- Making a difference to children and young people by helping them to turn their lives around and shape a more positive future for themselves and others.
- Following children and families on their journeys and seeing their progress.
What are the challenges?
- Seeing, working with, and hearing about unpleasant situations that people you are helping are going through can be difficult and upsetting. It requires great resilience, but some can find great reward in helping others move through these situations.
- Working with children or young people who present challenging behaviour. Whilst you will receive full training on how to appropriately manage difficult behaviour, it can still be a daunting experience at times.
How much will I earn?
As a Youth Support Worker, you could earn up to £25,000, whilst professional Youth Workers usually earn upwards of £30,000, depending on experience.
Are there opportunities to progress?
Some professional Youth Workers continue on to become Youth Service Managers, who can earn up to £40,000.
How do I get started?
If you would like to become a professional Youth Worker, there are a few different routes you can take.
Complete an undergraduate Degree
The most direct route to becoming a professional Youth Worker if you don’t have any previous experience or qualifications is to complete an undergraduate degree in youth work or youth studies – one that is recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA). This will usually take three years full time.
You’ll also need to try and gain some experience alongside your studies if you want to increase your chances of applying for professional youth work roles when you graduate i.e. by volunteering at a local youth club or organisation. Once qualified, you could work at a local youth club, community centre or religious centre running activities or drop in services where in addition to your training, you’ll also need to have good business sense as you’ll often be managing budgets and applying for grants in order to fund these activities and services.
It’s important to remember that whilst degree courses do cost, there is often help available in the form or grants, loans and bursaries, depending on your individual circumstances. It’s best to contact each course provider directly to find out what your options might be. Sadly, it’s worth pointing out that frustratingly, Government funded postgraduate loans currently have an age cut off of 60. Something we simply cannot understand.
If you already have a degree in another subject, then you may be able to apply for a postgraduate degree instead, which is usually one year full time.