Job type

Youth worker

£18k - £33k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Youth workers advise and support young people aged 11 to 25, organising activities to help with personal and social development.

More info

  • Work to help vulnerable young people to live happy, successful lives in their community
  • You'll need to be a good listener, have excellent communication skills and organisational skills
  • Work to become a team leader or move into social work or education with further training and study

Being a youth worker is rewarding but challenging work, helping young people who may be experiencing difficulties to succeed.


  • Organise sports, arts, education and drama activities
  • Counselling
  • Work with young carers or those at risk of offending
  • Run projects that deal with issues like health, bullying, crime or drugs
  • Manage volunteers and part-time workers
  • Keep records and control budgets
  • Apply for grants and funding
  • Work with social workers, teachers, probation officers and the police


You'll usually work for a local authority's youth services team or for youth offending teams, charities or community groups. You could also work as a 'detached youth worker', making contact with young people in parks, shopping centres and on the street.

You could be based at a school, local youth club, community centre, or faith centre like a church or mosque. 

You'll need

You'll need excellent communication and listening skills, empathy and emotional resilience, motivational skills, organisational and planning skills.

To qualify for this role you can do a professional youth work qualification, like a degree that is recognised by the National Youth Agency.

Subjects include youth and community, community and youth studies, youth and theology, informal and community education.
Or, if you have a degree in another subject, you can take a postgraduate qualification to give you professional youth worker status.

You'll also need some relevant experience to get on to a degree or postgraduate course.

Alternatively, you could start by doing an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship in youth work or doing a college course like a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice. This would give you an advantage when you apply for a job as a youth support worker. You would then take further training on the job. You'll also need to pass a background check.

It's important that you get experience of paid or unpaid work with young people. You'll often need at least 1 year's experience to apply for professional youth work courses and jobs.

Find out about local opportunities for voluntary or part-time youth work through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations or by contacting your local authority youth service.


With experience, you could become a team leader. You could also move into social work, teaching, counselling, or pastoral care.