The care sector is hugely diverse, and there are many ways to develop your career in care.
Those who pursue careers in care can specialise in areas such as dementia care and end-of-life care and often progress to become team leaders or care managers. Senior carers can progress to managerial or leadership roles.
Carers can gain vocational diplomas through levels 1 to 7 and have the choice of switching to degree-level study to pursue careers in nursing, occupational therapy, healthcare and more.
Here are some tips to help you progress your career in care.
Start with vocational care qualifications
While no formal qualifications are required to become a carer, vocational qualifications can be obtained through on-the-job training combined with academic training through online courses or college-based courses.
Gaining a Level 2 qualification in Adult Care or Health and Social Care is a good starting point. Level 3 provides a solid platform to explore specialised pathways such as dementia care and end-of-life care. Level 3 qualifications are broadly equivalent to A-Levels.
Health and Social Care is a flexible qualification for those who may want to work with both adults and children.
Adult Care provides the opportunity for specialism in learning disabilities, dementia care, end-of-life care, residential care and domiciliary care.
Specialised care qualifications
After gaining a Level 3 qualification, those wishing to progress their career in care should look for a Level 4, equivalent to the first year of a bachelor’s degree. Level 5 is equivalent to the second year.
These courses equip individuals for advanced roles in care, including management, administrative and leadership roles. In addition, specialists in domiciliary care can consider the Champions for Home Care (CHAMPS) course.
Degrees for carers
Carers can also study for degrees in health and social care in Health and Social Care. Additionally, some universities offer ‘Top Up’ degrees for those who’ve already gone down the diploma route. These allow carers to pursue care-oriented roles in nursing or other nursing or healthcare roles.
There are many academic pathways to pursuing careers in care, such as nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, social work and many other healthcare-related fields.
Leadership roles in care
Level 6 and Level 7 diplomas are designed for management and leadership roles in care.
The Level 6 diploma is equivalent to an undergraduate degree, whereas the Level 7 is equivalent to a master’s. Level 7 is an intensive qualification which requires around 1200 hours of total qualification time.
Senior care practitioners can progress to a Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care (ProfD HaSC). This high-level interdisciplinary research programme was designed to meet the requirements of senior care practitioners wishing to develop evidence-led strategies in their own areas of expertise.
Developing your career as a care worker
Care workers can progress from fundamental Level 1 and Level 2 training to doctor-level qualifications. There are numerous opportunities for specialism along the way.
The care industry is more diverse than ever, and there are so many opportunities to develop your career. View current vacancies to begin your career in care.