Social and community service workers set up and manage a variety of social assistance programs and community services.
Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a social and community service worker is like.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 12,150
Social and community service workers work with clients to:
In general, social and community service workers:
Social and community service workers are needed in a variety of settings. They may work in residential or group homes, transition houses or drop-in or overnight shelters. Community service workers often do outreach work in the community. They may visit clients, take clients on trips, or attend meetings with service providers.
A 40-hour workweek is standard but varies based on the role. Working evening and weekend hours is common. Some shift work may be required in residential settings, where people must be supervised 24 hours a day.
This type of work can be very satisfying. At the same time, it can be emotionally draining. Understaffing and lack of equipment can add to the pressure.
Source: 2016 Census
Social and community service workers have usually completed a college or university program in social work, child and youth care, counselling or another social science or health-related discipline. The length of the program depends on the area of study.
Graduates with work experience in a social service environment are preferred. This can include volunteering, internship, mentorship or internal training programs. In some cases, experience may replace formal education requirements.
Training in workplace wellness can make this work especially satisfying.
Some employers require social service workers to be registered with the British Columbia College of Social Workers.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
This is a broad career with many expected future openings. New positions will involve caring for the growing elderly population as well as for pregnant teens, the homeless, and people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities or substance use problems. Growth is also expected in outreach and community development with First Nations, especially in rehabilitation and for youth.
Job opportunities are expected to be highest in job-training programs, residential care facilities and non-governmental social service agencies.
While the average age of workers is relatively young, retirements are also a source of job openings. And, because workers can practise anywhere in Canada, turnover will continue as individuals transfer to other areas of the country.
Social and community service workers typically begin their careers working part time for one or more agencies in entry-level jobs. They may work in a range of areas: childcare referral; victim services; community or family support; infant development; awake and overnight support; or residential, vocational (jobs-related), activity, transition, shelter or crisis line work. Those with more qualifications may do social work.
With additional education, training and experience, social and community service workers may progress to professional or supervisory social service positions. They may become social workers, probation or parole officers, or family, marriage or other counsellors. Highly experienced workers may become co-ordinators or senior-level counsellors, or they may work in management.