Career snapshot: community service workers

Published by MAXSolutions on October 09, 2018
Career snapshot - community service workers

Demand for community service workers grows.

At a time when job security is scarce, you can be confident in the demand for community service workers. 

In late 2019, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) shared a snapshot regarding the demand for community services across the country.

Their analysis revealed that there is a significant unmet and ever-increasing demand for community services in Australia. 


What is a community service worker?

The community services sector is broad and there are many different types of community service workers. 

Typically, community service workers are involved in the following:

  • Meeting with individuals, assessing their needs and connecting them with the support services they need. This might include a range of health, housing and multicultural supports.
  • Providing frontline services to people in need. For example delivering drug and alcohol counselling or mental health support.
  • Providing administrative and logistical support.


People who work in community services can choose to focus their efforts on helping people address different challenges such as mental health, addiction, homelessness or family violence. Others may focus on helping different demographics, such as young people, children, different cultures, families or former offenders.   

Some of the positions that a community worker might hold include:

  • Community support worker
  • Neighbourhood or community centre worker
  • Youth worker
  • Social worker
  • Accommodation support worker, housing officer
  • Child protection officer
  • Multicultural support officer
  • Disability services officer
  • Crisis intervention worker
  • Case worker
  • Community program coordinator
  • Drug and alcohol counsellor.


What does a community service worker do?

Given the wide array of roles that fall under the community worker banner, it can be a little difficult to define. However, we can take a bird’s eye view of what it might look like with the examples below. 

Neighbourhood centre worker, accommodation support worker, crisis intervention worker, case worker or multicultural support officer

In these roles you would be involved in meeting with people who have a specific need or range of needs related to their social, emotional, physical, relational or financial health. 

You would be expected to build relationships with people, evaluate their needs, and connect them with community and health services that best address their situation.

In addition, you may develop case plans and work within procedures and frameworks set out by supporting agencies. Empowering people to make their own choices and giving them the best chance of achieving long term health and wellbeing. 

Why consider a career in community services?

1.    It's a genuinely rewarding career

If you’re motivated by making a positive difference to people’s lives, a career in community services will see you reap the rewards.

Community service workers provide support to those in the community who are vulnerable or facing difficult circumstances. By helping people to make the best decisions for them and their family, you have the ability to be an agent of positive change in the lives of many. 

2.    It’s challenging and diverse

When you’re working with people from different walks of life, facing different circumstances each day, you can be confident that you will always be on your toes, meeting the demands of different clients. 

Those who work in community services will attest to the fact that no two days are the same as each day brings new challenges. 

3.    There are a many roles to choose from

If your passions guide you towards a career in community services, there are a range of specialties or focus areas that you may be able to direct your career towards. 
And, if you discover a new area of interest over time, you can pivot and steer your career towards the area that stirs you and serves your community.

Is a career in community services right for you? 

Let’s take a look at whether moving into the community services sector is the right career move for you. 
If you have the character traits and skills listed below, you are most likely to both succeed and find a career in community services fulfilling:

  • Humility and the ability to approach each person you meet without bias or judgement
  • Compassion and the ability to show empathy, to understand another person’s situation, perceptions and feelings, to put yourself “in their shoes”
  • The ability to evaluate situations and problem solve
  • The capacity and desire to empower and educate others to act on their own behalf
  • The ability to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of social engagement programs
  • The ability to engage with people, build relationships and trust
  • Accommodation support worker, housing officer
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Resilience and the ability to see people who are experiencing a variety of difficult situations and provide the strong and supportive hand they need in that moment
  • Community program coordinator
  • A desire to connect with people in the community and to connect them with their community and culture.


What qualifications and experience do you need to work in community services?

If you think a career in the community services sector would suit you but you don’t have formal qualifications, you could consider studying with MAX. 

We offer the following course designed to springboard graduates into a career in community services:

The course provides students with the core skills to fulfil a role as a community services worker who support individuals through the provision of person-centred services in the social sector. 

The course can be done fully online at a pace that suits you, or via blended delivery – combining a virtual classroom and online learning. Both methods can see the course finished in either 12 months (studying full time) or 24 months (studying part time) and both require students to undertake 120 hours of work placement to complete the course. 

Contact us today on 1800 603 503 to discuss whether this course is right for you.


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