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Communication support worker

Communication support workers (CSWs) help deaf students in school.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £24,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 term time

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Future employment

There will be 5.4% more Communication support worker jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • work out what will help students learn
  • help students communicate
  • support learners by lipspeaking and taking notes
  • interpret between spoken English and sign language
  • support learners to become more independent
  • provide training for other staff and students

Working environment

You could work at a school, at a special needs school, at a college or at a university.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • training with a professional body

You can do a British Sign Language and deaf studies degree but it's not essential.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You can do a college qualification like:

  • Level 3 Award In Signing and Receiving Skills in British Sign Language
  • Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language Studies
  • Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners

You'll be expected to have a level 2 sign language qualification to get onto one of these courses.

You can do further qualifications at higher levels once you start work.

For more information

You may be able to find a job as an assistant communication support worker and complete a qualification while working.

Volunteering and work experience

You might find it easier to get a job if you get experience working or volunteering with children who are deaf or have hearing problems.

Other routes

You can do sign language training with Signature or complete a certificate in Learning Support for Communication Support Workers.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can get more advice about careers in sign language from Signature.

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With experience you could:manage a sensory impairment or disability service; become a sign language interpreter; become a disability adviser; train to be a sign language teacher

You'll also find some opportunities to use sign language in theatre, television, multimedia production and courts of law. Signers are sometimes needed to interpret in interviews as well.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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