Working in social care with a degree (or similar)

With a degree, you could become a fully qualified social care professional, such as a social worker or a probation officer.

You will have a case load of clients to support. Some care providers have graduate entry programmes in the management of care services. You could become an operational manager of a service or work in the head office.

Example jobs

Mental health social worker
Working with clients with mental health issues, assessing their support needs.

Child protection social worker
Supporting children and families, safeguarding children.

Probation officer
Working with offenders in and out of prison to address offending behaviour.

Care services manager
Running a care home or service, managing staff, ensuring high standards of care.  

Case study

I get real satisfaction from knowing that I have helped the young person and their family get the support they need...

Adam Slavin, social worker

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay level graph

Typical working conditions

  • The work can be fast-paced and demanding.
  • You are likely to be office-based, but many jobs involve travelling to see clients and to meetings.
  • Some jobs are based in prisons or hostels.

Qualifications needed

To become a social worker, you will need a degree in social work (or a Masters if you have a degree in another subject). You will need to have some experience of care work. Probation officers need a diploma in probation work.
You need to be caring, while able to stay detached and professional. You need to be resilient in order to deal with other people’s problems.

Career path

As you gain more experience as a social worker or probation officer, you can progress to a more senior level and become a team leader. You could choose to become a specialist in your area of practice. You might progress to a management role, where you organise and monitor services. In a senior role, you would have no direct contact with clients.

Useful links

Pearson is not responsible for content on external websites.

British Association of Social Workers

Health & Care Professions Council

National Probation Service