1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Substance misuse outreach worker

Substance misuse outreach worker

Alternative titles for this job include Recovery worker, early intervention worker

Substance misuse outreach workers advise people with drug or alcohol problems and encourage them to get help from local support services.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

on call flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Substance misuse outreach worker

You can get into this job through:

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


You could do a part time college course to give you an understanding of substance misuse.

You could do a level 1 or 2 award in substance misuse awareness or a level 3 certificate in tackling substance misuse.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information


You could do a peer worker advanced apprenticeship or an early intervention practitioner higher apprenticeship.

You could also do an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship to get some of the skills and knowledge you need to become a substance misuse outreach worker.

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could volunteer with a drug, alcohol or housing charity to build skills and get work experience. 

You could also volunteer with a substance misuse organisation. You can find contact details for an organisation near you from Frank.

Direct Application

You could apply directly to an employer. 

You'll need a good understanding of the issues people with substance misuse problems might face. You might also need experience in criminal justice, social care, youth work or counselling.

You could also apply if you have personal experience of addiction or dependency. Applications are usually welcome from people who have successfully come through treatment.

More information

You can find out more about becoming a substance misuse outreach worker from Alcohol Change UK and With You.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

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 might work with individuals or groups to:

  • find out what the situation is and support people to manage their own recovery
  • help choose the best services for support
  • help people access services like housing or benefits advice
  • help people get to appointments or fill out forms
  • give practical and emotional support to families
  • write reports and keep confidential records

Working environment

You could work at an outreach centre, in the community or at a health centre.

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 become a senior recover worker, volunteer co-ordinator or project team leader.

You could also specialise in working with a particular group like young people.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Care Worker

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually

Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £12,646 a year Annually

Courses In England

Develop an Awareness of Substance Misuse (Online)

  • Start date: 24 February 2025
  • Location: Not known

Awareness of Substance Misuse - Level 1 Award

  • Start date: 06 August 2024
  • Location: Not known

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.