Care worker

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

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

Average salary (a year)

£12,500 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become a care worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying 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

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

More information


You could get into this job through 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 and experience

You could do voluntary work with an organisation that supports vulnerable people.

Do-it has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct application

You could apply directly and do training while in 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.

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 Think Care Careers and Social Care TV.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • 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
  • a desire to help people
  • 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:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • getting to know clients and their interests and needs
  • helping with personal care like washing, using the toilet and dressing
  • food preparation, feeding and giving out medication
  • carrying out general tasks like housework, laundry and shopping
  • helping clients manage their budget, pay bills and write letters
  • going with clients to and from a residential home

You could also be:

  • supporting families with new caring responsibilities
  • giving emotional and practical support to children and young people
  • working with other health and social care professionals to provide individual care and development plans
  • helping to organise leisure activities

Working environment

You could work at an adult care home or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

You could progress to a more senior role, managing people or services.

As your career develops, you can move on to higher level qualifications, such as a foundation degree, social work degree or Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

L3 Lead Adult Care Worker Apprentice

  • Wage : £169.65 - £320.19 Weekly
  • Location: Ellesmere Port CH65 3EY

Health and Social Care Apprentice Level 2

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Stockton-On-Tees TS18 4DS

Courses In England

NCFE CACHE L1 Award in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care (Care Academy SBWA)

  • Provider: Stockton Riverside College
  • Start date: 17 June 2020
  • Location: Redcar

Diploma in Care: CACHE/NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Care

  • Provider: North East Surrey College of Technology
  • Start date: 06 January 2020
  • Location: Epsom

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