Youth Worker Salary Guide

Youth workers support and guide young people to fulfil their potential. Read on to see how they are compensated for their valuable contribution to society. 

Average UK Youth Worker Salaries

Across the UK, the average salary for a youth worker depends on various factors. It's documented that the average hourly pay is currently between £11.66-£12.71. The average annual salary is around £24,700, but that’s the average of a large range, beginning with £19,000 and going up to £42,000. 

Factors Influencing Youth Worker Salaries

Four main influential areas impact salaries: experience, qualifications, location and type of employer.

Experience Level

A youth worker, new to the role, may have a starting salary of around £19,000. However, getting experience with young people in any capacity will help to secure a role and support salary negotiations. Good ways to get experience, include: volunteering with Scouts or Girl Guides, supporting Duke of Edinburgh activities, working in outdoor pursuit centres or in education.

Qualifications in Care

Qualifications in relevant subjects, like social care, mental health or education will positively impact a salary offer or raise. Taking on an apprenticeship, working towards a Level 2 or 3 diploma in youth support work or becoming a professional youth worker by completing a level 6 or 7 degree, graduate diploma, PGDip or MA. Also, these can often be worked on whilst in a role.

Geographic Location

The average youth worker salary in London is around £14.20 an hour, a big increase on the national average. Because of the cost of living crisis salaries are steadily increasing and that’s happening more quickly in cities. However, to move for a job (often without a relocation package) can be risky. The Social Care People can help find you the best opportunities near you.

Type of Employer (Private clients vs. Agencies)

The type of employer impacts salaries, such as an agency, education facility or a local authority youth centre. Negotiating directly with clients or working through agencies may offer different salary structures. Local authorities are likely to be reliable and have structured training and development programs.

Average Youth Worker Salary Ranges Nationally

Regional salary variations will occur in any profession. We did some research and it does seem that to earn the most money as a youth worker the roles in the south east pay the best, however, the living costs are higher than the average. 

There may be fewer employment opportunities in rural areas, compared to urban areas. Commonly, there are more opportunities in urban areas because of the number of youth development programs. Other roles such as councillor roles, social worker, mentor, and community developer will be more readily available in urban areas. 


Benefits and Compensation Packages

In addition to basic salaries, youth workers may receive benefits such as: 

  • Health Insurance – Agencies can offer private health insurance through companies like Bupa or Vitality, as part of their package. So medical treatment can be received privately without worry about costs.

  • Retirement Plans – It is now legal for employers to contribute to an employee's pension fund. Understanding the percentage contribution is essential, as the difference between 3% and 5% across a career is considerable. 

  • Paid Time Off and Sick Leave –  Standard holiday entitlement is around 28 days, for a full-time employee. Sick pay and paid time off for mitigating circumstances are often considered and will be part of a company's offer. If you are working for a private client ensure these details are negotiated before starting work. 


How to Increase Your Earnings as a Youth Worker

Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits

When negotiating a better package a few things to keep in mind include:

  • Know about industry trends - showing you know about trends and industry movements proves your interest in the sector and relevant innovation.

  • Know your worth - do research to ensure requests for a salary increase are based on facts and evidence of your skillset.

  • Consider perks and benefits - when negotiating consider benefits like holiday pay, schedule flexibility and training opportunities. These can often improve work/life balance and can improve quality of life as much as a raise.

  • Be prepared - practice what you want to discuss, know when to wrap up a conversation and get everything in writing.  


How to Advance your Youth Work Career

When considering career progression in this role there are multiple opportunities. By gaining  experience and further training, you could:

  • Become a team leader, project co-ordinator or service manager

  • Specialise in an area, like young people's mental health or substance abuse

  • Work in youth policy and the development of best practice

  • Advance to a related career, by becoming a social worker, community development worker or counsellor


Register with Social Care People

Let Social Care People help you find your next role in youth work. Register as a candidate today. 

N.B. All the details in this article were correct at time of publication, May 24.


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