A job in social care could see you working in schools, care homes, hospitals, prisons or youth centres. Find out more about the different careers on offer in this essential sector
Adult guidance worker
Also known as education guidance workers, personal advisers or welfare advisers, adult guidance workers explain what education, work or training options are available to people and help them to make informed choices.
Starting salaries range from £19,000 to £25,000. This job is open to graduates of all disciplines; entry without a degree or HDN is possible for those with relevant experience, as long as you're prepared to train on the job.
Gain an insight into the role of an adult guidance worker.
Work to provide free, impartial, confidential advice to clients on issues including debt, employment, housing, welfare and education. You'll work in advice and community centres, courts, doctors' surgeries and prisons.
While a degree isn't required, many advice workers possess a degree or postgraduate qualification.
Discover what it's like to work as an advice worker.
Responsible for the day-to-day running of a residential care setting such as elderly or nursing homes, children's homes, hospice care or supported housing you'll recruit staff, manage budgets and ensure quality care is provided.
While a degree isn't necessary, many care managers have management qualifications or go on to further study in their specialism. A nursing, social work or health and social care degree can increase your chances of entry.
Find out more about working as a care manager.
As a person of faith or particular philosophical beliefs you'll provide counselling and guidance to those in need in secular organisations. You could work in hospitals, care homes, schools, universities, prisons, in industry or community settings or the armed forces.
Aspiring chaplains usually have a degree in theology or religious studies and some are ordained within the Christian faith. However, you don't always need to be ordained to work as a chaplain.
Starting salaries are typically in the range of £22,500 to £25,000.
Read up on what it's like to work as a chaplain.
Social care jobs enable you to work with people of all ages. As a child psychotherapist you'll treat children and young people with depression, aggression, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, self-harming and psychosomatic disorders.
You'll need an honours degree to get onto one of the accredited training routes provided by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) or the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) as well as extensive experience of working with babies, children, young people or families.
Discover what you could earn as a child psychotherapist.
Cognitive behavioural therapist (CBT)
CBT practitioners use talking therapy to help clients suffering with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorders to overcome negative patterns of thinking and behaviour.
The job requires a degree in arts therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, psychotherapy or social work, as well as experience of working in mental health and a postgraduate CBT qualification.
Community arts worker
Jobs in social care also cover community roles such as a community arts worker, where you'll use art forms to engage with service users, including crafts, creative writing, dance, music, theatre and visual arts to support their development and improve their quality of life.
Look out for alternative job titles such as arts development officer, youth arts practitioner, and community projects assistant.
Take a look at the qualifications you'll need to become a community arts worker.
Community development worker
Helping communities to bring about social change and improve quality of life, you'll work to tackle inequality and set goals for improvement. You'll be the link between communities and other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.
This area of work is open to all graduates and those with an HND, but a degree or HND in social sciences may improve your chances.
Learn more about the salary of a community development worker.
Community education officer
Social care jobs often overlap with other sectors such as healthcare, and in this case teaching and education. As a community education officer you'll organise and promote participation in local education or training opportunities. You'll often be working in areas of social deprivation or high unemployment.
A degree, HND or foundation degree in community education, educational studies, English or communication studies, social sciences or youth work may improve your chances.
Read more about the role of a community education officer.
You'll use psychological theory and research to help clients with bereavement, domestic violence, relationship troubles, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosis. You'll work with children, adults, families and couples.
You'll need to undergo a high level of training to qualify. Find out more about the qualifications you need to become a counselling psychologist.
This social care job is all about helping people to explore feelings and emotions related to their experiences. The aim is to reduce a client's confusion and enable them to cope with challenges, or to make positive changes in their lives.
You don't need a degree or HND, as there are separate qualifications available at different levels.
Starting salaries vary but can be in the region of £20,000 to £26,000.
Using the performing arts, it's your job to create a safe environment in which patients can explore and address a range of personal and social difficulties. You'll use puppetry, role play and storytelling to help both children and adults express issues in a way that's easier than talking about them directly.
Professional postgraduate training is currently offered at four UK universities, including Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Derby. To gain entry onto a course, you'll need a degree in a performing arts or psychology-related subject, or other professional qualifications and relevant experience.
Find out more about becoming a dramatherapist.
Drug and alcohol worker
Helping people to tackle their drug and alcohol addiction, you'll assist clients in accessing counselling, healthcare and education and work irregular and unsocial hours, due to the on-call nature of the job.
There are no set entry requirements but experience of nursing, criminal justice, social care or youth work will be valuable.
Working with children and young people you'll help solve problems that hinder their successful learning and participation in school and other activities. You'll work in a variety of ways including observations, interviews and assessments and offer appropriate interventions, such as learning programmes and collaborative work with teachers or parents.
A further aspect to the job is research and advising on educational provisions and policies.
Discover more about the role of an educational psychologist.
Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
Working within community services you'll promote good relations and practices towards different minority groups. You'll support people who experience discrimination related to age, disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.
You can become an equality, diversity and inclusion officer with any degree subject, although qualifications in business and management, community or youth studies, human resources, law, psychology or social work may increase your chances.
For further information on skills and work experience see equality, diversity and inclusion officer.
Family support worker
Employed by social services, local authorities or charitable organisations you'll assist families who are experiencing difficulties by offering practical help and emotional support. You could help parents and children with social and personal issues, or specialise in a particular area, such as domestic abuse, bereavement or homelessness.
Entry routes are varied, although a combination of relevant experience and qualifications is usually required.
Read more about what it takes to become a family support worker.
High intensity therapist
Working for the NHS or a charitable organisation you'll support individuals of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are experiencing mental health conditions, in particular moderate to severe depression and anxiety.
Working environments can be stressful and challenging, as you'll help distressed people with high emotional demands. Therefore, supervision by colleagues is important.
Take a look at what qualifications you need to become a high intensity therapist.
Housing policy officer
There are a number of social care jobs that focus on housing. For example, a housing policy officer researches and develops policies for local authorities and housing associations. The work centres on affordable housing, homelessness or tenant participation. You'll need a relevant degree such as housing studies, town planning or social policy, or a professional qualification to enter the profession.
Your main responsibility is to develop a positive relationship with your clients in order to help them achieve their goals. This could be in a one-to-one setting or through group workshops, in areas such as career coaching, health and wellbeing and personal development.
You'll need a non-judgemental, motivational attitude and a creative approach to problem solving to tailor coaching to the individual or group. It's likely you'll be self-employed.
You'll need a relevant undergraduate degree, a postgraduate qualification and registration with appropriate professional bodies to become a play therapist. Working with children you'll use play as a communication tool to help them understand their world and to help them deal with emotional distress and trauma. The issues that you deal with may be related to abuse, divorce, violence, learning difficulties and psychological problems.
Find out what it's like to work as a play therapist.
Working for the National Probation Service (NPS) you'll manage offenders in order to protect the public and reduce the incidence of reoffending. You'll interact with offenders, victims, police and prison service colleagues and work with offenders in court, in the community and in custody to make communities safer.
Probation service officers (PSOs), new entrants to the profession, start on NPS pay band 3 and receive a salary of £22,039 to £27,373.
Providing support to those who have suffered from illness or are recovering from an accident, you may be required to help keep patients mobile through exercises or use of specialist equipment, carry out household tasks such as cooking and cleaning, or organise social activities for patients.
Entry routes are varied, but holding relevant professional qualifications is advantageous.
Sexual health worker
Working with individuals, couples or groups, you'll provide education and guidance on a range of sexual health topics, including the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), promoting good sexual health practices and offering counselling and support in emotionally difficult situations.
Relevant experience and a public health-related degree are needed to become a sexual health adviser.
You'll work with people and families to support them through difficult times and ensure that vulnerable people, including children and adults are safeguarded from harm. You'll work in a variety of settings such as homes, schools, hospitals or the premises of other public sector and voluntary organisations.
Social work is a graduate profession and you will need an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate qualification. Other fast-track entry routes are available - see social work courses and discover how to become a social worker.
For further information on what the profession involves, read more about becoming a social worker.
Working mainly in the public sector, you'll guide and support young people in their personal, social and educational development to help them reach their full potential.
Relevant work experience is vital, as is an undergraduate degree validated by the National Youth Agency (NYA). Professional training is also available at postgraduate level for those with a degree in a subject other than youth work.
Discover what else a youth worker does.
Find out more
- Search graduate jobs in social care.
- Search postgraduate courses in social care.
- Gain an overview of the social care sector.