How to become a Carer

What do they do?

The main role of a Care Worker is to provide support to a person in need of care, improving their lives by attending to their specific needs, and assisting them with their daily tasks.

Care Workers may find themselves working with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or learning difficulties. However, key duties will usually include:

  • Working with clients, their families and other professionals to identify their particular needs, and develop a care plan
  • Providing personal care to clients depending on these needs (assisting them with washing/feeding/dressing etc.)
  • Aiding a client with other every day or physical tasks, such as shopping, cooking or studying
  • Providing emotional support to clients and their families
  • Keeping the client comfortable and at ease at all times

Is being a carer right for me?

Some key skills you should have as a Care Worker include:

  • A passion to work in the care industry, helping people on a daily basis regardless of their background, age or the issues they face
  • A positive, enthusiastic attitude
  • Ability to approach sensitive situations with tact and confidentiality
  • Respectful of your clients’ homes, ways of living and requirements
  • Ability to use your own initiative and work as a team
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and act as per your training
  • Excellent understanding of health, safety and cleanliness.

Qualifications

Formal qualifications are not essential in becoming a carer, however, they do help with job prospects and future progression. They also help you to carry out your role more efficiently and provide higher quality care.

However, most employers would prefer you to have some First Aid skills and an NVQ in Health and Social Care, Levels 2 and 3. These courses would prepare you to work in Adult Social Care, teaching you to support individuals with learning difficulties and awareness of dementia. Care Workers often need to travel to many locations within the day, therefore you’ll also need an EU driving license.

Beyond these qualifications, experience is crucial; so securing volunteer work will pay off in the long run. You’ll also need background checks, such as a medical check and a criminal record check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

As an alternative route into care working, some individuals train through an apprenticeship care scheme, where you’d train as a care assistant for around £6-7 per hour.

What would my starting salary likely be?

As a Care Worker, you can expect to start on around £12,000 – £16,000 per year, depending on location. Once you get more experience and qualifications under your belt, you may see your salary rise to £18,000 – £21,000 per year. In some cases, accommodation may be provided on the job and if you are working overtime, for example on evening or weekend work, you may find your rate is higher per hour.

References

Reed.co.uk (2019) How to become a Care Worker. Available at: https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/how-to-become-a-care-worker/

Accessed: 13th January 2019

CV Library (2019) How to become a Care Worker. Available at: https://www.cv-library.co.uk/career-advice/start/career-guides/become-care-worker/

Accessed: 13th January 2019.