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Community development worker

Community development workers help people to improve the quality of life in their local area.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £36,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need paid or unpaid experience of working in the community or voluntary sector, gained from:

  • volunteering in a local community group or charity
  • working in a related career like housing, regeneration, social work, youth work or teaching
You could get into this job through an advanced level apprenticeship.

You could do a course in community development at college or university, but this isn’t essential.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  •  networking and negotiating skills
  • a creative approach to problem solving
  • organisation, planning and administration skills
  • skills in researching, analysing statistics and writing reports

3. What you'll do

You’ll work with individuals, families and groups in socially or financially deprived areas. 

You’ll provide leadership, and bring local people together to make changes and tackle social inequality.

You’ll also help people to develop their skills, knowledge, and experience. You’ll work with them to build their confidence so that they can eventually run their own community groups.

You’ll address a range of issues in the community, like improving local facilities, leisure and housing, or reducing anti-social behaviour. 

As a manager, you’ll find and secure funding for projects.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • finding out about the community's needs, problems and barriers
  • making sure local people take action and have their say
  • developing new opportunities and monitoring existing projects
  • helping to raise public awareness about community issues
  • building links with other groups and agencies
  • raising funds
  • recruiting and training staff and volunteers
  • planning meetings and events
  • managing budgets
  • helping groups to settle differences of opinion on local issues
  • doing administrative work

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £20,000

Experienced: £21,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: up to £36,000

Public sector posts have national pay scales. In the voluntary sector, pay can vary considerably depending on your experience and location.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 37 hours a week. You’ll need to be flexible, as the work can include unsocial hours like evenings and weekends. 

You’ll be office based, but you’ll spend much of your time out in the community visiting local people and groups, and attending meetings.

6. Career path and progression

You could specialise in a particular issue or broaden your experience and work with different issues or groups.

You could move into management, policy making, or work as a freelance trainer or consultant.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017