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Residential support worker

Alternative titles for this job include

Residential support workers look after the physical and mental wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults in care.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a residential support worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could take a course at college, for example:

  • Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce
  • Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice
  • Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare

Many courses include work placements, so this could be a good way for you to get experience.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 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, for a level 3 course

More Information


You could get into this job through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship or lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 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


Some social care employers will be more interested in your work and life experience than formal qualifications, and you can get these whilst working. You can start working as a support worker in:

  • a children's home
  • a care home
  • a hostel


You can get voluntary experience in a number of ways like:

  • volunteering at a youth club
  • having personal experience of caring for a family member
  • doing voluntary work in a care home, nursery or relevant charity

Direct Application

To apply directly for jobs in residential support, you'll need paid or voluntary experience in the social work and care sector.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a residential support worker from Think Care Careers.

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
  • 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:

A driving licence could be useful.

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • check the needs and progress of residents
  • provide physical care, which could include bathing, toileting, dressing and feeding
  • provide one-to-one advice or group support sessions
  • teach daily living skills like budgeting, shopping and claiming benefits
  • provide leisure and creative activities in a safe and supportive setting
  • help residents to deal with problems and become independent
  • talk with residents' families and arrange family and home visits

Working environment

You could work in the community or at an adult care home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could take on more responsibility as a senior support worker or manager.

You could also train as a social worker.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Care Worker

  • Wage: £12,480.00 Annually

Adult Care Level 2 Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,313.60 Annually
  • Location: Greenalls Avenue, Warrington, Cheshire

Courses In England

Health & Social Care (Diploma)

  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Cheltenham

Health and Social Care

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Hull

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