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Youth worker

Alternative titles for this job include

Youth workers support young people aged 11 to 25 and organise activities to help them develop.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£33,000 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 a youth worker

You can get into this job through:

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

Qualification level you need to work with young people

You'll need a level 2 qualification to work with young people aged 16 and 17.

You'll need a level 3 qualification to work with young people aged 18 and over.


You could do a professional youth work qualification which is a degree recognised by the National Youth Agency.

You could take a subject like:

  • youth and community
  • community and youth studies
  • youth and theology
  • informal and community education

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 could do a level 2 or 3 diploma in youth work practice. This might give you an advantage when applying for jobs. You could then do further training on the job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, and work experience

More Information


Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • level 3 youth support worker
  • level 3 peer worker
  • level 6 youth worker

If you take a level 3 apprenticeship, a qualified youth worker or similar professional will help you work towards a youth support worker job.

You would also work towards the level 2 or level 3 certificate in youth work practice while you're an apprentice.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 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 start as a part time youth support worker and complete on the job training. You can then use this to join a 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 course in youth work.

You can find voluntary or part time youth work through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations or through a local youth service.

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
  • customer service skills
  • 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
  • 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

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:

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

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 you could:

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Area Youth and Community Worker Apprentice

  • Wage: £9,254.44 to £18,278.00 Annually
  • Location: Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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