We love welcoming new carers to Florence Flex, and we're often asked how people can get started in this rewarding career.
Here's all the info you need to become a care worker, without any previous experience.
What is a care worker?
Care workers play such an important role in society.
As a carer, your job is to care for our most vulnerable; including young children, disabled adults and the elderly.
A care worker is a trained professional who helps vulnerable people with their daily lives, with work that can include cooking, cleaning, socialising, medical and physical support. Some carers work in care homes and some work in clients' homes.
Your aim is to improve your clients' quality of life by making sure their needs are met.
It’s important to remember that being a carer isn’t for everyone; it’s mentally and physically challenging but it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Find out more about what a carer does in a care home here
What kind of person should become a carer?
When considering becoming a carer you’ll need to have a think about what skills are needed.
A good carer first and foremost needs to have a desire to help people. Clients may be very anxious, or even aggressive, so it’s important to have patience and strong communication skills.
A good sense of humour and a kind, friendly nature will also take you far. This will help you build a sense of trust with your client and those who are close to them.
How do you become a carer?
If this sounds like you, then you should definitely consider becoming a carer. The great news is that you can start the role without any formal qualifications such as GCSEs, A-Levels or a degree.
That being said, it’s always a help to have official qualifications.
Some qualifications you might want to think about getting are:
- First Aid skills
- An NVQ in Health and Social Care Levels 2 and 3.
These courses teach you how to support people who have learning difficulties and older adults with dementia. These will be a massive help when you become a carer.
Find courses near you using the government website
Training while working as a carer
When you start as a carer you’ll need to complete a 12-week induction scheme called ‘The Care Certificate’. You'll do this alongside your work, and it involves both written and practical learning.
This is to make sure you understand safeguarding, equality, inclusion and health and safety.
Once you’ve got your Care Certificate, you'll be able to do areas of your work unsupervised, though you may still be supervised for work not covered already by the Certificate.
Getting the Care Certificate shows you’re hitting the standard of care required in the UK.
As a carer you’ll always be learning and as your career progresses you’ll regularly need to complete other pieces of more specialised training.
What’s a carer's salary in the UK?
The average starting salary for a carer is £12,000-£16,000 depending on where you’re working in the country.
As you become more experienced and complete more qualifications such as a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care, or a degree in Social Work or Nursing, your salary can go up to £18,000-£21,000.
In some contracts accommodation and food can be included, you can also earn more by working overtime. If you move to a more supervisory role such as a Lead Care Worker or managing people or services it can go up even higher to around the £25,000 a year mark.
How do you find work as a carer?
When you have more experience as a carer, you’ll be able to pick up shifts in different places if you join an agency or use the Florence Flex app.
You can also find out more about government support for carers here.
How can Florence help?
Once you’ve completed six months’ employment as a carer you can join Florence Flex to take back control of your shifts, pay and the locations you work.
Florence Flex is free to use. Sign up and you’ll have a huge choice of shifts available to you.
Each shift page includes a description of the job, location and pay so you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
Find out more about Florence Flex here.
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