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FAQs: Health and Social Care

18th May 22

FAQs: Health and Social Care

Maybe you’re interested in working as an adult carer but aren’t sure if you have the right qualifications. Or you are looking to change career and want to know what the health and social care sector has to offer?

No matter whether you’re researching for the future or have finished an online course and need to figure out your next steps, there are probably a lot of questions flying around in your head. That’s why this blog exists; to address and answer your questions about health and social care and careers in this field, to help you find your way. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the health and social care sector!

What is Health and Social Care?

Short answer: A service that prioritises the health and well-being of society

Health and social care is an umbrella term for all the different services that are available from health and social care providers, in both the public (NHS) and private sectors. This can range from services that treat ill health, to those that focus on patient well-being and their non-clinical needs.

Healthcare covers all medical care provided in GP surgeries and hospitals, whereas social care is more community-orientated and includes counselling clinics and home care visits. Of course, there is a lot of crossovers between the two, which is why they’re grouped together as a health and social care sector.

Social Care Workers often work with healthcare professionals to implement the correct rehabilitation or care plan for sick or vulnerable people. The aim of health and social care roles is to assess and help those with physical and mental difficulties (e.g. the elderly or disabled) by providing them with:

This is to ensure that these individuals are living to the highest standard possible.

With this knowledge, you should be able to confidently claim to others ‘this is my understanding of the health and social care sector’.

care home residents playing games

Are there Many Jobs in Health and Social Care?

Short answer: Yes

There is a vast array of career avenues to pursue within the health and social care sector, depending on your interests. The following job roles within health and social care sectors, amongst many others, would be available to you upon completion of the relevant health and social care qualification:

  • Youth Worker
  • Adult Nurse
  • Care Worker
  • Family Support Officer
  • Social Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Occupational Therapist

There is also the opportunity to specialise in the health and social care field. For example, you can specialise in:

  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Dementia care
  • Work with a specific age group, such as young adults

To develop a specialism, you will need to study at degree or postgraduate level qualification and may need to pass specialised training exams. However, other specialisations can be gained through experience and years in service.

For more information on the different careers within the sector, check out our blog 8 Different Roles You Could Have in Health and Social Care. This will give you an overview of 8 different job roles, what they entail and whether it’s a direct care, support, or professional role.

carer talking to elderly man

What Qualifications Do I Need for a Job in Social Care?

Short answer: A diploma, undergraduate degree, or postgraduate degree

The answer to this largely depends on the job roles in the health and social care sector that you’re applying for. Most entry-level social care roles require a minimum of a Level 3 diploma-level qualification in social care.

To qualify for these roles, it will take you as long as the time spent completing your course. For example, learndirect’s Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care (RQF) Level 3 would qualify you for a range of job roles within health and social care sectors. including that of a:

  • Care Worker
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Social Care Practitioner

An RQF qualification is:

  • Government-backed
  • Recognised nationwide
  • Respected by employers

It’s the perfect course to kickstart your career in health and social care.

For professional social care roles, such as that of a Social Worker or Occupational Therapist, specialised training to undergraduate or postgraduate level is required, along with membership to a specific professional body.

Gaining the qualifications for these roles can take up to 4 years depending on the programme you’re on and you will need to have passed qualifications to gain entry on to these programmes. If you’re looking for a professional role but haven’t got the right qualifications to apply for university, then learndirect’s Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Care) can help you to get on to the required university degree to qualify for your dream health and social care career.

Our other Access to HE Diplomas in a science or social science subject can also be useful for certain health and social care career paths.

If I Become a Social Care Worker, Where Will I Work?

Short answer: In different work settings depending on your job role

Social Care Workers can work in a variety of different environments, from hospitals to prisons. The working environment depends hugely on the job role and level. For example, if you’re a newly qualified Carer or Personal Assistant, you will spend a lot of time in people’s homes, assisting people within their local area.

However, if you’re in a senior role as a Consultant, or work in a professional social care role as a Counsellor, you are likely to be based permanently in an office or clinic. Other working environments can include:

  • Schools
  • Care homes
  • Charity organisations
  • Child welfare and human service agencies
  • Healthcare clinics and GP surgeries

carer talking to elderly woman

How Much Does a Social Care Worker Earn?

Short answer: £21,000 per annum on average

This depends on the job role within the health and social care sector, but we have outlined the average figures below:

  • Average salary for a job in health and social care - £21,000 per annum
  • Carers - £15,000 per annum
  • Family Support Officer – Between £18,000 and £24,000 per annum
  • Occupational Therapist - £58,000 per annum depending on their skills and knowledge
  • Newly qualified Social Worker - £22,000 per annum
  • Experienced Social Worker – up to £40,000 per annum
  • Newly qualified Counsellor - £22,000 per annum
  • Experienced Counsellor – up to £40,000 per annum

Begin Your Career Journey Towards the Health and Social Care Sector

So, have your burning questions been answered? Are you keen to pursue job roles within health and social care sectors? Well, let us help you begin this journey! Contact one of our Course Executives on 01202 006 464 to discover online courses that will get you prepared for health and social care jobs.

Alternatively, reach out to the team online or click below to learn more about what we can offer you!

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