Starting a career in social care

Three young workers walking together

If you want a career where you can progress, feel secure, and get an enormous sense of personal achievement from knowing you are helping other people, then adult social care is for you. 

Whether you are looking for a career change, thinking of returning to the social care sector, or starting your working life from school or college, there is a wide range of work opportunities in social care.

With a huge demand for workers, plenty of opportunities for progression and a job in which 96% of workers said they feel their work makes a difference, adult social care has lots to offer. Think social care is for you? 

 

You can gain an enormous sense of personal achievement from simply knowing that your job is helping people. It's about making a positive difference to people's lives by contributing to their health, happiness and wellbeing.

For various reasons and stages in their lives, some people need support to develop and maintain their independence, dignity and control. Social care provides a whole range of services to support adults and older people.

There are lots of different job roles to choose from. You could be working in a home, out in the community or from someone's house. You could be supporting a man in his 20’s with a learning difficulty or a woman in her 90’s, helping her keep her independence in her own home.

You could specialise in a particular area, such as occupational therapy; you could provide direct care as a care worker or personal assistant, or help provide the essential support a care home needs to run – such as administration, catering or maintenance. We’ve picked out some of the job roles and put them in this short booklet to give you an idea of what sorts of jobs you could do:

Job roles booklet (pdf)

Hear from people already working in the sector talk about their job role, by clicking on the links below and watching the videos:

Working in social care - Team Leader

Working in social care - Deputy Manager

Working in social care - Care Coordinator

Working in social care - Independent Living Advisor

Working in social care - Tenancy Sustainment Officer

Working in social care - Payroll Officer

Working in social care - Support Worker

Working in social care - Chief Executive Officer

Working in social care - General Manager

Working in social care - Senior Care Worker

Working in social care - Managing Director

You may not need formal qualifications before beginning a career in social care. There will be plenty of opportunities to acquire more skills, training and qualifications depending on how far you want to take your career.

Speaking to an advisor at your local Jobcentre, or a Work Programme provider is a good start. You can also click on the links below to have a look at some of the options for starting your career in adult social care: 

Apprenticeships

Pre-employment training

Skills for Care’s I Care… resources provide more information on what it’s like to work in care, including the different range of employers, job roles, training, development and career progression available.

Think social care video 

I Care...video

Think social care leaflet (pdf)

Thought about a career in social care? (pdf)

You can take an online quiz to see whether a career in care might be for you by visiting: www.aquestionofcare.org.uk. Select the residential care worker from the three options in the quiz and answer the questions to see if your personality and qualities are suited to a career in care. 

Think Care Careers is our new interactive website that helps those interested in a career in social care find what job roles are available in the sector, as well as the range of skills and qualifications they need. The site also shows the different pathways and progression available, and has a range of resources and links to help job seekers take the next steps. Find out more at Think Care Careers.

We have lots of different case studies of people working in various roles in social care, so you can hear from them what they think about their job…

Video case studies:

Print case studies:

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