Community development worker

youth worker
Social work and caring services

Career outlook for community development worker

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would work with individuals, families, young people and groups on projects to improve life in their local areas.

Your work might address a wide range of issues such as how to improve local facilities, leisure and housing, or how to reduce anti-social behaviour. You could also specialise in just one field.

You would:

  • Find out about local needs and problems
  • Give people ways to voice their opinions
  • Raise awareness about community issues
  • Help local people to take action
  • Research existing projects aimed at similar problems
  • Develop new ways to approach problems
  • Build links with other groups and agencies
  • Raise funds and manage budgets
  • Recruit and train staff and volunteers
  • Plan meetings and events
  • Help people gain the skills to run their own community groups
  • Keep records and do paperwork

Working conditions


In a typical full-time job you would work around 37 hours a week. You would need to be flexible, as the work can include unsocial hours such as evenings and weekends. Part-time work and short-term contracts are common.


You would have an office base.


You would spend much of your time out and about in the community, for example visiting local people and groups, and attending meetings.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Motivating others
  • Mentoring
  • Time management
  • Developing a plan
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Supporting
  • Building relationships
  • Social conscience

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are a variety of different routes into this role.

You can enter a relevant National Certificate, such as an NC Working with Communities (SCQF level 6), with no formal qualifications or some courses as for qualifications at SCQF level 4 or 5.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in community development, education or youth work you will require National 5 qualifications and at least three Highers. Some universities ask for qualifications to be gained in one sitting.

You can also enter a degree with a relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8). With Advanced Highers, HNC or HND qualification you may enter the second or third year of some degree courses.

Postgraduate qualifications (SCQF level 11) are also available. You may be able to study part-time for this course while you are working.

To enter a postgraduate qualification you usually need a degree (SCQF level 9/10) or extensive relevant experience and other qualifications, such as a Modern Apprenticeship in Youth Work (SCQF level 5/6).

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Social subjects such as modern studies

You will also need

For any job where you would be working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults, you will require a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) certificate from Disclosure Scotland.

A driving licence is useful and is essential for some positions.

Experience in a related field such as social or youth work may be preferred

Helpful to have

 All experience working with communities and groups is of value, you may be able to gain qualifications such as Volunteering Skills Awards (SCQF level 4/5) or Leadership Award (SCQF level 5/7).