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What Can I Expect from a Career in Community Service?

The community service field can be a good choice for career changers who want to help people and make a difference in their communities. Before you go back to college for this career, you need to research it to be sure it’s a good fit for your interests and skills.

Here’s what you can expect from this career.

Job Duties

Community service workers help clients deal with their social or personal problems. If you enter this career, you may need to interview clients to find out background information about their problems. You’ll need to help clients sort out their options and help them find community resources. This can include resources like financial assistance, housing, or day care.

People in this field may also implement services in the community. For example, you could be involved with determining if people are eligible for social benefits. You could also be involved with substance abuse treatment programs, youth services programs, or other programs in your community.

People in this field may need to counsel clients. This includes providing support to clients and offering assistance. You may need to follow up with clients to check their progress and discuss any difficulties they’re encountering.

Work Environment

If you enter this field, you could work in environments like clinics, community centres, or addiction treatment facilities. You could also work in places like correctional facilities, group homes, or shelters.

You may work in only one clinic, or you could split your time between two or more clinics. It’s common to need to drive to see clients. If you get bored easily at work, you’ll enjoy getting to work in multiple environments over the course of your work week.

If you’re looking for nine-to-five employment, this field may not be for you. Community service workers may need to work unusual hours, like nights or weekends. If you currently have a nine-to-five job and don’t like the schedule, the varied hours of community work may be appealing.

Your clients may have serious problems, so offering assistance can be demanding and stressful. It’s important to be aware that helping professions have high rates of job burnout. If you tend to get stressed easily, this career may not be a good fit. However, if you’re a patient person who loves to help others, this career can be very rewarding.

Job Prospects

Job prospects are very important for career changers. No one wants to go back to college for a new career only to discover there’s no work available in the field. Job prospects are promising for people in the community service field.

In the Toronto region, the outlook for social and community service workers is projected to be fair. Employment growth is projected to be strong, and a moderate number of people in the field should be retiring. This is good news for people who are considering entering the field.

If you’ve struggled with periods of unemployment in your current career, you may be worried about stability in community work. This field has low levels of unemployment, so it’s a secure choice for career changers.


To get a job in this field, you’ll need to go to college. A community and developmental service worker diploma or community service worker diploma can help you get started. In these career college programs, students get the knowledge and skills they need to start careers in the community service field.

At college, you’ll learn how to assess clients and how to monitor clients’ treatments. You’ll learn how to implement programs in your community. You’ll learn practical skills like communication techniques and non-violent crisis intervention. These programs also teach other skills community workers need to know, like first aid and CPR.

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