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What is a community services course?

A community services course is a qualification that prepares you for numerous jobs in the community services industry. Depending on the career you would like to pursue, a community services course will equip you with important skills and knowledge required to support your community, including working with diverse people, supporting carers and families, communication, empowering others, ethical compliance, WHS, first aid, counselling, community development, and more. 

Community services is an extremely rewarding career path that provides support to people in need, including aged care, disability support, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, youth work, leisure and health, and more.  Enrolling in a community services course ensures you have the appropriate skills and understanding to provide gentle support and care to the wider community. 

What do community services courses involve? 

Community services courses will differ depending on the specialisation you choose to pursue. All courses are designed to teach you the fundamental skills and understanding to work with a diverse range of people in the community, including communication strategies, empowerment, ethical compliance, and workplace health and safety. 

Depending on the specialisation you choose, you may learn such skills as

  • Safe work practices 
  • Confirming physical health status 
  • Working with diverse people 
  • Supporting recovery 
  • Community participation & social inclusion 
  • Contributing to skills development 
  • Planning leisure & health programs 
  • Legal & ethical compliance 
  • Case management 
  • First aid 
  • Counselling 
  • Working with young people 
  • Cultural safety for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 
  • Planning group activities.

Most community services courses include theoretical components as well as practical work experience through a work placement. The work placement enables you to practise your new skills in a real-life environment while still being supported throughout your training. As a result, you can enter your new career with confidence that you can provide the necessary support to the community you’re working with. 

What makes being a community services worker a good career choice?

Working in community services is extremely rewarding as it allows you to help others on a daily basis, while also achieving personal growth and gaining valuable skills that you may not learn in any other job. 

Here are several benefits of working in community services: 

Emotional fulfilment

Being a community services worker provides immense satisfaction knowing that you are helping to support people in times of need. You will also share many rewarding personal interactions with your clients and the wider community. It is an extremely fulfilling job that creates happiness, gratification, and accomplishment from knowing you’re having a positive impact on people. 

Unleashing positivity

One of the main benefits of working in community services is being able to support people in need and standing up for their rights. Whether you choose to be a youth worker or work in aged care, you will leave a positive impact on your community and make a difference in people’s lives.

Diverse work options

With a community services qualification you can apply for various roles within the community. This allows you to experience diverse work options and choose a career that matches your personality and interests. You can choose from aged care, family services, emergency relief, mental health, youth work, drug & alcohol rehabilitation, and counselling. There is always the option to pivot to another sector when you are ready to grow or desire to make an impact on another part of the community. 

Gain important life skills

Working in community services requires important life skills which can be valuable in other areas of your life. For example, you will learn how to remain calm and patient in difficult situations. You might develop excellent problem-solving skills as you aim to resolve different issues and conflicts for your clients. You can enhance your communication skills by working with a diverse range of people you wouldn’t normally encounter in another job. 

High job demand

Community services is a rapidly growing sector in Australia. In one report, 66% of community services organisations reported an increased demand for community services workers in 2022. People are always needed to support the community and you are unlikely to struggle with finding a job.

How do I become a community services worker?

The first step to becoming a community services worker is to obtain a relevant qualification in community services. Depending on the career you want to pursue, you may choose to specialise in different areas such as aged care, youth work, or drug & alcohol rehabilitation. You can also pursue a more general Diploma of Community Service. 

Your qualification will usually include a work placement that allows you to gain valuable experience with an approved organisation. After you have completed your community services course you may choose to become a member of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA). After that, you are ready to begin your career and apply for community service worker jobs! 

How much can you earn after community services courses?

The amount you can earn after a community services course will depend on the sector you choose to specialise in. The average salary for a Community Service Officer in Australia is around $84,194 while a Community Support Worker can earn around $65,000. Completing an online course in community services can potentially increase your earning potential. 

Community services courses in Australia

There are numerous community services courses you can pursue in Australia. These can be studied either in-person or online, which offers more flexible study options. The most popular community services courses in Australia are:

  • Diploma of Community Services 
  • Diploma of Youth Work 
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) 
  • Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Best online community services courses to pursue

You can earn a nationally recognised qualification from reputable institutions in Australia with our range of online community services courses. These courses provide flexible study options that equip you with all the essential skills you need to succeed as a community services worker. 

Browse our range of online community services courses below: 

Diploma of Community Services

The online Diploma of Community Services course equips students with the knowledge and skills to perform in the community services sector in both community and residential environments. 

In this program, you’ll learn various topics such as: 

  • Workplace communication 
  • Managing legal & ethical compliance 
  • Developing & implementing service programs 
  • Deliver person centred services
  • Case management 
  • First aid 
  • Counselling, and more.

Upon completion of this course, you can pursue jobs such as Case Coordinator, Case Worker, Community Care Worker, and Community Worker.

Diploma of Youth Work

The online Diploma of Youth Work will teach you how to care for the wellbeing of younger people. 

You will learn various important topics such as: 

  • Supporting youth programs 
  • Developing networks & collaborative partnerships 
  • Planning & conducting group activities 
  • Counselling 
  • Providing services to young people 
  • Working with mental health issues 
  • Managing service response to young people in crisis 
  • Identifying children & young people at risk, and more. 

When you finish this online course, you can pursue jobs such as Case Manager, Youth Coordinator, Family Services Coordinator, and Team Leader. 

Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs

The online Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs educates you on the skills required to guide people through recovery from drugs and alcohol. This can be a challenging yet exciting field to work in. 

The course will teach you several valuable skills such as:

  • Working in trauma informed care 
  • Assessing co-existing needs 
  • Increasing the safety of individuals at risk of suicide 
  • Providing interventions, and more. 

Upon completion of this online course, you can take on job titles such as Detoxification Worker, Drug and Alcohol Worker, and Outreach Worker.

What are the benefits of online community services courses?

There are many reasons why you may choose to pursue online study of community services. These include: 

  • Start any time: With online study, you don’t have to wait for semester commencement dates. You can start your course at any time. 
  • Flexible study: You can choose to study from anywhere with an internet connection. Home, cafe, library, the choice is yours. You can also enrol in various education institutions no matter how far they may be from your home. 
  • Work life balance: If you’re currently juggling work or family life, online study is the perfect flexible option. You can work on assignments and watch lectures at a time that suits you, whether that’s nights, weekends, or mornings. 
  • Work placement: Although the courses are delivered online, you still complete the valuable work placement hours that allow you to train with an organisation and gain practical skills before you graduate. 

How long does it take to finish a community services course?

This depends on the course you choose to enrol in. A Diploma of Community Services and Diploma of Youth Work takes around 24 months to complete with about 160 hours of work placement. A Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs can be completed in around 18 months and includes around 120 hours work placement. 

How much does a community services course cost?

The cost of a community services course will depend on the certificate you enrol in, the institution, and the payment method you use. Many institutions offer payment plans and may even offer a discount for some students. Browse our courses and ask for a free class pack to learn more about pricing. 

Community services courses – summary

Ready to give back to your community and thrive in a rewarding career? Browse our range of community services online courses and enrol as soon as tomorrow! 


    1. What is a community services worker?
      A community services worker is someone who provides care and support to people in the community, including aged care, youth work, family support, drug & alcohol rehabilitation, and more.

    2. What does a community services worker do?
      The daily tasks of a community services worker will differ depending on the sector they work in. They may provide emergency housing, child care, counselling, health services, and more.

    3. How much does a community services worker earn in Australia?
      The average salary for a community support worker in Australia is around $61,425 per year.

    4. How do I become a community services worker in Australia?
      Start with a relevant qualification, such as a Diploma in Community Services.

    5. Why would you want to be a community services worker?
      Community services is an extremely rewarding career path that makes a positive difference in people’s lives and enables personal growth.

    6. Is a community services worker a good career?
      If you love helping people and making a positive impact, you will love a career as a community services worker.

    7. Are community services workers in demand?
      Yes, community service workers are in high demand in Australia.