How to get a job after suffering a back injury

A back injury is often life changing.

Returning to work can make you feel discouraged or nervous, especially if you can’t return to the job you had before the injury.

Searching for work can be a difficult undertaking. Pain and mobility issues can make it even more challenging to navigate the job search and keep up with the demands of a workplace.

However, experts say that getting back to work after your injury can be highly beneficial. Not only for your financial health but also for your mental well being. Working can give you a new outlook on life and a sense of pride and accomplishment.

If you’ve experienced a back injury and want to return to work, help is available.

At APM, we help thousands of job seekers across Australia find meaningful employment and feel confident about working.

In this guide, we cover a number of tips to help you make a successful transition back to work.


  • How to identify job types and workplace environments that are right for you
  • How to start looking for employment opportunities
  • How to write a resume and manage job interviews
  • How to manage in the workplace after a back injury and
  • Where to find support if you need it

Can I get a job if I have a back injury?

Your injury may have affected your life in many ways, including your capacity to work in your previous role. If you’ve had to change jobs, you still have strengths and experiences that make you the ideal candidate in other roles.

When Jeff’s back injury left him unable to continue working as a labourer, he felt discouraged about finding a job.

However, working closely with his APM employment consultant, Jeff was able to complete a training course and find work as a carer.

“It gives me purpose and a reason to get out of bed,” Jeff said. “It’s a new beginning for me.”

Like Jeff, if you want to work we believe there is a job out there for you. And there is support to help you get there.

Best jobs for people with a back injury

Everyone is different. It’s important to look for a job where you can use your strengths and skills in an environment that suits your physical limitations.

If you aren’t sure what types of jobs might be suitable, speaking with a professional can help you identify career options and workplace environments that you may not have considered.

At APM, we believe everyone has the right to experience the benefits of work. Our approach is personal and tailored to your unique situation, abilities and limitations.

For many people who are suffering from back pain, working in physically demanding roles and performing repetitive actions for long periods of time can cause symptoms to flare up.

If long work hours cause you pain, you might work better in a flexible environment where you can take breaks if you need them.

You may be eligible for workplace adjustments – such as flexible hours, ergonomic equipment or days off for recovery – that can help you continue to do your job well.

Looking for inspiration?

Here are 5 Job ideas for people with a back injury:

  1. Blogger/writer - a flexible role if you have knowledge in a particular area and a knack for writing
  2. Teacher - if you can’t work in your previous role you could potentially pass on your knowledge as a teacher
  3. Administrative assistant - usually a flexible role that isn’t very physically demanding
  4. Graphic designer - a creative job that can be done in a freelance capacity, letting you work from home
  5. Security - in many security jobs you can stand up and move around as you need if sitting for long periods is painful

Find more job inspiration and great career ideas in our guide to jobs for people with a back injury.

How to find the right job opportunities for you

There are many ways to find work such as:

  • Searching on online job boards
  • Asking people you know if they know of any job openings
  • Approaching companies that you’d like to work for

Searching for a suitable job can be a long and challenging process. It’s natural to feel discouraged if you encounter hurdles due to your back injury.

Rehabilitation and retraining for a new role can feel intimidating and sometimes it helps to have support through your job search journey.

APM’s Disability Employment Services program is a government funded initiative helping people living with injury, illness or disability find and keep a job.

When you register with us, your dedicated Employment Consultant can help you find suitable work opportunities and access training to make you more employable.

How to write a persuasive resume or CV

When applying for a job, you want to put your best foot forward and show an employer why you’d be an excellent choice for the role.

Your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is one of the most important documents in your job search.

You should include information about your:

  • Education and qualifications
  • Previous work experience
  • Skills, strengths and qualities

Don’t just send the same resume and cover letter to every job you apply for. Tailor your resume to the specific job description by focusing on the skills, strengths and experiences that make you the best candidate for this job.

For more information, read our full guide on how to write an effective resume and cover letter.

Best practices for job interviews

Job interviews can be daunting, especially if you feel out of practice or are unsure what to expect. It’s important to plan, practice and prepare for interviews so that you feel more confident and in control.

Before the interview:

  • Research the company – know who they are, what they do and what their values are
  • Think of 2-3 questions you can ask the interviewer about the company or the job role
  • Prepare answers for common interview questions such as ‘How do you work under pressure?’ and ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’
  • Practice talking out loud about your strengths and qualities with a friend
  • Think of real life examples of when you demonstrated your strengths and skills

At the interview:

  • Arrive early
  • Dress professionally and neatly
  • Turn your phone off before going in
  • Speak clearly and confidently
  • Stay on topic and avoid rambling

After the interview:

  • Thank the interviewer for their time
  • Do something special for yourself – celebrate that you made it through the interview, however it went

Read more of our expert interview tips.

Managing in the workplace with a back injury

Chronic pain and mobility issues can make it challenging to keep up with the demands of the workplace. Returning to work after an injury can feel daunting, especially if your physical capabilities have changed.

If you are worried about returning to work or managing in your new role after a back injury, support is available.

At APM, we help thousands of people find workplace solutions to help them stay in their job and feel confident about working.

We work closely with you and your employer to find solutions and workplace adjustments so that you can do your job well.

This could include:

  • Specialised tools and equipment such as ergonomic chairs or adjustable desks
  • Flexible work arrangements so you can take a break when you need it
  • Days off for recovery and medical appointments

Our Disability Employment Services and WorkAssist programs are funded by the Australian government which means you can access support at no cost to you or your employer.

Need help finding a job after a back injury? We’re here to help.

You don’t have to face rehabilitation and returning to work alone. At APM, we help people just like you find meaningful work opportunities so that they can return to the workforce with confidence.

When you register for our Disability Employment Services program, your employment consultant can help you with:

  • Identifying your strengths, skills and abilities
  • Finding suitable employment opportunities
  • Writing job applications, cover letters, resumes and curriculum vitaes
  • Preparing for job interviews
  • Training to gain new skills and qualifications
  • Accessing workplace adjustments and support

We have seen first-hand the many benefits of finding a meaningful job in a supportive workplace. And we believe everyone deserves to experience these life-changing benefits – including you.

Are you ready to get to work? Get in touch with APM today and let’s get started.