What they do
A community worker facilitates community development initiatives and collective solutions within a community. They do this by encouraging and assisting community groups to identify their needs, participate in decision-making and develop appropriate services and facilities.
They frequently act as a source of information and advice to individuals and communities about the services and programs available to them. These workers plan, develop and deliver a range of programs and services, including family support, resettlement programs for migrants and refugees, community and adult education, counselling services and programs for children.
Specialisations include: Community Development Officer, Community support worker, Housing Officer
Attendance at evening meetings, and occasional weekend activities can be expected. Community work also requires extensive travel within local and regional communities and considerable personal contact with members of the community from all walks of life.
Tools and technologies
Community workers may be need to be familiar with word processing and desktop publishing software as they may be required to write reports and submissions for funding. These tools will also be useful when developing programs and promoting them in their communities.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a community worker you usually need to gain a qualification in community services, community development or social sciences.
The Certificates II, III, IV and Diploma of Community Services / Community Development are offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also undertake a traineeship in community services work. The traineeship usually takes between 12 and 24 months to complete.
You can also become a community worker by studying a degree in community services, community development or social science. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
If working with children in this occupation in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) from the Department of Communities.