How to become a
Youth Worker

Estimated salary £26,000
Top location Greater London

Evolution of a Youth Worker

Youth Worker


2-3 Years

Senior Youth Worker


3-5 Years

Team Leader or Manager


5-7 Years

What's it really like?

Is it right for me?

  • You’re someone who cares about young people, wants to make a difference in their lives and help prepare them for the future.

  • You’re a natural listener and an excellent communicator, after all you might need to work through problems with potentially vulnerable people.

  • You’re supportive and non-judgmental while being empathic to the issues and concerns of young people. Perhaps you remember your struggles as a youth?

  • You have strong interpersonal, social and people skills and can to apply these towards developing strong professional relationships in the community.

Necessary Qualifications

  • Though there are formally no educational requirements, qualifications are often expected. There are multiple routes into Youth work, but experience, attitude and desire to help are all taken into account.

  • Consider taking a youth work qualification such as City & guild Level 2-3 or a diploma in youth work practice, offered by ABC Awards

  • If you have recently left school (or are considering a career change) you might want to look at youth work apprenticeships as you will be able to gain qualifications while working.

  • In order to be considered a “professional youth worker,” you will need to have a degree in a relevant subject such as BA (HONs) Youth work. Just make sure that your course JNC recognised.

  • There are postgraduate qualifications such a diplomas or Master’s degrees if your undergraduate degree is not in youth work. Once again, you should always check that these courses are recognized.

Additional Experience

  • Experience working with young people is usually required. This can be gained via educational qualifications, or by volunteering.

  • A clean DBS check is always needed as you will be working with children. However, some employers may be able to negotiate on spent convictions.

  • You will need to be able to demonstrate increasing levels of responsibility when it comes to working with young people, especially for more specialised roles and counselling positions.

  • As many youth workers gain their experience through voluntary roles, some full-time paid work experience is also useful, even if this is in an unrelated field such as retail or admin.

Day to day

  • You’ll work either for a local authority, charity or voluntary group and provide a variety of youth services to eligible children, or those who wish to access services.

  • Your work will take place in a variety of possible areas, such as bullying, relationships, sexual health, violence, gangs, drugs and other areas.

  • You will listen to young people, be receptive to the problems they face, and engage with them via mentoring and counselling.

  • Potentially working for a variety of organisations such as local authorities, or charities, your aim will be to progress the personal development of young people in order to set them up for education, work, place and the wider world.

  • Be a source of advice, information, experience and counsel for young people who may be experiencing a variety of personal and social problems.

  • Review your performance, complete administrative tasks such as paper work, record keeping and keep individuals such as parents and community organisations up to date.

  • Possible involvement in fundraising work, pursing grants and other sources of funding in to keep projects operating.

Related article

How to become a
Support Worker

Estimated salary £17,000
Top location South East

Evolution of a Support Worker



1 - 2 years

Senior Support


2 years



5+ years

What's it really like?

Is it right for me?

  • You love offering your help and support to others.

  • You’re passionate about helping people to live a fulfilling life.

  • Listening is one of your strongest skills and you are able to empathise with others easily.

  • Ability to clearly communicate with others.


  • There aren’t any particular qualifications that recruiters will look out for. But they do want to know that you’re passionate about helping people.

  • Qualifications in Health and Social care will make you stand out form other applicants.

Additional Experience

  • Past experience as a carer.

  • Managing individuals or small teams effectively and with care.

Day to day

  • Assessing the needs of your clients and creating care plans.

  • Providing emotional support by listening to their concerns.

  • Helping with domestic tasks (e.g. cooking, shopping, washing).

  • Encouraging clients to be physically active by helping them take part in leisure activities.

  • Counselling people through very difficult periods in their life.

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