Community worker

What they do

Community workers help facilitate community development initiatives and collective solutions within a community. They support 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.

Working conditions

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 Certificate III and IV in Community Services and the Diploma of Community Services are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can also undertake a traineeship in community services work. The community services work (level 2 and level 3) traineeships usually take 12 months to complete and the level 2 traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship. The community services (level 4) traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

You can also become a community worker by studying a degree in community services, community development or social science. Some 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

To work as a community worker in Western Australia, you may need to obtain a current Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Communities. You may also require a National Police Certificate from the Australian Federal Police.