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If you like to help others, your ideal work may be as a therapist. Similar, yet different to counsellors in that they're typically more highly trained and deal with deep-rooted problems in a person's life, a therapist's day-to-day life can be hugely challenging yet stimulating and satisfying as you help people work out their issues. Here we look at how to become a therapist in Australia.

What Is The Main Role Of A Therapist? 

Essentially, your work as a therapist will be to assess and treat your patients' mental, social, and emotional problems. Tackling deep-seated issues like anxiety, depression, and relationship issues, there are several fields to specialise in. Depending on what kind of work suits you best, you can choose to enter several other fields:

  • Marriage & family therapy
  • Substance abuse therapy
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Mental health therapy
  • Educational therapy
  • Aged care therapy

It's unnecessary to decide on the area in which you want to specialise until you’re actually in the job. That’s why it’s best not to get too far ahead of yourself when making plans, as they can easily change further down the line.

Is A Counsellor The Same As A Therapist? 

When figuring out how to become a therapist in Australia, people will use the terms counsellor and therapist interchangeably. While they are strictly different things - as counselling tends to deal with the here and now rather than the past - you will hear several other titles such as a psychotherapist, therapist, counsellor or all three. It often depends on the individual.

They're not strictly the same, as therapy is closer to psychology and associated fields like criminal psychology, so they require some degree qualification.

How Much Do Therapists In Australia Get In Salary?

As well as enjoying a rewarding career as a therapist, you get paid well in salary. Those in the role can expect to earn up to $90k - a figure that often goes up, the more experienced and knowledgeable in the position. As such, all the work you put into learning how to become a therapist in Australia  is worth the effort in salary alone - although that's not why most people take this career path.

Can I Become A Therapist Without Going To University? 

Yes, you can! Of course, you could take a Bachelor's degree that will likely take you as much as 3-4 years to complete. The further down the university route you go, the more you'll open yourself up to the world of the psychology sector and the fascinating, highly-trained roles. However, many roles in this sector are available now! 

Whether your passion is to assist vulnerable people to become more independent, obtain base knowledge to gain employment in the sector, have a passion for working with people, want to kick-start your career or wish you knew how to care for your family and friends? See our Career portal here

The TAFE Route Is Also Available

If you eschew the university option, you can still train for the role more indirectly by first enrolling with a TAFE provider and taking a Diploma of Counselling. This path requires no previous training and allows you to get real hands-on experience, meaning you'll be helping people sooner.

Also hugely beneficial to your therapy career are micro-learning options like our Aged Care Counselling in the Community course that can give you essential industry knowledge and the ability to specialise. Again, these courses can be taken without previous experience and help you to develop your knowledge base right through your professional journey. 

OCA Short Courses Online - A Great Career Resource

As we can see, when answering how to become a therapist in Australia, you’ve got a couple of options. Whatever you take, CPD-Endorsed, video-based short courses from OCA give you the best chance of thriving in the role, as they allow you to develop your knowledge at a pace that suits your needs. Being modular and internet-based, your learning fits around your day!

You can see for yourself by watching our Student Study Demo that ours is learning that actively encourages students to learn more and is well-supported. Every student gets both 1-to-1 mentoring and 24/7 tutorial assistance, meaning you’ll never be stuck for help when needed.

Forget everything you know about traditional text-based courses that have you yawning within 15 minutes of starting them. This is something else entirely. Furthermore, our entire training library covers over 20 professional sectors, and you can see it by visiting us at

However, if you have any questions about enrolling or want more information, we’re happy to provide them. All you need to do is call our friendly team of experts on 1300 611 404, and they’ll be able to answer any questions you might have. Alternatively, email us at [email protected], and we’ll strive to get back to you as quickly as possible.

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