Wherever you start your career, there are always opportunities to progress. Progression can be

  • sideways into a different type of job (which could involve working in a different setting or with a different group of people),
  • move up into a job with more responsibility which requires new skills, knowledge and qualifications.

Social care is continually changing to meet the needs of an ageing population and people living longer with multiple conditions. There's greater focus on supporting people to live independently, often at home, and reducing the need for hospital treatment. This means that care organisations are working in new ways, creating lots of new and exciting roles, including jobs that cover both social care and health, and roles that focus on specialist knowledge such as dementia, end of life, learning disability or autism care.

One of the good things about social care is the range of roles available. This means:

  • there are lots of opportunities to progress
  • you're always doing something that interests you
  • you can find new challenges
  • you'll stay motivated
  • you can learn new things

How can I progress?

Qualifications and training

A really good way to progress in your career is by doing qualifications relevant to your role. There are over 50 vocational qualifications at different levels in social care. Your employer might pay for qualifications or you could apply for a government grant or loan which can help make qualifications and training more affordable.

You can attend training workshops in your workplace or complete online e-learning to help you progress. This doesn't have to be accredited but can be relevant to the requirements of the job.


Apprenticeships are not just for college students! These work-based courses are available for new and existing social care staff, of any age, and provide a way to gain qualifications whilst earning at the same time.

Other ways to progress

Here are some ideas to help you kickstart your career:

  • communicate your career goals to your employer
  • keep a 'live' CV or portfolio which you can update when you complete training or gain experience
  • ask for opportunities to shadow senior members of staff
  • look for informal learning opportunities, such as free online training
  • volunteer to attend conferences, meetings and community events that are relevant to your role
  • Network! Use platforms such as LinkedIn to find and connect with other social care professionals

Career Ladder

Ready to get started?

Use our vacancy board to find and apply for care professional vacancies in your area.