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Youth worker

Alternative titles for this job include

Youth workers support young people aged 11 up to 25 to help them with their personal, social and educational development.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Youth worker

You can get into this job through:

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


You can do a professional youth work qualification, which is a degree recognised by the National Youth Agency. Degree courses include:

  • youth work
  • youth work and communities
  • youth work and theology

Postgraduate courses

You can do a postgraduate qualification to give you professional youth worker status if you have a degree in another subject and relevant experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More Information


You’ll need a minimum of a level 2 youth work practice qualification to work with young people aged 11 and over.

This may help you to find a job as a youth support worker. It can also act as a stepping stone to higher-level courses to train to become a professional youth worker.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information


You could apply to do an apprenticeship, such as:

  • Youth Support Worker Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Youth Worker Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship

These can take between 2 and 3 years to complete.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information


You could start as a part-time youth support worker and complete training on the job. You could then use this to join a youth work degree course.


Employers value work experience with young people so it's important to get as much as you can. You'll often need at least one year of experience to apply for a job or youth work course.

You can find voluntary or part-time youth work opportunities through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. You can also contact your local council for details of youth services in your area.

Direct Application

You could apply to become a youth worker if you've got experience and qualifications in teaching, careers guidance, probation or community development.

You'll be expected to complete a postgraduate qualification while you're working to give you professional youth worker status.

More information

You can find out more about careers in youth work from the National Youth Agency.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • 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
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a youth worker, you could:

  • support young people, including carers and people at risk of offending
  • run projects that focus on issues like health, bullying, crime or drugs
  • design and organise activity programmes for young people
  • keep confidential records, manage budgets and apply for funding
  • work with other professionals, like social workers, teachers, probation officers and the police

Working environment

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience and further training, you could:

  • become a team leader, project co-ordinator or service manager
  • specialise in an area like young people's mental health
  • work in youth policy and development of best practice
  • move into a related career and become a social worker, community development worker or counsellor

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 3 Youthwork apprenticeship

  • Wage: £23,088 a year Annually
  • Location: Sevenoaks, Kent

Youth Work Apprentice

  • Wage: £20,280 a year Annually
  • Location: Sunderland

Courses In England

Youth Worker – Level 6

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Burnley

Certificate in Introduction to Youth Work (Level 1)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Bootle

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