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Social Care jobs: frequently asked questions
Welcome to our social care jobs page, featuring all the latest roles throughout the UK as well as frequently asked questions below.
What is a social care job?
Social care jobs involve helping vulnerable people to manage their daily lives, and to live as independently as they possibly can.
Working in social care may mean working within a person’s home, a residential care home, an NHS trust, a private health organisation or within the community.
The people you support could either be adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health conditions or older people.
At entry level, social care jobs might include care assistants, care workers or carers.
But under this broad banner you could also expect to find support workers, social workers, care managers, care home managers and many other social care specialists.
What daily responsibilities will you carry out in a social care job?
Because there are a wide variety of social care jobs, daily duties vary enormously from one position to the next.
But in most social care roles you’ll have responsibilities that include:
• Caring for a vulnerable group, which may include help with basic daily activities like eating and washing
• Understanding the needs of individuals and tailoring care for them
• Monitoring the health of individuals
• Providing care that meets strict industry standards and regulations
• Helping people to lead positive, independent lives
The hours you work could vary greatly too, but broadly you can expect shift work – which may well include evenings and weekends.
Social care is often a 24/7 position, but it does offer a great deal of flexibility.
What skills and qualifications do you need to work in social care?
You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to start your social care career – but it all depends on what you want to do, and at what level.
For entry level care assistants and care workers, some providers may ask for GCSE A-Cs in English and/or Maths, but it isn’t always necessary.
Many care staff enter the workforce with a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, but you can easily obtain these once you’ve started too.
At a more senior level, if you’re interested in moving into care management you’ll need to gain plenty of experience and then commit to further study whilst on the job.
Courses like the level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care have been created specifically for aspiring care home managers, for example.
Equally, you may wish to become a social worker or support worker.
Social workers need to undertake a three-year undergraduate degree or two-year postgraduate degree in social work.
To become a support worker however, you might not need any qualifications at all – although many organisations require an NVQ in care.
Whatever you choose to do, and wherever your career is headed, to be successful you’ll need to be caring, compassionate, patient and resilient.
Social care work is extremely rewarding, but it’s challenging too.
How much do social care jobs pay?
Social care salaries vary greatly. It’s mostly unregulated because the majority of social care staff are employed outside of the NHS.
And unfortunately, at entry level salaries have been stagnantly low for many years.
According to industry statistics, the national average hourly rate for care home workers is around £8.30 per hour, and average annual salaries are somewhere between £15,000 and £17,000.
Meanwhile, the average salary for a care home manager is somewhere around £30,000 to £32,000 a year.
Social workers regularly work in or outside the NHS, and average salaries range from £25,000 a year to £40,000 for those with lots of experience.
And the average support worker salary is between £20,000 and £25,000 a year.
But these are all very broad figures.
Every position is different, and the situation is constantly changing.
After all, the importance of social care work is very much in the spotlight – and improved pay could be on its way in the near future.
Find your next social care job today
View our latest social care jobs above, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, create an account, register your CV, and we’ll send you the latest roles as soon as they come up.