Advice worker: job description

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

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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; duties can include:

  • talking to clients online, via the telephone and/or face-to-face, and assessing their needs
  • providing advice
  • mediating on a client’s behalf and providing legal representation at court cases and tribunals
  • maintaining records and information systems
  • compiling statistics
  • writing reports
  • 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 online, including on websites such as 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, and this is a role open to both graduates and non-graduates. However, a degree relevant to the type of advice work you carry out can be helpful. Common subject areas for people in this career are in law, counselling, guidance, psychology, education, social or community work, public administration or social sciences can be helpful.

Key skills for advice workers

  • Resourcefulness
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Maturity and emotional intelligence
  • The ability to build a convincing argument
  • Confidence
  • Patience

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