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Advice workers provide impartial and confidential information, advice, and guidance to individuals about a variety of social, financial, legal and employment problems.

Advice workers help people in crisis situations with complex problems.

What does an advice worker do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

An advice worker helps clients in areas such as benefits, debt and money issues, law and rights, healthcare, and education. Positions in this area may also be listed under names such as ‘immigration adviser’ or ‘welfare adviser’. The work is challenging and varied with duties that range from interviewing clients, assessing problems and writing reports, to mediating on a client's behalf and providing legal representation at court cases and tribunals. Other responsibilities include:

  • maintaining records and information systems
  • compiling statistics
  • preparing/distributing publicity materials and displays
  • interpreting legislation and researching cases
  • referral and liaison with other relevant organisations

Advice workers help people who are often in crisis situations, with very complex problems. This can make the work stressful and emotionally demanding, but at the same time rewarding if a resolution to their problems or a way forward can be found.

Typical employers of advice workers

  • Citizens Advice
  • Neighbourhood Advice Centres
  • The National Health Service (NHS)
  • Universities and other institutions
  • Other voluntary and charitable organisations

Vacancies are advertised in local, regional and national newspapers, and through AdviceUK and the Citizens Advice. Speculative approaches to employers are advisable, particularly for work experience placements.

Qualifications and training required

Personality and relevant experience are usually more important than qualifications, although a degree in law, counselling, guidance, psychology, education, social or community work, public administration or social sciences can be helpful. The route is open to non-graduates as well as graduates: to find out how you can get into this career via a school leaver route see the charity section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for advice workers

  • Resourcefulness
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Maturity
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Patience

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