There are many exciting and rewarding roles in the community services sector. They include supporting children and their families, offering respite care, and managing events and programs to strengthen small communities.
Work options in the sector are varied and depend on the role and area you choose to pursue. Right now, there are jobs in the community services sector where you can make a difference.
The community sector thrives because the people who work in it are compassionate, professional and want to make a difference in people’s lives. If you care about the wellbeing of others, then a career in the community sector is for you.
Community sector roles
Roles span and intersect across areas such as child protection, family violence, sexual assault, disability, housing, children and families. Dynamic and rewarding roles are available from entry level and above and include:
- crisis care response
- respite and support care
- community development
- programs and policies
- administration and management.
Pathways to employment
There are varied pathways to getting a job in the community sector. You might be:
- new to the community services sector
- just starting your work life
- interested in a career change or returning to the workforce after a break
- a student or recent graduate
- currently volunteering at an organisation
- seeking a traineeship
- currently employed in a senior or executive role
- working in one community sector area and want to move to another.
Skills and qualifications
Some roles do require qualifications while others do not – it just depends on the role and area of work you’re interested in. Once in the job, there are opportunities for you to learn skills and get on-the-job training and support. You can take on more responsibilities and choose to work your way up to management or leadership roles.
If you’re already a highly-skilled specialist, or in a management or executive position there are equivalent roles in the sector. Your experience is highly sought, and you’ll find further professional development opportunities.
Specialist roles requiring qualifications
There are some roles in the community sector that require particular qualifications due to their specialist and complex nature. For example, to work as a Child Protection practitioner one of the following qualifications is required:
- social work degree or a similar welfare or behavioural-related degree
- Diploma of Community Services work or similar qualification
- psychology degree (or major) accredited by the Australian Psychologist Accreditation Council
- a welfare-related qualification and experience that meets Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) eligibility criteria.
Skills and attributes
Having the right personal skills will help you be successful in a role. Collaborating with a diverse group of people, working well under pressure, being dependable, coming up with creative solutions and being adaptive to change and challenges are some of the skills and attributes required. Compassion, understanding and wanting to support others is also critical.
The sector recognises and is committed to an inclusive and diverse workforce. You are encouraged to apply for a role if you:
- speak English as a second language and are from a culturally and linguistically diverse background
- are Aboriginal
- identify as having a disability
- identify as trans or gender diverse.
What the community sector offers
The community sector can offer:
- flexible work and life balance – part-time, casual and full-time work to suit you
- career development opportunities – both in and across sectors
- work opportunities spanning Victoria - from rural areas to regions and into Melbourne, there are roles across Victoria working in local councils, healthcare and not-for-profit organisations. If you’re from regional or rural Victoria, we encourage you to apply for roles.