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Youth Worker


Job Description

Youth Workers will support and empower young people often from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them improve their personal and social development. They will organise activities, give advice, run drop-in centres and may act as a mentor or counsellor.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You can complete an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship in youth work.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You can do a professional youth work qualification, like a degree that is recognised by the National Youth Agency.

Subjects include:

  • youth and community
  • community and youth studies
  • youth and theology
  • informal and community education

If you have a degree in another subject, you can take a postgraduate qualification to give you professional youth worker status.

You'll also need relevant experience to get on to a degree or postgraduate course.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

Click here to search for a suitable course.


You could start as a part-time or volunteer youth support worker and complete on-the-job training to use as entry on to a degree course to get professionally qualified.

Direct Application

You can apply for youth work jobs if you've got relevant experience and qualifications, for example in teaching, careers guidance, probation or community development.

You'll be expected to complete a postgraduate award in youth work while you're working.

Career Tips

It's important that you get experience of paid or unpaid work with young people. You'll often need at least 1 year's experience to apply for professional youth work courses and jobs.

Find out about local opportunities for voluntary or part-time youth work through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations or by contacting your local authority youth service.

You'll need to pass a enhanced background checks.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could take on a more specialist role in an area like mental health. You could also become a team leader or manager.

Other options are to gain further qualifications and move into social work, teaching, community development or counselling.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Community arts worker
  • Community development worker
  • Education welfare officer

Required Skills

  • Excellent communication
  • interpersonal and listening skills
  • creativity
  • the ability to earn trust and build good relationships
  • to be able to work closely with other professionals such as police, teachers, social workers
  • a non-judgmental attitude
  • patience and understanding
  • enthusiasm and motivation
  • strong self-management skills

Salary Range

£23,250 to £37,500

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