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Welfare rights officer

Welfare rights officers give support and free advice to the public.

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £29,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 4% more Welfare rights officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • check clients are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to
  • help people fill in forms
  • help clients get ready for appeals
  • speak on behalf of clients at appeal tribunals
  • work with benefits agencies and other organisations
  • refer clients to other services
  • keep confidential records
  • learn about relevant laws and welfare reforms
  • publicise your service or welfare campaigns
  • train staff and volunteers

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a client's home, in a court, in an NHS or private hospital or at an outreach centre.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

You could complete a revenues and welfare benefits practitioner higher apprenticeship if you're working for a local authority or advice organisation.

This apprenticeship will typically take 12 to 18 months to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
  • experience in related work
For more information

You could start as an admin assistant with an advice organisation and work your way up with further training in welfare rights.

You'll usually need GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent qualifications, in English and maths.

Volunteering and work experience

Many people start by volunteering in an advice centre.

As a volunteer you would receive training in interviewing skills and advice topics like welfare benefits and housing. It can take between 6 and 12 months to get enough experience to apply for jobs.

You can search for volunteering opportunities through Do It.

Direct application

You can apply for jobs if you have experience of supporting people facing difficult situations, for example, those with money, family or housing problems.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

A qualification in counselling, legal work or advice and guidance could be useful, though your employer may give you on-the-job training.

The ability to speak a second language or a qualification in British Sign Language could be helpful for some jobs.

Further information

You can find out more about working in welfare rights from Citizens Advice and AdviceUK.

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With experience, you could move into specialist advice and casework, or be promoted to a team leader or management post.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of psychology
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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