You’re making a positive difference to people’s lives

You’ll support people to live independently, helping them with daily tasks such as getting out and about and developing or regaining skills. You may have experience of providing care for a family member, or you might just be the kind of person who wants a job that matters. Either way, you’re changing lives.

“The personal rewards you gain by making a difference to people’s lives is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Eilidh, Care Worker View Eilidh’s story

No two people are the same

In adult social care you’ll be working closely with individuals, supporting them to do the things that are important to them.

It’s not your standard 9-5 job

Some adult social care roles are shift or part-time, and so may fit around existing commitments you have.

You can gain the necessary qualifications on the job

All you need to start a career in adult social care are the right attributes and behaviours: understanding, empathy, commitment, respect and a willingness to learn. You will then develop your skills and gain qualifications. For most jobs you will need to register to become a member of the professional regulator, the SSSC, meaning you’ll work alongside thousands of social care professionals across Scotland – more on this below.

There is genuine career progression

For most roles you’ll need to gain relevant work-based qualifications within five years of starting your job (e.g. Scottish Vocational Qualifications, or SVQs), which show you have the skills and knowledge to make a difference in the sector.

You can also complete apprenticeships and other qualifications, including university degrees, while you work, and you can increase your responsibilities and skillset through specialised training. Plus, with opportunities to move into management or leadership roles, adult social care can be the gateway to an interesting and worthwhile career.

“You can progress in the service if you show you want to learn, and you are passionate about what you do. It’s a hugely rewarding profession to get into.”

Martin, Service Manager View Martin’s story

It’s incredibly rewarding

Supporting someone to live as full and independent a life as possible is incredibly rewarding. Each day you’re doing something truly worthwhile, so you can take pride in what you do.

Each day is different

Working to help different people with unique needs and personalities means that no two days are ever the same. You’ll build individual relationships with each person you meet and support.

You can use transferable skills

You may already have most of the skills you need for adult social care, and you’ll learn even more whilst working. If you treat people with respect, listen to their needs, and are patient and understanding, that’s a great start.

You don’t need any previous experience in adult social care

Whether your employment background is in retail, tourism, manufacturing or any other industry, it’s the transferable skills that count for a career in adult social care. As long as you can bring the right qualities and values to the role, you can begin working in adult social care.

Once you get started, you’ll find that professionalism is at the heart of the sector, and your CV will come to reflect this. You’ll need to register as an adult social care worker with the SSSC within six months of starting most jobs. You’ll also work to the SSSC Codes of Practice, and complete the required qualifications within five years of registering.

You can handle a challenge

Some of the people you’ll help will have complex needs, and at times the job can be demanding and tiring. If you can show patience and compassion to people, even when you’re low on energy, then this could be a career where you can make a real difference to people’s lives.

“You need to want to help people and be compassionate but I would definitely tell people to just go for it. You’ll never look back.”

Sara, Mental Health Service Worker View Sara’s story

You’ll be paid the Real Living Wage

All adult social care workers, regardless of age, will be paid as a minimum the Real Living Wage for all hours worked.