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Become an Outreach Coordinator: Education and Career Roadmap

Outreach coordinators connect a group with its community by organizing activities and initiatives to increase visibility. They must have strong communication skills and may need a bachelor's degree.

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Should I Become an Outreach Coordinator?

Outreach coordinators act as spokespersons or representatives for an organization or company. They are frequently involved with fund-raising projects for the company. Often they work for a medical, educational or non-profit establishment with duties ranging from writing press releases to representing their organizations at community events, fairs and tradeshows.

Career Requirements

Education Level High school diploma (minimum); bachelor's degree (recommended); some schools accept relevant work experience in lieu of a degree
Degree Field Education, communications, human services, life science
Key Skills Excellent writing and oral communication skills, technological, people skills, public speaking
Salary $29,790 per year (Median salary from May 2014 for social and human service assistants)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

Most outreach coordinator positions require candidates with a bachelor's degree. Some employers may accept relevant experience in place of a degree. Majors in this field can vary; for example, an outreach coordinator working in a science-based industry may need a degree in chemistry or life science. Outreach coordinators can also seek education in communications or human services. Communications coursework includes writing and editing, verbal communications and promotions. Human service programs focus on research and program development, diversity and social management.

Step 2: Assess Communication Skills

Outreach coordinators must be able to communicate with employees, donors and community members using written, visual and verbal communication. They must be able to write and edit correspondence that includes press releases, invitations and e-mails. Outreach coordinators must deliver presentations and speeches to promote their organization. Candidates must understand how to effectively implement outreach techniques and stay abreast of marketing trends.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Most employers require outreach coordinators to have experience in the field. They may prefer previous work in public relations, volunteer coordination or administration. Industry-specific experience can be additionally beneficial.

Step 4: Meet Employer Needs

Outreach coordinators need some level of design and computer skill. Depending on the organization, requirements can range from basic desktop publishing experience to proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite. In addition, outreach coordinators must address matters specific to an organization; these might include sustainability, education or communication.

Step 5: Career Advancement Options

Depending on the focus of their employer, outreach coordinators may need specific skills or certifications to advance in their career. These can range from possessing a valid driver's license to understanding the protocols and policies of their industry. Pursuing a bachelor's degree is also recommended for achieving career advancement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, human services and community services workers, including outreach coordinators are projected to see a 22% increase in employment from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Experienced and dedicated workers can advance into higher areas of public relations, research and administration for their companies.

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