Imagine a life where getting dressed is difficult and even feeding yourself is a struggle. For some people thatis their reality - that’s where care workers come to the rescue. They help people to live more independently. 

Day to day work

Cooking, cleaning, dressing, budgeting, shopping, arranging appointments, providing emotional support – these are all tasks you might do as a care worker. Your role is to support the person you’re caring for in whatever way works best for them.

You could work as a support worker dispensing advice about housing and benefits or you could have someone live with you or go to live with them. You might work directly for an individual helping them with daily tasks such as personal care, household duties and medication. You might also have to help families adjusting to new care regimes for family members.

Qualifications and experience needed

If you’re straight out of school, this is a great way to start work in the care system as there are no formal entry requirements. Getting some care experience though can be really useful – this could be caring for someone you know or volunteering with an organisation such as a care home or youth club.

Good GCSEs in essential subjects like English and maths are important and an NVQ in health and social care can also give you a real head start.

Apprenticeships are a great way into the profession – you get paid while you learn and you pick up loads of practical experience on the job as you work towards a qualification.

Fact: Care workers start on £12,500 - £16,000, rising to £19,000 with experience. A senior care supervisor can earn up to £25,000.

Skills 

Whilst qualifications do matter, some of the skills you possess are just as important. Top of the list in a caring role are compassion, the ability to communicate well and to build positive relationships with people.

Remember, you will be working with vulnerable people and you need to work in a way that respects their dignity, is non-judgemental and promotes their choices and privacy to give them as independent a life as possible.

Personality

If you’re the sort of person who loves caring for others, can offer a sympathetic ear in times of crisis and be resourceful in the face of adversity, then a job as a care worker is ideal. You need to be the type of person who’s not afraid to get stuck in and deal with the less savoury sides of life. 

Opportunities

A role as a care worker is a great way to start a career in healthcare and you could find work in care homes, with local authorities, in hospitals or with individuals. It can lead onto a more senior role managing care services or you could use it to gain experience before training to become a nurse, paramedic or family support worker.

Summary

  • A perfect role if you like caring for others
  • A great entry level position into healthcare
  • Rewarding, allows you to make a difference