Are you great at communicating with children? Why not turn your talent into a career as a Youth Worker? It’s a rewarding career field that involves helping young people deal with their emotional, social and practical needs. Interested? Read on to discover how to become a youth worker and what to expect from the career.
Youth workers perform a vital role within a community, helping aid young people when they need it most. It’s an interesting and diverse role - you’ll be involved with planning and facilitating behavioural, welfare and protection programs for your clients. Perhaps best of all, youth work is also a career field that is in constant demand, with a strong forecast for future growth and a good amount of flexibility in terms of hours worked.
Usually employed by the government or charities, a youth worker plans, develops and implements youth programmes and provides individualised support for young people. Duties vary depending on your role but include managing projects, establishing youth services, delivering presentations, safeguarding and providing counsel. Many youth workers deal directly with issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, sex and relationships. If you’d like to know more, read ‘what does a youth worker do’.
We’ve listed a youth worker job description above, but there are a range of different job titles available within the field of youth work. Each share similar duties, but often have specific skills or niche areas of operation.
These youth worker jobs can include:
Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and projections to 2023. Here is the information for Welfare Support Workers (Closest applicable title)
This graph showcases the growth (to 2023) in employment (thousands) for this career field – indicating that there’s a great potential for growth, with the sector forecast to have around 52,100 job openings in 2023 and is classed as having strong growth. That’s roughly 6000 new positions every year, making now a great time to study towards becoming a youth worker.
Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and projections to 2023. Here is the information for Welfare Support Workers (closest applicable title)
The above salary is an average across all welfare support workers, so individual earnings as a youth worker may be higher. However, this graph does show that average earnings are slightly lower than the full-time earnings of the Australian all jobs average. These earnings tend to grow with experience.
The average age of workers in marketing and advertising is 42, which is slightly higher than the average Australian worker age of 40. Youth workers tend to occupy the higher age brackets from 25 through to 54, indicating that it’s a field many enter at a later stage of their lives once they’ve gained more general experience.
Youth workers tend to have a higher level of education than the all jobs average, with 25.7% of people in the industry holding a Bachelor’s degree compared to 17.9% of those in the all job average.
However, Certificate III/IV and Diploma’s are also commonplace amongst youth workers. 21.7% of youth workers hold a Diploma or Advanced Diploma and another 21.7% hold a Certificate III/IV. Fewer youth workers hold year 12 as their maximum qualification, which illustrates the importance of achieving a certificate III or above in order to enter the field. If you’re asking yourself what qualifications do I need to be a youth worker, read our article and gain a more detailed understanding.
Youth workers must prepare to enter a role in which they’re going to deal with a range of emotions and social conditions. The work can be stressful, upsetting and sometimes traumatising. As such, you’ll need to be equipped to handle these scenarios. By training to be a youth worker, you can build the skills and experience needed to enter the profession confident in your own ability.
The good news is that there are lots of routes into the career provided you have completed Year 12 or equivalent. To find out more about the course and get started, visit our Certificate IV in Youth Work course page today.
Enter your details below to receive a free course guide and a consultation with an Education Advisor.