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Top 10 caring jobs

If you love nothing better than to give someone a helping hand, then read on for our top 10 jobs for caring people.

1: Care home manager

Care home managers are responsible for running residential homes which provide care for children and young people, terminally ill patients, adults with disabilities and older people.

What qualifications do I need?

Entrants to care home management need experience of working in social or medical care. Many managers have worked as care home assistants or deputy managers and for many jobs there is a specified minimum length of experience.

How much does it pay?

Salaries range from at least £20,000 a year for a newly qualified manager to over £45,000 for some experienced managers.

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2: Critical care scientist

A critical care scientist is an expert in the physiology and technology involved in providing care to seriously ill patients.

What qualifications do I need?

There are no set educational requirements, but most critical care scientists enter with at least four GCSEs (A*-C), and many have higher qualifications, such as A-levels or a relevant degree.

How much does it pay?

Salaries for critical care scientists start at around £17, 300 a year and go up to £64,118 for heads of department. Those on the highest grade may earn up to £93,098 a year.

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3: Nursery worker

Nursery workers care for, educate and play with babies and young children, helping them to develop and learn.

What qualifications do I need?

It is possible to become a nursery worker without formal qualifications. However, to progress in this career, and for some college courses, it is an advantage to have at least three or four GCSEs (A*-C), preferably including English and maths.

It is possible to start work in a nursery as an assistant and train on-the-job, possibly going to college part-time. Some employers offer apprenticeships in children's care, learning and development. Alternatively, applicants can start by taking a full-time college course.

How much does it pay?

Salaries range from around £9,900 for new nursery workers aged 18 to 21 up to £35,000 for nursery managers.

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4: Substance misuse worker

Substance misuse specialists support both adults and young people with drug and alcohol dependency problems.

What qualifications do I need?

There are no set minimum entry qualifications but most employers will look for previous experience from a health, social care or criminal justice setting. The Advanced apprenticeship in community justice (Drug and Alcohol Pathway) is a possible entry route.

Most employers offer training on the job and new entrants are usually closely supervised. Some organisations operate mentoring programmes. NVQs and professional and development awards are available in substance misuse.

How much does it pay?

Salaries are likely to start at around £17,000, potentially reaching £40,000 a year or more for project leaders.

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5: Hospital play specialist

Hospital play specialists lead play activities and use play as a therapeutic tool for children who are long-term inpatients or outpatients in hospitals or hospices.

What qualifications do I need?

To qualify as a basic grade hospital play specialist, applicants need a Level 4 BTEC Professional diploma in specialised play for sick children and young people, available at colleges throughout the UK.

How much does it pay?

Salaries range from £17,316 to £32,653.

The usual entry route is to start as hospital play assistant and then, after further experience, take further training to work as a basic grade hospital play specialist.

To become a hospital play assistant, applicants need an NVQ in childcare at Level 3, or equivalent qualifications.

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Read the next 5 top caring jobs