£12,500 Starter - £25,000 Experienced
35 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipvolunteeringapplying directly
You could take a college course, which may help when you look for work. Courses include:
- Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Diploma in Care
- T Level for Healthcare Support Workers
You'll usually need 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a Level 1 course. You'll need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level.
You could get into this job through an adult care worker Level 2 apprenticeship or a lead adult care worker Level 3 apprenticeship.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
You could do voluntary work with an organisation that supports vulnerable people, for example a:
You could apply directly and do training on the job. You'll find it useful to have experience of working with people.
Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications. Time spent caring for someone you know also counts as having experience in a caring role.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- a desire to help people
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks. A driving licence may be helpful if you're going to be working on shifts outside of public transport hours.
It will help to be physically fit, as you may need to help lift or move people.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks will vary depending on the needs of the person you're caring for.
For people who need support to live at home and in their community, you'll:
You could also:
- help with washing and dressing
- make food or help with eating
- get to know their interests and needs
do household jobs, like washing clothes and shopping
- monitor their weight and record any concerns they have
- check they're taking their prescribed medications
- support their physical and mental wellbeing through activities
- support families who have new caring responsibilities
- give emotional and practical support to children and young people
- work with other health and social care professionals
- help organise leisure activities and outings
You could work at an adult care home, at a client's home or stay overnight at people's homes.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
While employed as a care worker you can develop your skills by training in specific areas, like autism awareness, communication skills or supporting people with dementia.
With experience, you can become a lead care worker. You can also move into more senior jobs, like managing people or services, if you study for further qualifications. For example, a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care, or a degree in social work or nursing.