5 Reasons to Study Community Services
Posted January 17, 2020, by Elesha
Jobs in the community services industry are some of the most personally rewarding roles out there.
Working with vulnerable people in our community, including the elderly, children and those with disabilities, community service professionals help them live more independent, safe, and fulfilling lives.
With a huge range of roles, community services offer an interesting and in-demand career path in an industry that continues to boom in Australia.
Here are our 5 top reasons to study community services, what you’ll make and the courses to get you there.
#1 – You Want To Make A Real Impact On People’s Lives
This is probably the most obvious reason why those who work in community service jobs do what they do.
Working in this field gives you the opportunity to have a profound impact on the quality of people’s lives and make a real difference; your help, support, and advocacy can help your clients grow and set them on the path for a brighter future.
Knowing someone is living a fuller, more purposeful and happy life because of your influence is incredibly rewarding!
#2 – You Enjoy Variety And Being Kept On Your Toes
What does a community services worker do? Plenty! The welfare and support of people are central to a community service role which brings with it a huge variety of day-to-day activities that require a positive, patient and supportive attitude.
Health and wellbeing – from helping your clients to make healthy choices about food and exercise to assisting them with dressing, washing, and personal care.
Daily living skills – You’ll be on hand to support some clients with daily living activities such as shopping for groceries, paying the bills, and maintaining a clean, healthy living space.
Advocacy – When working with elderly or disabled clients who are vulnerable to exploitation, it’s your role to advocate for their rights and ensure they’re treated with respect and dignity.
Administration – Community service roles come with high levels of administrative work to maintain client records, so keeping on top of reporting will be a daily or weekly activity.
Thinking on your feet in times of crisis – You’ll also be called on in times of crisis to conduct face-to-face or over the phone assessments with clients to determine their specific needs. If necessary, you’ll have to make an immediate referral to medical services, psychiatric intervention or support services to provide food and clothing. You could be needed at weekends, overnight, and after hours.
#3 – There’s Plenty Of Room To Move And Grow
A huge variety of job roles come under the banner of community services so there’s room to move around and transfer your skills.
The industry can be broken into several sectors including –
- Aged care
- Disability care
- Substance abuse and addiction rehabilitation services
- Family support and counselling
- Asylum seeker services
- Child services/ youth issues
- Employment and training
- Accommodation and housing services
- Grief counselling
Just some of the community services jobs out there include –
- Community Support Worker
- Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
- Mental Health Worker
- Home Care Worker
- Residential Youth Worker
- Wellbeing/Pastoral Care Worker
- Youth Outreach Worker
- Peer Worker
- Programs Case Manager
- Disability Support Worker
- Residential Care Worker
- Case Officer
Most community service jobs come with access to a huge amount of job-related training to grow your professional skills and roles range from entry-level to upper management and beyond.
#4 – Community Services Is A Booming Industry
Many Australians need compassionate care, support and teaching to help them live their best lives.
The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia and according to the Australian Skills And Industry Committee, 2018 there were close to 1.7 million people employed in this industry, which is projected to increase to over 1.9 million by 2023.
With an ageing population helping drive demand, employment opportunities in aged care and personal care are plentiful – by 2050 it’s estimated we’ll need 830,000 aged care workers in Australia.
To get started in this area you’ll need a Certificate III in Aged Care or a Certificate III in Home and Community Care. You can then choose to expand on your skills by undertaking further studies at either certificate IV, diploma or bachelor degree level.
# 5 – You’ll Cultivate Valuable Transferable Skills
You’ll reap the benefits of building valuable transferable skills that will benefit you in both professional and personal areas of your life.
Technical skills will depend on the exact area you end up working in but soft skills, which apply across all roles in this sector include showing initiative and taking responsibility for others, being a team player, problem-solving, critical thinking and active listening skills.
When it comes to being a standout candidate at your next job interview, soft skills are what will give you the edge.
LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report revealed employers are increasingly looking for soft skills. 91% of companies say a lack of soft skills is an issue and 80% of companies were struggling to find better soft skills in the market.
You’ll also be interacting with a range of people on a daily basis, which, if you go about it in the right way, can help you grow a solid professional network.
Community Services Courses
Think a role in community services is your calling? There is a range of online courses to choose from that will help you move into or further along this rewarding career path.
What kind of salary can you expect?
A community services officer earns on average $76,244 AUD per year
A social worker earns on average $81,058 AUD per year
A youth worker earns on average $34.85 AUD per hour
A caregiver earns on average $26.97 AUD per hour
If you’re already working and plan to take an online course to boost your career prospects in this area, be sure to check out our tips on how to juggle full-time work and online study.
We’ve also put together some handy community services resume and cover templates for personal carers, senior social workers, disability support workers, and counsellor to help you put together a winning job application.