Community development worker

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

Salary range: £16,000 to £36,000

How to become a community development worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering


You could start by taking a foundation degree or degree in community development, community studies, youth work or social sciences.

Most courses include work placements to help you build up your experience.

Entry requirements

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

More information


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

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More information


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.

You could work for organisations like charities, the NHS or local authorities, helping people in communities to live long, healthy and happy lives.

Entry requirements

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

More information

Volunteering and experience

A common 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.

You can find local opportunities through Do-it and My Community.

More information

Further information

You can get more details about working in community development from your local council and locality.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in the community or in an office.

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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