Youth Workers assist and guide young people facing a variety of problems, including social, educational, welfare, behavioural, and financial issues. They may work with young people individually or in groups. There are lots of areas you might like to specialise in, including disability, mental health, foster care, or rehabilitation.
If you want to bring out the best in people, are kind and caring, and want a job that can be challenging but incredibly rewarding, becoming a Youth Worker could be perfect for you.
- Fantastic problem solver
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Great communicator
- Physically and emotionally resilient
- Works well under pressure
- Patient and kind
- Can deal with confrontation
- Energetic and enthusiastic
- Assessing the individual needs of young people
- Developing and implementing support programs and strategies
- Monitoring and reporting on a young person’s progress
- Discussing problems in a safe and non-judgemental space
- Providing emergency counselling and shelter
- Building healthy relationships with clients
- Helping young people reach their goals
- If necessary, referring young people on to appropriate specialists
Lifestyle Impact: Moderate
- Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 37% of Youth Workers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Youth Workers’ salary (average) $75,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Very strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You will most likely need to do work on weekends, holidays, and even late at night.
Youth Workers are most in demand in these locations:
This is a medium sized occupation, with around 12,300 people working as Youth Workers in Australia in 2016 (source: joboutlook.com.au). Demand for Youth Workers is spread fairly evenly across Australia, with higher demand in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Most Youth Workers work in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry.
How to become a Youth Worker in Australia
You will need to complete a minimum VET-level qualification to work as a Youth Worker in Australia. Note that requirements may vary from state to state, and between government and non-government employers.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths.
Step 2 – Complete a relevant VET qualification. This could be something such as:
- Certificate IV in Youth Work
- Diploma of Youth Work
- Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention
Step 3 – Consider upskilling with a relevant university qualification, such as a Bachelor of Youth Work or Bachelor of Community Services.
Step 5 – Complete any other required screening checks and practical placements before starting work as a Youth Worker.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Youth Workers do?
Youth Workers provide guidance and assistance to at-risk young people, helping them make better decisions and find a fulfilling future.
Which industries employ Youth Workers?
Youth Workers are mostly employed in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry.
What options are there for career progression?
With lots of experience you might like to become a Case Manager, responsible for overseeing other Youth Workers and handling more complex cases.
Do I need to go to university to become a Youth Worker?
Not necessarily. A VET qualification is suitable in most cases to find work as a Youth Worker in Australia.
Where do Youth Workers work?
There is demand for Youth Workers across Australia, particularly in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Youth Worker?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Youth Worker is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- See if you can find work experience in a social work or healthcare related setting. This can help you see if this kind of career might suit you.
- Start volunteering in your community, building valuable skills and connections that could help you in the future.
- Talk to a Youth Worker or watch videos to see what a day in their life is like.