Social workers


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2017


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2015


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Social workers provide information, advice and support to those who are socially excluded or are experiencing crisis; they protect the welfare of vulnerable groups including children, young people, people with disabilities, elderly people and people who are mentally or physically ill, and they may specialise in specific areas of work.


Social work is a regulated profession and practitioners must be registered with the appropriate statutory body. To register a social worker must satisfy the criteria for registration. Non-graduates must undertake a three-year degree in social work; graduates with relevant experience may take a two-year postgraduate diploma/Masters degree. Prior relevant work experience or relevant voluntary work is encouraged. Background checks including a CRB check are required.

Typical tasks

  • liaises with other health and social care professionals and agencies to identify those in need and at risk within the local community;
  • interviews individuals and groups to assess and review the nature and extent of difficulties;
  • undertakes and writes up assessments to specified standards;
  • arranges for further counselling or assistance in the form of financial or material help;
  • organises support and develops care plans to address service users’ needs;
  • keeps case records, prepares reports and participates in team meetings;
  • gives evidence in court;
  • participates in training and supervision.

Common job titles

Officer, review, independent
Manager, team (local government: social services)
Officer, reviewing (local government: social services)
Manager, team, work, social
Worker, social, psychiatric
IRO (local government: social services)
Practitioner, advanced (local government: social services)
Coordinator, protection, adult
Manager, practice (local government: social services)
Worker, social, forensic
Practitioner, senior (local government: social services)
Officer, reviewing, independent
Leader, team (local government: social services)
Officer, fostering
Worker, field (local government: social services)
Worker, social
Worker, social, medical
Worker, case, family

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.