Careers in community service: A fully comprehensive guide to start your career


Community Services is a fulfilling and growing profession, offering stability, career fulfilment, and various job roles. Growth opportunities are many for those working in this sector.

To have a sustainable career in the community services sector, you’ll need to have an intrinsic passion for helping others in need. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills will also be highly valued as you may deal with people of various physical, social, and emotional needs daily.

The community services industry in Australia is continually growing every year. There are multiple jobs being added across the country in various areas, such as youth work, counselling, social services, community development and individual support.

What skills do you need to work in community services?

In community services, employers look for workers who can connect with others, communicate clearly and are well-presented. Other skills they value include:

  • Being a “people-person”.
  • Having a good understanding of customer service.
  • Administration skills.
  • Formal education qualifications.
  • First aid training and a Police Check are often required.

Roles that are rewarding in the community services field:

  • Become a counsellor: A career in counselling is perfect for those who understand the importance of providing support networks and equipping people with advice to live their best lives. You can either become a career counsellor, drug and alcohol counsellor, family and marriage counsellor, student counsellor or life coach.
  • Develop your skills in mental health: Statistics show that one in four adults experience mental health issues, which means more than a quarter of the population requires treatment or support. The pathways into the mental health industry are wide and varied. If you have a friend or family member who has experienced mental health issues, this can give you the understanding and empathy to make a massive difference as a mental health worker.
  • Work with people with a disability: People with disability are a valuable and essential part of our community. Aged and disabled care work in most parts of Australia, and nearly all job roles are in health care and social service. You can serve the disabled either as a disability support worker, special needs teacher, personal care nurse or a disability officer.
  • Working in aged care: In an aged care role, your tasks will involve mainly providing companionship and care to aged care patients. You may also arrange social activities for them and participate in these activities. Job outcomes in aged care include personal care worker, nurse, home care assistant, community leisure officer and activities officer.
  • Working in child protection services: A qualification in community services can help you gain a career assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with services such as healthcare, mental health, family services, education services and more. To specialise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, you will need to undertake specific electives that can teach you about the importance of the cultural protocols and practices, amongst many other important aspects of indigenous societies.
  • Support those with drug and alcohol problems: Choosing a qualification in Alcohol and Other Drugs can give workers the skills to support clients suffering from issues related to alcohol and drugs. By working in this area, you’ll be making a fulfilling contribution to the community and making a valuable career.

Benefits of working in community services

With busy lives, it’s hard to find time to volunteer. However, with community services, the benefits are many:

  • Volunteering helps you connect with others: By volunteering, you can make the community a better place. Dedicating your time as a volunteer enables you to make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills while making a difference.
  • Volunteering is good for the mind and body: Volunteering provides several mental and physical health benefits. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can profoundly affect your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.
  • Boosts your self-confidence: You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
  • Brings fun and fulfilment to your life: Volunteering is an easy way to explore your interests and passions. Volunteer work you find meaningful and exciting can be a relaxing, energising escape from your day-to-day work routine, school, or family commitments.
  • You can work with professionals: Community service often involves large teams and people from different areas of life. Volunteers, coordinators, and supervisors have experience in various industries. Networking can lead to opportunities. Consider building positive relationships that can help you grow your career and maintain a positive work environment.
  • You can earn benefits: Many community service jobs are for nonprofit organisations or government agencies that offer benefits. You may also travel for work, though you may share the cost with your organisation. Each community service may provide unique benefits.

Join Apeiro Training Services to learn more ways to get involved and volunteer as a community worker.

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