What else can a residential care home assistant do?

Clare, 19, earns £13,000 as a residential care home assistant, with an NVQ level 2 in health and social care. She is aiming for a public or voluntary sector career.

1 Clare might develop a career in the third sector as a project worker for a charity that cares for people who have mental health problems and are homeless. She would be expected to help support clients to live independently and work with them to develop their support plans, with the aim of aiding their recovery. It is a challenging and rewarding job, with significant responsibility, and she would earn £22,522.

2 Working for an acute hospital trust is something that would open up a range of career options. As a healthcare assistant on a surgical orthopaedic ward, she would care for patients alongside the nursing team. She would be trained to NVQ level 3 and would become an assistant practitioner. She could expect to earn up to £16,333, and could also be funded in future to complete a relevant foundation degree.

3 Community pharmacy is changing fast as pharmacists’ clinical roles are expanding. Clare might be taken on as an advanced apprentice and be trained to become a pharmacy technician. She would dispense medicines and provide advice and information to patients, and could expect to be paid around £80 a week. A qualified technician earns between £16,800 and £20,300.

4 Clare might decide to take the first step towards becoming a qualified social worker. There is a recruitment crisis in the sector at the moment so she might start off as a local authority social work assistant, supporting qualified social workers and earning from around £15,000. Her council employer might sponsor her to complete the social worker degree.

5 Clare might stay with her employer if it invested in her professional development. She might ask it to pay for her to complete a NVQ level 3 in health and social care and a NVQ level 4 in leadership and management for care services, which could open the door to management opportunities in the residential care sector. It is a good move as there is an explosion of extended care developments so her career options are wide. Care home managers’ salaries start at around £20,000.