Community development worker
Community development workers help people to improve the quality of life in their local area.
£16,000 Starter - £36,000 Experienced
37 to 39 a week (evenings / weekends flexibly)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeshipvolunteering
This role is open to all graduates though you may find it useful to have a foundation degree or degree in:
- community development
- community studies
- youth work
- social sciences
Most community development courses include work placements to help you build up your experience. You'll usually need at least 1 A-Level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree and 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
You could take a college course, which may be useful when applying for a trainee development worker job. Courses include:
- Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Community Development
- Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and Community Work
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
If you want to specialise in helping the community with health and wellbeing issues, you may be able to do a public health practitioner degree apprenticeship.
With this route, you could work for organisations like charities, the NHS or local authorities, helping people in communities to live long, healthy and happy lives.
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
A way in to this job is to volunteer for local projects. You'll usually receive some training on the job. You may also get the chance to take an introductory part-time college course in community work.
You'll need practical experience of working in the community. You can get this by:
Your experience and training as a volunteer could help you to find paid work. Having relevant experience that shows your interest and commitment to this kind of work is very important when it comes to finding jobs.
Many people have experience of other professions before entering this role so you may have an advantage if you have previously worked in areas like teaching, youth work or community health.
- volunteering with a local community group, tenants' association or charity
- working in a related career like housing, regeneration, social work or youth work
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- knowledge of psychology
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- leadership skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of English language
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- find out about the community's needs, problems and barriers
- make sure local people take action and have their say
- develop new opportunities and monitor existing projects
- help to raise public awareness about community issues
- build links with other groups and agencies
- raise funds
- recruit and train staff and volunteers
- plan meetings and events
- manage budgets
- help groups to settle differences of opinion on local issues
- do administrative work
You could work in the community or in an office.
Career path and progression
You could specialise in a particular issue or broaden your experience and work with different issues or groups.
You could move into management, policy making, or work as a freelance trainer or consultant.