however a Certificate III in Individual Support will make you more competitive.

Most common salary: $75,000

Similar to aged care support workers, this job can take place at a client’s home or in hospitals and other specialised care environments. Disability support workers may assist patients with completing their daily tasks, accompany them on appointments or outings or work with them to develop their skills, abilities and confidence.

Dental assistants and nurses

Qualification needed: No formal training is required but a Certificate III in Dental Assisting or a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting can increase job prospects.

Most common salary: $60,000

Dental assistants are another in-demand role with currently over 1300 job opportunities available on SEEK. Their daily tasks include assisting procedures, cleaning and prepping the surgery and handling administration tasks.

Phlebotomists and pathology collectors

Qualification needed: While no prior study is needed, medical experience or a qualification like a Certificate III in Pathology Collection or Diploma of Laboratory Technology is beneficial.

Most common salary: $55,000

A great entry level role into the healthcare industry, phlebotomists work to collect blood, DNA or mucus samples from patients. Possessing strong attention to detail is a must.

Medical administration

Qualification needed: Most roles require no formal qualifications but prior experience in an admin field is beneficial.

Most common salary: Varied

This broad field captures jobs which include medical secretaries, receptionists and roles around management and operational policy. Mr Duncan adds that healthcare providers are always on the look out for clinical coders who are responsible for the upkeep of medical records. Those who want to pursue the role may want to undertake a Certificate III in Health Administration but traineeship opportunities are also available.

Support services

These jobs sit outside of the typical ‘medical’ field and include roles in cleaning, food services, logistics, administration, orderlies or wards people and patient services. They’re often entry-level positions are require no prior experience in the healthcare industry.

This article was created in partnership with SEEK

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