Community services careers are on the rise in 2024. Of the 200,000 projected job openings in the health care sector this year, almost a third are expected to go to community services workers. 

If you’re thinking about starting a rewarding career in this growth sector, then our article will help you. 

Read on as we explain everything about careers in community services, the types of jobs on offer, and how to educate yourself to prepare for employment. 

Table of contents:

  • What is Community Services?
  • What it’s Like Working in Community Services 
    • Personal rewards  
    • Financial rewards from community work
  • Key Roles in Community Services  
  • How to Get Started in Community Services 
    • Community support worker education 
    • Specialist support courses 
  • Studying with Collaboration Learning 

What is Community Services? 

In Australia, the term ‘community services’ refers to a collective of organisations or departments designed to help the general public. It could be practical support, information and advice, financial help or a combination of all these things. 

Mostly, these services are provided by the government – state, federal and local – although non-government organisations like charities can also be classed as offering their support within the community.  

Several sub-groups rely heavily on these services because of their health or social situation. They include: 

  • People with a disability 
  • People with mental health issues 
  • Ageing adults 
  • Aboriginal Australians or Torres Strait Islanders 
  • Immigrants and refugees 
  • Homeless people 
  • Victims of domestic violence 

As minors, some children are also supported by community services, particularly those living in remote areas or from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Such a wide-ranging remit means the career opportunities in community services are equally vast. That means lots of jobs and opportunities for career progression, too. 

What it’s Like Working in Community Services 

If you’re brand new to community services and wondering what it’s like working in this sector, the good news is that a rewarding career awaits you both personally and financially. 


Personal rewards from community work

As you can appreciate, it takes a certain type of person to enjoy helping others in trouble. If you genuinely love supporting people, assisting those in need and helping them seek positive outcomes, then this career path is perfect. 

Most workers in this sector gain satisfaction from contributing to the happiness of others while helping build more inclusive, stronger communities. You will grow as an individual, develop your emotional intelligence and become stronger, all through a sense of accomplishment.  

Financial rewards from community work

On top of personal rewards, you’ll also find community workers are well-paid. 

According to Seek, the average salary for a Community Support Worker in Queensland is between $60 and $80k per year (a typical entry-level role in Queensland pays $75k). What’s more, salaries in Queensland are among the highest in the country for this type of work – so if you live in the sunshine state, you’ll be best placed to stay put to kick-start your community services career. 

Key Roles in Community Services  

So, what types of roles can you find in the community services sector? 

There are numerous job types available in this sector, depending on who you want to support and how. 

Practical roles involve hands-on tasks supporting individuals on a regular basis (in some cases, every day) with anything they find difficult – from visiting the shops to getting to and from medical appointments. A Community Support Worker is a practical role. 

Administrative roles are more office-based, where you might offer advice to individuals in person or over the phone about financial support or review applications for support submitted electronically. You may also oversee cases or work with a team to develop new services and strategies. A Case Management Supervisor is an administrative role. 

Here are some of the key roles on offer in community services:  

  • Community Support Worker 
  • Community Development Officer 
  • Child Protection Officer 
  • Welfare Worker 
  • Case Worker 
  • Community Care Coordinator 
  • Halfway House Supervisor 
  • Women’s Centre Program Supervisor 
  • Crisis Intervention Worker 
  • Case Management Supervisor 
  • Community Services Manager 
  • Support Case Worker 
  • Counsellor   

How to Get Started in Community Services 

Most jobs in the community services sector require a formal qualification before you can get started. 

Community Support Worker Education 

To become a Community Support Worker, you will require a Level III certificate or above, such as Certificate III in Community Services. 

This certificate is an ideal entry-level course for anybody wanting a career in community services. It teaches a broad range of practical skills and theory and is designed to prepare students for a non-specialist role, such as a Community Support Worker while allowing for other job options within the sector.  

The course takes an average of 12 months to complete, although some students finish much quicker depending on their available time.  

On completing this course, you can look for work or continue your studies with the Diploma of Community Services to equip yourself for supervisory or managerial roles. 

Specialist Support Courses 

If you already know a specialist area in community services you are keen to embark on – for example, helping elderly people – then you can consider a course designed purely for this type of support.  

The more popular specialist courses are: 

Each course takes an average of 12 months to complete (or 18 months for the Certificate IV in Mental Health). Once completed, students are ready to take their practical skills and knowledge directly to the workplace or continue their studies with a higher certificate such as a diploma.  

Studying with Collaboration Learning 

Now you know how to work in community services, it’s time to consider your study options in more detail. Who better to help you than Collaboration Learning! 

As one of Queensland’s leading RTOs, we have several options to help you kick-start your career in community services. Our courses teach specialist and community support worker skills – and right now, with most of our courses government-funded, this really is the best time to complete a certificate! 

Take a look at our community services courses, and if you have questions, arrange a chat with one of our team.  

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Student Testimonials

Great course, supportive environment!
I completed my Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. They have a fantastic team and I really enjoyed studying with them. My teacher was great with helping me, replying quickly to emails and marking assessments, and very encouraging. I found the coursework to be well laid out and easy to understand and follow.

Thank you for helping me on my journey into Early Childhood Education!

Lael Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

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“I had an amazing experience in my learning path for my new career and the teachers are amazing and helpful in your studies. I would definitely choose them for more learning experiences if I need to build on my career. I personally had trouble at the start of the course due to not studying in years. In-class teaching worked well for me.”

Joanne Hall Certificate IV in Ageing Support

With my first part on campus with Rene Ellwood, it was great to attend a class and be able to share experiences. Rene made it easy to grasp information. The second part was online but still easy to understand.”

Annie Boissonneau Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)

“Course was easy to understand and teachers were always there to help. Information was always easily found and knowing due dates for each individual unit and project made life much easier.”

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“Loved the experience. Great trainer, Chloe! Met some lifelong friends and got a job I love. Thanks for a new and rewarding career change.”

Christy Koe Certificate III in Community Services

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Jamie Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)

“I feel so lucky to have found this college, the course is perfect to suit my lifestyle and what I want to achieve for my career. Very professional service, absolutely fantastic.”

Jessica Certificate III in Retail Services

“Love this place. All staff members are very nice. Very clean environment with all amenities. I am doing cert 3 in ECEC and my trainer Katrina is such a nice and lovely person, very soft-spoken, very supportive. Happy to be a part of this institute.”

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