Support workers dedicate their time to working with vulnerable people and their families in a variety of ways. Depending on the type of support worker, clients may be adults or children struggling with mental, physical or learning disabilities that prevent them from living independently, with alcohol, drug or other addictions, and with emotional problems or relationship difficulties. Support workers will carry out their duties within the community, in a home environment, or in an institution, and they may work with individual clients or with groups. People with such a strong sense of commitment to the community might also be interested in child care jobs or community care officers jobs.
Support Worker Job Education Requirements
While entry-level support worker positions may not require any specific formal qualification, a BSL certificate, a GNVQ qualification or a BTEC Diploma in health, social care, or related subjects may prove very helpful in applying for a job. Personal qualities are extremely important in this line of work, and genuine interest and commitment to helping clients are the most sought-after. Further desirable traits include empathy, listening skills, the ability to gain the client's' trust, leadership and problem-solving skills, the ability to juggle independent duties and team-work, emotional resilience, good written and verbal communication skills, the ability to uphold patient confidentiality requirements, and basic IT skills. Volunteer work in a charity, school, nursing home or community group for vulnerable people is looked on favourably, as is any previous experience in health care.
Support Worker Job Market
Support workers have always been in great demand, but it seems the number of support worker jobs currently on the market has increased by over third as compared to those available in 2014. Support workers are usually assigned to the social services department of a local authority, but various organisations and charities also offer job opportunities.
Support Worker Job Salary Information
Depending on the type of support work involved and employer, the salary may start at around £17,000. Those who rise to managerial positions can earn £33,000 or thereabouts, but there is considerable variation from one field of expertise to the next, as well as where the worker is based.