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How to Start a Career as a Carer

Sharmain Zain
Reading time: 3 min

If you are a people person and feel real satisfaction when looking after others, then a career as a carer might be the one for you. As the numbers of vulnerable people continue to increase, the demand for carers has also never been higher and will continue to grow as the population expands. Caring can be hard work but is also an extremely rewarding one making a positive difference in people’s lives.

The main role of a carer is to support people in need, from children to the elderly, who may have physical or mental difficulties. Support is achieved through improving their lives and assisting them with their needs and day to day tasks. Some examples of this include personal care, helping with shopping and home duties, emotional support and companionship, developing care plans with clients, families and official professionals.

Is Caring Right For Me?

Caring is a challenging but rewarding job that has good job security and career prospects but it is not for everyone. More than a desire for money and a career, some key attributes that make a good career include:

  • Enjoy working with people
  • Be friendly and pleasant
  • Patient and resilient
  • Sensitive to different needs
  • Calm under pressure
  • Enjoy problem solving
  • Building relationships with people

Job Specifics

A junior carer will usually start off on a salary of around £14,000 and this can increase to £18,000 – £24,000 depending on further upskilling and specialist training. Agency work is also very common for carers and may work out better if you are looking for flexible or part time work. Agency carer work can pay around £7-12 per hour depending on the assignment.

How do You Become Qualified?

It can be a competitive industry especially for the higher paying jobs so the more qualified you can become the better. The first thing you must complete is the Care Certificate. This sets out an array of standards that must be met and adhered to to conduct social work. Though other formal qualifications are not required they will help you progress through your career and aid with your job prospects. They will also make you a more competent carer and you will potentially be able to make clients lives even better. These course can be done through third party trainers but often a care agency or an employer will provide them. Some common courses include –

  • Epilepsy Awareness
  • Record Keeping
  • Basic Life Support
  • Dementia Awareness
  • Stroke Awareness
  • Dignity in Care

Some agencies, or jobs may require a carer to have completed specific training courses as the clients have a particular need that needs knowledge and confidence dealing with. Moving and Handling is also almost always required when working in care homes. Caring is a personally rewarding job that offers the chance to enhance the lives of vulnerable people. It offers good career security so all the best if you choose this path in life.

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