About Community Services
Community Services courses cover a broad range of career possibilities, depending on your personal interests and skillset. There are a variety of courses available to suit those entering the workforce for the first time, professionals wanting to further their knowledge, or those wanting to give back to their community later in life.
Community workers support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and communities. If you are committed to helping assist those who may be struggling in their everyday lives, you can build an extremely stable and highly fulfilling career. The industry of Community Services is currently thriving, with a healthy employment growth forecast – in particular, in the area of Aged Care and Disability.
Many of the community services courses offered, from TAFE Certificates to Bachelor’s Degrees, provide real on-the-job training, giving you a greater insight into the work. Placement options for graduates can range from housing and family violence support to disability, advocacy, and employment pathways.
What Are Some Community Services Career Outcomes?
A career in community services could see you assisting youth with financial and emotional problems, supervising offenders, working with disabled adults and children, or liaising with community groups and welfare agencies in need.
Here are some potential job titles:
- Community Worker
- Disabilities Services Officer
- Family Support Worker
- Parole or Probation Officer
- Residential Care Officer
- Youth Worker
What is the Job Outlook for Community Services Professionals?
If you’re considering a career in Community Services, here are some relevant figures.
- Community Services employment growth is predicted to increase by 209,000 over the next 5 years.
- The biggest area of growth is in the Aged and Disability sector with 179,000 new jobs opening up.
- Average Salary for a Community Worker: $59,800
- 84% of workers in the community service industries are female.
What Are the Different Types of Community Services Courses?
There are a variety of TAFE courses available for those looking to enter into the community services sector, or further their skillset. If you are looking to embark on a career for the first time in the industry, then an online TAFE certificate or Diploma may be suitable for you. And with a good selection to choose from, you can focus on a specific interest or area.
If you’re looking to take your commitment to work with the disadvantaged further, an undergraduate course can provide you with the best training for a highly successful career in the industry.
A Certificate III qualification will generally lead to career outcomes such as employment consultant in training, community care assistant/worker, or nursing assistant. These online TAFE courses are entry-level, and designed to provide you with an introduction into a specific area of community services. Generally, there are minimal to no prerequisites, and graduates will receive a nationally recognised qualification upon completion. Possible career outcomes include aged care worker, associate employment consultant, disability service officer and words person, just to name a few.
A Certificate IV qualification can also cover a wide range of areas in the community services field. Students will gain an understanding in designing and delivering programs to improve an individual or community group’s wellbeing, as well as learning the fundamentals of working with the disadvantaged. Graduates with this level of qualification have the opportunity to embark on roles such as drug and alcohol worker, support worker, youth and family services officer or other similar positions.
The nationally recognised qualification of a Diploma of Community Services is a more in-depth TAFE education. Delivered online, and typically with a work placement component, the qualification will prepare students for working with complex clients and communities in need. Those with prior experience in the community services sector may be eligible to receive credits for their experience. Graduates of this comprehensive course will be qualified to work as an early intervention worker, program coordinator, group facilitator, welfare worker and the like.
Undergraduate qualifications such as a Bachelor of Community Services typically require students to commit to full-time internal studies over a longer period than that of a certificate or diploma. The entry requirement of this course is a Diploma which, in some cases, may provide first year credits. The undergraduate degree provides students a broad understanding of the community services sector as well as providing them with the skillset to work as an effective professional in the industry. This course is particularly beneficial for those wishing to further their career, with potential employment as a community centre manager or community services case manager.
Is Community Services right for you?
To be successful and enjoy working within the community services sector, you really need to be passionate about caring and assisting people to improve their lives. Workers within the field are often non-judgmental, warm-hearted and extremely trustworthy. If you do embody these traits, working as a professional in the industry can provide you with a great deal of personal satisfaction.
There are plenty of opportunities within the field for career progression, as well as stability, as highly skilled professionals are in demand. With a variety of areas you can focus on from aged care to child protection, there is scope for those to explore and alter their career path without necessarily undertaking further formal training.
It does, however, require you to have a strong character and emotional stability, particularly when it comes to dealing with difficult cases of violence, substance abuse, homelessness and child welfare. A career in community services will provide you with the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate.