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Turn Your Compassion into a Career: All About Community Services & Counselling

By Vanessa Ciabatti

Dedicated to improving the lives of others, community services and counselling are vital sectors to Australia’s workforce. The industry encompasses a wide range of services, from welfare support to mental health counselling – each offering the impactful opportunity of helping communities achieve personal growth and wellbeing.

Given the industry’s exponential growth and generous earnings, those interested in the field can also find plenty of appealing career opportunities. We break down the reasons to enter this sector below, and how training with Upskilled can help you stand out in the job market.

Why pursue Community Services & Counselling?

Australia’s community services and counselling industry offers promising career paths for those with the right skills, interests, and experience. According to Labour Market Insights, the sector is a large one with a current workforce size of 84,600 professionals – a number projected to witness substantial growth, reaching 94,700 employees by 2026. This bodes plenty of job opportunities for those looking to enter the field, now and into the future.

Potential workers can also enjoy attractive salary packages with median full-time earnings standing at about $1,492 AUD per week, amounting to approximately $77,584 annually.

Aspiring counsellors, in particular, are set to enjoy equally promising prospects. Employment growth for this sector is predicted to rise from 24,400 in 2021 to 27,800 by 2026. Moreover, counsellors currently enjoy a median full-time income of $1,652 AUD per week, approximately $85,904 annually. This exceeds the all-jobs weekly median of $1,593 AUD, or $82,836 per year.

The upward trajectory in the community services and counselling industry can be attributed to the growing demand for aged care services, driven by Australia's ageing population. Additionally, there is an increasing need for welfare services due to the adverse economic and social effects of the pandemic. For individuals with the right skills and passion for helping others, the industry presents an appealing and rewarding career path.

What skills do employers look for?

Community service employers typically seek those with exceptional people skills and effective communication, as this allows them to successfully build rapport with clients, facilitate trust, and offer empathetic support. Additionally, strong time management is essential, allowing counsellors to efficiently handle multiple cases and meet clients’ needs promptly. Strong documentation skills are also a must in accurately assessing and reporting clients’ progress and needs for ongoing care.

Moreover, flexibility and reliability are highly valued traits, as clients may require urgent care during unforeseen circumstances. Being able to navigate crisis situations and think quickly are also crucial in providing effective assistance.

What personality traits make a “good fit” for the industry?

“People”-persons may be best fit to thrive in this field, as they enjoy connecting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, ages, and circumstances – helping them better foster strong, positive relationships with clients. Patience and understanding are also essential, enabling non-judgemental and compassionate support.
Additionally, perseverance in challenging situations is key. For instance, when working with clients facing heavy or complex issues, maintaining resilience ensures a steady commitment to their well-being. This goes hand-in-hand with emotional strength, a vital trait required to avoid letting clients’ problems have a lasting negative impact on their own well-being.

Studying Community Services & Counselling with Upskilled

If you consider yourself passionate about helping others, then you may just find a fulfilling career in the community services and counselling industry.

Those seeking to get their foot in the door can find their start through the many online training courses Upskilled offers in this field. Through a range of short courses, certificates, and diplomas – you’re sure to find the skills boost you need to stand out in this growing sector.

The benefits of upskilling in the community services industry

Upskilling in the community services could not only help accelerate your career growth, but also equip you with the tools to provide enhanced client support.

Pursuing further training can help you stay updated on the latest industry practices – particularly helpful in fields like mental health where research continually evolves. This ensures that aspiring practitioners are constantly offering the most effective and evidence-based care.

Upskilling can also open doors to managerial positions, providing you with opportunities to lead teams and shape service delivery. It can also help diversify your skills, allowing you to explore new sectors within the community services field. For example, a counsellor may take a course in alcohol and other drugs to gain further expertise in supporting individuals affected by substance addiction.

Through further training and education, you can broaden your impact as a community service professional and more effectively help those in need.

Pursuing a Community Services & Counselling course

As mentioned, Upskilled offers a generous range of community services and counselling courses that cater to varying skill levels and interests. These programs can offer pathways to varying roles and responsibilities in the field, and include:
  • CHC32015 - Certificate III in Community Services Those seeking to learn the fundamentals in community support and care can kick off their learning journey through this course. This certificate program can equip you with the skills required to work with a diverse range of people, provide them with the day-to-day care they need, and refer them to the community support services best fit to their situation.
  • CHC43215- Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other DrugsIf you’re looking to specialise your skills in supporting individuals with substance addiction, this course can get you started on the basics. The program will explore areas of mental health, intervention, and developing treatment plans for those struggling with alcohol and other drugs.
  • CHC43315 – Certificate IV in Mental HealthThis certificate course can offer you the job-ready skills you need to effectively support those struggling with mental health illness or disability. The program focuses on recovery-oriented services, crisis intervention, and assisting those at risk of suicide. 
  • CHC51015 – Diploma of CounsellingIf you’re interested in a career as counsellor, our diploma course can offer you a comprehensive introduction to its various forms of therapy, personality and development theories, and intervention strategies.
It’s worth noting that our courses also extend to a number of short courses, including our SA-000322 Short Course in Counselling and SA-000318 Short Course in Introduction to Community Services. These provide a much more brief, entry-level look into the industry for those simply curious about the field or looking to change careers. They also serve as a quick, effective “skills boost” for those looking to advance their career in the sector.

Flexible payment options are available for all our qualifications, with each program focused on arming you with the practical, job-ready skills required for successful employment and career growth.

Qualified trainers and industry connections

Each of our courses are expertly guided by highly qualified educators in the community services space. Through their extensive experience and up-to-date knowledge, students will receive all the necessary support they need in completing their assessments, work placements, and participating in collaborative activities (i.e. role-playing scenarios) with their course peers.

Additionally, some of these qualifications offer work placements with leading industry figures such as Mindset Intervention, PHM Health, and My Way Community Alliance.  

Build a fulfilling career in community services and counselling today!

Whether you’re looking to get your start in community services or simply after a broader skillset, Upskilled’s wide range of qualifications can help grant you the skills boost you need. Best of all, each of these courses are delivered online – helping you train at a time, place, and pace that suits your study needs best.

Launch a rewarding, lucrative career in the ever-expanding world of community services and counselling, and enquire with us on a course today. You can also find a full list of our available qualifications, enrolment information, trainer details, and further statistics on the industry and its market growth on Upskilled’s Community Services & Counselling page.

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Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.

*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.