Social work and caring services

Career outlook for playworker

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 plan, organise and take part in play and leisure activities for four to 16 year olds.

You'd help them have fun and to encourage them to develop their independence and self-esteem.

You could work at:

  • Breakfast clubs
  • After-school clubs
  • Mobile play buses
  • Holiday play schemes

You could do activities like art, crafts, cooking and drama and outdoor games. You might also take the children on outings.

You would:

  • Plan activities with the children
  • Organise play areas, materials and equipment
  • Give children the freedom to spend their leisure time in their own way
  • Encourage fair and caring behaviour among the children
  • Encourage independence and self-esteem
  • Talk to children about their concerns or worries
  • Deal with injuries and emergencies
  • Liaise with parents, carers, and other professionals
  • Keep records and look after small amounts of money

It would be important to make sure that the activities are safe. You’d encourage the children to be aware of their own safety and that of others. Being aware of equal opportunities issues would also be useful.

Lots of energy and a good sense of humour would really help you to do this job well, as would patience and tolerance.

You’d need to get on well with children, parents and carers.

Working conditions


You may work full-time or part-time. Most playwork is in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays.


You could work either indoors or outside, depending on location and the type of activity. Your work will usually be very active, and can involve joining in with things such as games and sports.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Building relationships
  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Social conscience
  • Self esteem
  • Taking responsibility

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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.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this work but some courses and employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers) 
  • Maths
  • Care
  • Childcare & development
  • Health & food technologies

You will also need

  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland
  • To be at least 17 years old, for entry to some courses

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show childcare abilities such as Skills for Work Early Education and Childcare (SCQF level 4/5) or the National Progression Award (NPA) in Playwork and Childcare.

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Playwork (SVQ level 2/3) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.

Relevant experience such as playworker volunteering.