How to become a community development worker
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
This role is open to all graduates though you may find it useful to have a foundation degree or degree in:
- community development
- community studies
- youth work
- social sciences
Most community development courses include work placements to help you build up your experience.
You'll usually need:
- at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could take a college course, which may be useful when applying for a trainee development worker job. Courses include:
- Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Community Development
- Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and Community Work
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
If you want to specialise in helping the community with health and wellbeing issues, you may be able to do a public health practitioner degree apprenticeship.
With this route, you could work for organisations like charities, the NHS or local authorities, helping people in communities to live long, healthy and happy lives.
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
A way in to this job is to volunteer for local projects. You'll usually receive some training on the job. You may also get the chance to take an introductory part-time college course in community work.
You'll need practical experience of working in the community. You can get this by:
- volunteering with a local community group, tenants' association or charity
- working in a related career like housing, regeneration, social work or youth work
Your experience and training as a volunteer could help you to find paid work.
Having relevant experience that shows your interest and commitment to this kind of work is very important when it comes to finding jobs.
Many people have experience of other professions before entering this role so you may have an advantage if you have previously worked in areas like teaching, youth work or community health.