It takes a special kind of person to become an elderly carer, whether you opt for home care jobs or prefer to work in a care home. You have to have a huge ability for compassion and empathy and of course, the desire to care for others.
A job as a carer is obviously rewarding but it is also demanding physically and emotionally. You may be asked to work long hours and you will be helping people who are at their most vulnerable. However, you will be rewarded with a sense of job satisfaction you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
Before you begin looking for work as an elderly carer it is important to know how much you can be expected to be paid.
Elderly carer’s average pay
The exact wage you can expect as an elderly carer will vary depending on the company or care home which you will be working for. If you are over 21 then you will be paid at least the national minimum wage, which is £7.20. Many care providers will pay above this however as recognition for the important work which you will be doing. You will often find that you may be offered extra pay for working unsociable hours such as night shifts, weekends and bank holidays as well as there often being plenty of overtime work available to bump up your monthly pay packet.
Opportunities to increase your wages
In the care industry, there are plenty of opportunities to increase your skill base and earn extra money. It is often the case that the more skills you can learn and extra qualifications you can earn, the more you can expect to be paid. Many employers encourage and help their employees to gain NVQ qualifications in health and social care while they work so that you can apply for higher paid jobs which require these skills. Some care providers also offer the chance to train in other areas such as medication administration and mini bus driving which could open doors to extra earning opportunities.
The care industry also offers plenty of opportunities to climb the career ladder with many care providers looking towards their own staff when leadership positions become available. Shift leaders, senior care roles and even management positions are usually filled by members of staff who originally started at carer level. With many options available, a career as an elderly carer could see you rise through the ranks over time.
Money isn’t everything
While obviously how much you are paid is very important when you have bills to pay, when it comes to job satisfaction, can you really put a price on it? Being an elderly carer is one of the most rewarding careers. You will spend every day helping others and you will meet a huge variety of different people and no two days will ever be the same. You may be able to find work which will pay you more but if you aren’t happy in your work then the extra money might not be worth it. Loving your job and wanting to go to work every day is priceless. Whether you opt for live in care jobs or a job in a care home, you’re sure to have a rewarding career.