There are no national salary scales available, unless you are employed by a local authority or healthcare trust. Even then, variations exist between jobs, employers and regions. Look at your local authority's website for an indication of pay.
Some employers offer 'golden hellos' or enhancements, such as a car user allowance (including car lease schemes) or help with child care.
Working hours are normally around 37 hours per week. If you work as a residential care social worker, regular unsocial hours are normal practice.
The work is office based, but with frequent visits to service users.
The sector in which you work and the structure of your organisation will affect how you operate. You may be the main professional working with the client but, increasingly, you will be part of a multidisciplinary team, working alongside other professionals such as occupational and speech therapists, and psychiatric or community nurses.
Part-time work, job shares and career breaks are commonly possible.
Currently, there is generally a high percentage of women in lower grade posts and a high percentage of men in senior positions. However, this varies according to specialism.
Jobs are available in most areas, although this depends on the size of the local population and the particular social work specialism.
There is currently a shortage of qualified social workers, especially in children's and family services.
The nature of social work practice can be both emotionally rewarding and demanding. Working conditions are often under-resourced and heavy caseloads are common.
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