Community arts workers help local communities plan and take part in activities like drama, dance, painting and photography.
Salary range: £16,000 to £28,000
How to become a community arts worker
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- community arts
- creative expressive therapies
- art and design
- community education
You’ll usually need to be qualified and experienced in a particular art form, for instance visual arts, dance, drama, music or creative writing.
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may find a community arts qualification useful for getting a job as an assistant. Examples include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Community Arts Administration
- Level 3 Certificate in Community Development
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You may be able to do a cultural learning and participation officer advanced apprenticeship, or an apprenticeship in community arts.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
It’s important to get relevant experience by volunteering. This can often lead into paid work.
You can find out about local community arts projects from the arts officer at your local council, or by checking:
You can apply directly for jobs if you’ve got paid or voluntary experience of working in the community. For example, in adult education, art teaching or youth work. Experience of working with disadvantaged or vulnerable groups will also be helpful.
Experience is just as important for getting onto a community arts course as it is for finding paid work.
You’ll find more on working in community arts through Creative Choices.
You can also get more information about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- knowledge of psychology
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- leadership skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of English language
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- working with local community groups to identify needs and concerns
- developing new groups and activities
- creating artwork and helping community members develop their own ideas
- promoting and organising input from other arts workers
- leading meetings and training activities
- advising on grants, sponsorship and other sources of funding
- writing funding bids and proposals, managing budgets and general administration
- publicising activities through the press, local radio, leaflets and social media
- managing and assessing projects
You could work in the community, at an adult care home, in a prison or at a school.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could work freelance and run larger projects with bigger budgets.
In larger organisations, you could move into a more senior or management role.