Social care | Teaching and education
Youth workers guide and support young people aged 11 to 25. They organise activities to help with personal and social development.
£18,000 Starter - £33,000 Experienced
37 to 39 a week (evenings / weekends on a rota)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this rolevolunteeringapplying directly
You can do a professional youth work qualification, like a degree that is recognised by the National Youth Agency.
- youth and community
- community and youth studies
- youth and theology
- informal and community education
If you have a degree in another subject, you can take a postgraduate qualification to give you professional youth worker status.
You'll also need relevant experience to get on to a degree or postgraduate course.
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree. You'll need a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course.
You could do a course like a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice. This would give you an advantage when you apply for a job as a youth support worker. You would then take further training on the job.
The Level 2 qualification is required to work with the 16+ age group.
The Level 3 qualification is required to work with the 18+ age group.
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, and work experience.
Apprenticeships relevant to this role include a Level 3 Youth support worker. You would be supported through management and supervision, to develop towards the role of youth support worker by a qualified youth worker or other professional.
You would also work towards gaining the Level 2 or Level 3 certificate in youth work practice as part of completing the apprenticeship.
The level 2 qualification is required to work with the 16+ age group.
The level 3 qualification is required to work with the 18+ age group.
You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
You could start as a part-time or volunteer youth support worker and complete on-the-job training to use as entry on to a degree course to get professionally qualified.
It's important that you get experience of paid or unpaid work with young people. You'll often need at least 1 year's experience to apply for professional youth work courses and jobs.
You can apply for youth work jobs if you've got relevant experience and qualifications, for example in teaching, careers guidance, probation or community development.
You'll be expected to complete a postgraduate award in youth work while you're working.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- 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
What you’ll do
- organise sports, arts, education and drama activities
- counsel, coach and mentor young people
- work with young carers or those at risk of offending
- assess needs and run projects that deal with issues like health, bullying, crime or drugs
- manage volunteers and part-time workers
- keep confidential records
- control budgets and apply for grants and funding
- work with social workers, teachers, probation officers and the police
You could work in the community, at an outreach centre, at a college, in an office or at a school.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors some of the time.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could take on a more specialist role in an area like mental health. You could also become a team leader or manager.
Other options are to gain further qualifications and move into social work, teaching, community development or counselling.