adult social care career

It’s an interesting phenomenon: there are comparatively few male nurses, male childcare experts and male adult social carers. In fact there’s a chronic shortage of men in the social care sector. UK Government statistics reveal 84% of carers in England are women, and just 16% men. The numbers have remained much the same since 2012. But adult care is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying career choice whatever your gender.
Caremark is an excellent example of the national imbalance. Just 13.5% of our workforce are men. But the men we have working with us enjoy their jobs a great deal. And they’re puzzled why more males don’t grab the opportunity. As one of them, Matthew Carter, says, “I am unsure why there are so few men working in social care as it is such a fulfilling and satisfying job and you feel like you are making a difference to people’s lives everyday; it really gives you a good feeling inside.”You can read more about what Matthew thinks about his career here ( One expert, Professor Martin Green of Care England, says that entrenched societal perceptions are preventing men from undertaking care work, with many people seeing caring roles as exclusively female. But everyone has the potential to be a carer. In this article we’re going to redress the balance, highlighting why adult social care is an excellent career for men.

Why men play an essential part in adult social care

Why are men needed in the adult social care arena? Imagine you’re a male in need of social care services. It’s a pride thing, a privacy thing, a simple human thing. Plenty of men, particularly from the older generations, would much rather be cared for by a man than a woman, since the services being delivered are often very personal, arising from illness, disability, old age or poverty, often providing intimate support with physical disabilities, autism, dementia and mental health issues.Care England agrees, saying that some older men prefer to be looked after by men rather than women, and the growing numbers of men living to great ages means there’s a growing gap. The charity has asked the government to front a drive to recruit more men to work in care homes, adding that it’s about every citizen ‘examining their own pre-conceived notions about who delivers care’. It’s often also a simple physical thing, a matter of safety. In social care, size matters. With the best will in the world, women are rarely as physically strong as men. Caring for a male can mean helping with mobility, and it’s a big ask requiring a woman to lift a man at all, never mind doing it gently and safely. According to another article in The Guardian (, male carers can really come into their own when a male suffering from dementia gets upset or angry, challenging or aggressive. Having a male there can make them more at ease, and they seem to communicate better with someone of the same gender.

Excellent opportunities for career progression

Research reveals some men are doubtful that a career in care provides a good enough salary, and think it comes with limited opportunities to progress up the career ladder. This simply isn’t true. Like every industry social care has a complex structure made up of the people who actually do the caring itself, a host of managerial roles, financial roles, directorships, chefs, physiotherapists and everything in between, with literally something for everyone. You can become the manager of a care home, get into social work, housing, education, counselling, the list goes on. You get a great deal of valuable training and if you’re ambitious, you can go right to the top. You get a great deal of valuable training and if you’re ambitious, you can go right to the top. A report in The Guardian ( puts it very well. As they say, “The latest Comensura Social Care index shows that men in social care undertook 478 different roles but the two most common are the qualified senior social worker (also known as a senior practitioner or manager) and the care worker.” A career in the social care sector is a job for life, complete with diverse roles, flexible hours, part-time working, career progression, training opportunities, and lots of valuable transferable skills. Take carer Ian McClintock, featured on the TotalJobs website (, who ended a 20 year stint in the armed forces to work in care homes. As he says, “I have brought some very transferable skills across to my new role. The satisfaction payback of my job is huge.”

Constant and growing demand means a bright future

Care also a sector that isn’t going to shrink or disappear. As increasing numbers of us get older and need care, demand for good carers will continue to grow. It’s a matter of simple economic supply and demand – when demand exceeds supply, salaries tend to go up and opportunities improve. Temporary roles are booming right now, for example, with recruitment agencies having no problem whatsoever placing men in excellent care roles right across the UK. All this means we’re seeing above-inflation pay increases more frequently than ever before. If you’d like to give it a try, a temporary role might be exactly what you need to identify if social care work is for you.

What about emotional resources?

Another common fallacy really isn’t helping improve matters. Some in the sector have questioned men’s suitability for social care work because of a perceived lack of ’emotional capacity’, but that’s just insulting. It’s just as insulting as assuming every woman is perfectly suited to care work just because they are female. It simply isn’t true, as our own superb male care workers prove. There are also a lot of men who look after their wives, revealing that they have exactly the emotional capacity required to make someone else’s life better. In fact they key values that underpin social care excellence, namely dignity, compassion, choice and respect, apply just as much to men as they do women.

A step in the right direction

Despite all the usual misconceptions, more men are finding social care a very fulfilling career with great future prospects. According to The Guardian, the Comensura Social Care Index, which explores temporary social worker use in local authorities, shows an 11.2% increase in the full-time equivalent number of male temporary social care workers. It’s a step in the right direction. If you’re a man thinking about a career in care, you are not alone. Increasing numbers of men are doing exactly that, which is excellent news for us and the men we provide services to. We’ll leave the last word to Matthew. In his words, “I love my job I have made some great friends and have met some wonderful and interesting people along the way. I have also learnt so much about how different everybody’s lives are and the different walks of life people come from. The job isn’t easy but it’s worth the early starts and late finishes knowing that you have made someone’s life that isn’t that easy any more a little easier, and it’s not just the customers – it’s their families too. This job is fantastic and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. I believe it’s one of the best jobs anyone can do.” If you’d like to discuss a career in care then do get in touch with Caremark Mid Sussex and Crawley on 01444 455 800 or To keep an eye on the job opportunities we have available follow us on facebook


© 2024 Caremark Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Each Caremark Limited franchise office is independently owned and operated.

Designed & built by SandisonPay