Care home practitioner

Residential support worker
Social work and caring services

Career outlook for care home practitioner

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would provide care and support to adults living in care homes and help them lead happy and fulfilling lives.  

Your work would involve supporting someone to complete daily tasks and leisure activities. You might also take an active role in organising and reviewing someone’s care – this would be as a key worker.

You would be responsible for writing support plans, which describe how someone wants to be cared for.  

Everyone you support would have different personalities and preferences. You’d make sure each person’s support plan was accurate, up to date and individual to them.       

There are different groups of people you could work with. Most care homes support older people but others might specialise in supporting younger adults. 

Depending on the people you work with you would: 

  • check each person’s needs and keep records of their progress 
  • review support plans and find ways to improve someone’s care 
  • create a safe and positive living environment 
  • provide personal care, such as helping people wash, go to the toilet, dress and eat 
  • arrange leisure and creative activities 
  • promote opportunities for people to learn new skills 
  • help with daily living skills such as shopping and dealing with money 
  • liaise with people’s families and arrange family and home visits 

You would work in a team with other health and social care professionals. You’d also work in partnership with other agencies including the NHS and local authority. It will be important to maintain good relationships with family members and carers. 

Most positions will pay an hourly wage, though some may be salaried 

With experience, you could be promoted to a care service supervisor role and lead a team or manage a budget. 

Working conditions


In a full-time job you would typically work around 37 to 40 hours a week, often on a shift rota including weekends, evenings and sleep-in duties. You may also be on call at times. Part-time work and job sharing are widely available.


You would work in an adult care home. The work can be challenging as you may be supporting people with unpredictable behaviour. Each day will be different and there will be opportunities to do a range of activities inside and outside the care home.


You may also spend time out in the community doing activities with residents. A driving licence could be useful.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Resilience
  • Cooperating
  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Social conscience
  • Attention to detail

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

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You’ll need an SVQ in Social Services and Healthcare (SCQF Level 7). You can work towards this qualification on the job or through a Modern Apprenticeship. Your employer would support you with time to complete your qualification.    

You can also enter this role by completing an HNC in Social Services (SCQF Level 7) at college. 

You will also need

You would register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and have approved membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

A driving licence is useful and may be required for some roles.

Helpful to have

Experience in a care-related job such as a care support worker. 

Qualifications and experience that show caring for people such as Skills for Work Health & Social Care (SCQF level 6) or Volunteering skills Award (SCQF levels 2-4).

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Social Services & Healthcare / Healthcare Support (SVQ level 2/3) if employed by NHS Scotland or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.