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Care assistant jobs: frequently asked questions
Welcome to our care assistant jobs page, featuring all the latest roles throughout the UK, as well as frequently asked questions below.
What do care assistants do?
Care assistants go by many names – care workers, carers, or sometimes even healthcare assistants.
They tend to work in care homes and other community settings, and sometimes directly in people’s homes.
People supported include the elderly, and people with mental health challenges or physical disabilities.
What duties do care assistants perform?
Typical tasks include:
• Supporting everyday tasks like washing, dressing, eating and drinking
• Getting to know the people you support to tailor your care
• Regular health checks and monitoring
• Assisting with administering medication
• Organising activities for groups and individuals
Shift patterns vary and are normally quite flexible – and will often include evenings, weekends and some bank holidays.
What do you need to do to become a care assistant?
To become a care assistant you don’t need any formal qualifications. Some A-C GCSEs might be beneficial, but it isn’t always demanded.
Instead, providers look for people with the right personal skills: compassion, patience and resilience. It’s also a role that suits the kind of people who want to work unusual hours and flexible shift work. Care homes are a 24-hour operation so flexibility on both sides is important.
Some care assistants have a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care which can help to advance your career. However, this isn’t normally required for first positions.
What is a typical salary for a care assistant?
The majority of care homes are operated privately rather than by the NHS – and that means that salaries aren’t regulated in the same way. Therefore, a typical or average salary is hard to pinpoint.
The best estimate suggests average hourly rates are around £8.30, and average annual salaries are somewhere between £15,000 and £17,000.
These vary regionally too, with salaries higher in London and the South East.
Many care assistants choose to gain the skills and qualifications necessary to become support workers or social workers, which will normally result in higher rates of pay.
And salaries will naturally increase over time. However, the extent of these increases is unpredictable. It’s hoped that care worker pay will improve in the coming years, with the pandemic drawing attention to a lack of financial reward for what is vital and often undervalued work.
Find your next care assistant job today
Check out our latest roles above – but if you can’t find the right position, register your CV and we’ll be in touch with relevant roles as we get them.