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Working as a support worker can be a very rewarding career. Support worker jobs involve helping vulnerable people live healthy, happy lives. Support worker employers and jobs can be found in a variety of different sectors, in both the pubic and private sectors. These sectors can include social services, education and not-for-profit organisations. Local councils, private businesses and the NHS are all major support worker employers.
Most support worker jobs do not require you to have any previous experience or formal qualifications, with most support worker employers providing extensive on-the-job training. Working as a support worker will enable you to learn new skills, whilst also providing an excellent opportunity to enter the huge UK healthcare sector. Keep reading to learn more about working as a support worker, what is involved and what you need.
Working as a support worker will involve you carrying out a variety of different duties. You will be working with vulnerable patients and helping to improve their lives on a daily basis. Support worker jobs will involve working both as part of a team and independently, and in a variety of different environments, including hospitals, day centre, care homes and a patient’s own home.
Furthermore, there are many different areas to choose from, including family support workers, mental health support workers and community support workers. Whilst daily duties will differ depending on where and which sector you are working as a support worker, there are some general duties that support worker employers will expect you to carry out, including:
- Providing emotional support to patients and their families
- Helping patients with everyday tasks, such as dressing, feeding and shopping
- Taking health measurements and administrating medication
- Providing support in areas including education, physical activities and paying bills
For entry-level support worker jobs, most employers will not require you to have any formal qualifications or previous experience. This is because most support worker jobs feature extensive on-the-job training. On top of this, many support worker employers will encourage you to gain industry qualifications which will enable you to take on more responsibilities and develop your career.
Whilst some support worker employers may require previous experience in a similar role, or in customer services, many do not require this for entry-level positions. In terms of the skill sets required by those working as a support worker, these will include having a caring and friendly nature, staying calm in sometimes stressful situations and be able to work as a member of a much larger team.
For those working as a support worker, there will be many opportunities to learn new skills that can be easily transferred to other roles within the healthcare sector. Many support worker employers will provide you with training so that you can take on more senior roles. Support worker jobs can lead to positions such as team leader and service manager.
Of course, many people who begin working as a support worker go on to specialise in areas such as mental health. In terms of starting salary, most support worker employers will offer salaries of between £16,000 – £21,000, with this depending on factors including your experience, age, the sector you are looking to enter and the location.
Working as a support worker can be very rewarding, both on a personal and career level. Helping people on a daily basis, you will have great job satisfaction knowing that are making a real difference to many people’s lives. You will also be working with dedicated professionals and learning news skills every day.
The healthcare sector is very strong, and incredibly varied, providing you with many opportunities to further your career when working as a support worker. Flexible hours, opportunities to work in many different towns and cities and great long-term stability are some of the other reasons why an increasing number of people can be found working as a support worker.