What do you know about Youth Worker jobs in Australia?
by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: September 02, 2019
A career in youth work will enable you to make a positive impact on the lives of many young people, who may be suffering from mental health issues, or dealing with a crisis. Whilst you will need to work hard and have a lot of patience and resilience, you will find it an extremely diverse and rewarding career.
But what does a job in youth work involve, what skills do you need and what is a typical salary? Read this article to find out, plus discover how you can start your career in youth work now.
A day in the life of a youth worker
As a youth worker, you will have a vital role in helping young people when they need it most. Your role will vary depending on your specific job, but generally, you will need to plan, develop and implement programs that help those who may be between 12-24 years of age.
You will be expected to provide support and counselling to those experiencing social, emotional or behavioural issues. You may also need to provide advice on a wide range of issues such as employment, drug rehabilitation, alcohol abuse, relationships and homelessness. You will need to monitor progress and make referrals to specialist agencies for additional help where required.
Skills you need to be a youth worker
If you’re interested in becoming a youth worker, here are some of the key skills you will need:
- Communication: You will need to be able to communicate effectively with a variety of people, from teachers and social workers to parents and local authorities. You will also need to be able to talk with young people, provide empathy, actively listen to their issues and clearly express how you will support them.
- Organisation: You will be working with lots of different people, arranging meetings and organising support programs so you will need good planning and organisational skills to stay on top of everything.
- Adaptable: You will need to deal with many different situations so it’s important that you’re able to think on the spot and react to difficult situations quickly.
Career prospects in youth work
The number of people working as youth workers grew from 11,100 in 2011 to 12,300 in 2016. It’s an area that is in regular demand, so you can expect to find lots of job opportunities across Australia.
Weekly pay for a youth worker is AU$1,328, so your annual salary would be around AU$69,000. 63% of youth workers work full-time which sometimes includes evenings and weekends, depending on your specific role.
Youth work roles to consider
There are many different career paths to choose from in the youth work sector. A key decision you must make is whether you want to pursue a more generalised youth work job or choose a specialism. Here are some roles you could consider:
- Youth Outreach Worker:
You will work with young people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Your role will involve planning and coordinating programs and assisting young people in accessing this support.
- Youth Support Worker:
You will provide support and advice to help young people reach their full potential. These may be individuals who are in care or welfare facilities.
- Residential Youth Worker:
You will provide one-to-one care and support to young people in a residential setting such as in schools, hospitals, youth centres or emergency accommodation.
- Youth Drug and Alcohol Worker:
You will work with young people and their families, providing education and support for drug and alcohol misuse.
How to start your career in youth work?
To become a youth worker, you would usually need a formal qualification. Youth work courses like Open Colleges’ CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work will help you build the skills and experience you need to get started, so you can be equipped to handle various situations and problems. You can even complete your required work placement in Fiji with Action for Children and the Aged (ACATA) Trust Fiji.
Get started in this challenging yet rewarding career path now and start making a real impact on the lives of young people.