Community & Social Services

Youth Worker

Youth workers help young people to develop their social and behavioural skills and look after their personal development and welfare.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Youth Worker do?

Youth workers help young people to develop their social and behavioural skills and look after their personal development and welfare.

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Work activities

As a youth worker, you would:

  • meet with young people and develop a relationship with them
  • act as an advocate for young people with government departments or other organisations
  • develop a plan with the young person to deal with issues and problems
  • aid in developing policies related to young people
  • provide support and advice to those dealing with difficulties such as substance abuse or homelessness
  • refer young people to counselling, housing or employment services
  • complete risk assessments, as part of an expert team, of young people deemed vulnerable.
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Key skills and interests

To become a youth worker, you would need:

  • strong communication skills
  • to have respect for the rights and views of a wide range of individuals
  • an interest in community and social issues
  • self-motivation and the ability to work independently
  • project management and time management skills
  • to enjoy assisting young people.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Your working hours would depend on the needs of the youth community and the projects you were involved in. Weekend and evening work is common and you may need to work longer than standard hours. Part-time or contract work is often available, as many youth projects are for a fixed period, and based on a set amount of funding.

Conditions

You may be based in a school, community centre, local youth club or faith centre such as a church or mosque. You might also go to places where young people in your local area meet.

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How to become an Youth Worker?

Entry Level Education

To become a youth worker you usually have to complete a VET or degree-level qualification in a relevant discipline such as youth work, youth justice, community services work or child, youth and family intervention. Entry to relevant degree courses usually requires you to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with English.

You can also become a youth worker through a traineeship in Youth Work, Youth Justice, Community Services Work or Child, Youth and Family Intervention. Generally employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

If you are working with children, you would be required to complete the equivalent of a Working with Children check. A National Police Certificate may also be required.

The Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) represents a broad range of community workers across Australia. To become a member, you need to have completed an accredited course. A list of accredited courses is available on the website.

www.acwa.org.au

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment opportunities for community workers rose slightly in the past five years.

However, positions for community workers are often dependent on state or federal government funding, and funding is often available on a project-by-project basis only.

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