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Care worker

Alternative titles for this job include Care assistant, support worker, nursing home assistant

Care workers help vulnerable people manage their daily activities and live as independently as possible.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter

to

£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a care worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

College

A college course may help you when you look for work.

You could take a:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Care
  • T Level in Health

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could become a care worker by doing an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship or a lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

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 an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Volunteering

You could volunteer with an organisation that supports vulnerable people, such as a care home, charity, hospital or hospice.

You can find volunteering opportunities from Do It and the National Council of Volunteering Organisations (NCVO)

Direct Application

You could apply directly and train on the job. You'll find it useful to have experience of working with people.

Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs in English and maths at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent.

More Information

Career tips

Time spent caring for someone you know also counts as having experience in a caring role.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in care from:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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:

You might find it helpful to have a driving licence as you might work shifts at times when you cannot get public transport.

It might help to be physically fit because you may need to help lift or move people.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your daily tasks will depend on the needs of the person you're caring for.

If you're helping someone who needs support to live at home on their own, you'll:

  • 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

Working environment

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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 get further qualifications. 

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Social Care Worker Apprentice

  • Wage: £15,392.00 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Support Worker - Hobbs Field - Apprenticeship Opportunity

  • Wage: £20,812.00 Annually
  • Location: Leechpool Lane, Horsham

Courses In England

Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support

  • Provider: THE OLDHAM COLLEGE
  • Start date: 04 September 2023
  • Location: Oldham

CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support PT

  • Provider: DARLINGTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 18 September 2023
  • Location: Darlington

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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