Community Services Worker: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a community services worker. Get a quick view of the skills needed as well as details about schooling, job duties and other requirements to find out if this is the career for you.
A community services worker is often referred to as a human service worker. They work in a variety of areas, such as psychology, rehabilitation and social work. Community services workers may be involved in helping clients with counseling issues and leading and organizing community group activities.
|Required Education||Certificate or associate's degree in human services; sometimes bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||22% for all human services assistants*|
|Average Salary (2014)||$31,860 for all human services assistants*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Community Services Worker Job Description
Community services workers are typically employed by community centers and organizations that focus on community outreach and care. They are a type of human services worker, which is a term used to describe a wide array of jobs that focus on providing care, support and counseling to individuals dealing with issues such as adult daycare, substance abuse, human relationships and rehabilitation.
A community services worker's clients often include pregnant teens, homeless people, families and the elderly. Most of a community services worker's duties are conducted in an office environment, and potential employers may include halfway houses, housing programs supported by state and local governments and group homes.
Duties of a Community Services Worker
The duties of a community services worker involve arranging community gatherings and helping clients who need counseling. Additional responsibilities may include administering food banks, helping people obtain certain benefits and services, such as welfare, and aiding community members in accessing medical care.
Providing emotional support to clients is also important in this role. Community services workers work standard business hours but may be required to work some nights and weekends. The work of a community services worker can be satisfying, but it is also stressful and sometimes dangerous.
Requirements for Community Services Workers
A community services worker must, at minimum, hold a certificate or an associate's degree in human services or another closely related field. Many community colleges offer this type of program. A student enrolled in an associate's degree in human services may study crisis intervention, culturally sensitive human services practice, counseling theories and techniques, abnormal psychology and serving and surviving in human services.
Some community services worker jobs that have extensive job duties and responsibilities require that applicants hold a bachelor's degree in human services. Aspiring community service workers must have strong communication skills and be social since they frequently interact with people. Additionally, they should be comfortable working under pressure.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide employment outlook or salary information for community services workers, although it does provide data for social and human service assistants as well as social workers. Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS expected human service assistants to see employment opportunities increase by 22%, while social workers were expected to see 19% growth.
In its May 2014 salary report, the BLS stated that social and human services assistants earned an average of $31,860. Social worker average salaries were broken out by subspecialty, with healthcare social workers earning an average of $53,590, and child, school and family social workers earning an average of $46,180. In comparison, mental health and substance abuse social workers earned an average of $45,820.