What is Youth Work?

Youth work is all about helping young people to be healthy, happy and active members of society. This can involve working with individuals as well as groups, and dealing with issues related to behaviour, welfare, housing, health, addiction and protection.

The average day of a youth worker will often include providing counselling, advocating for clients, and connecting youth with the supports and services that they need, along with writing reports and liaising with a wide variety of health professionals.

Roles in youth work can include any of the following;

  • Accommodation support worker
  • Social support assistant
  • Community resource worker
  • Drug and alcohol counsellor
  • Family support worker
  • Behavioural support expert

Youth Work in Australia

Approximately 49,600 youth workers are currently employed throughout Australia, most of whom work in New South Wales (32.4%), followed by Victoria (22.4%) and Queensland (19.6%).

Around 74.3% of Australia’s youth workers are female, with most are aged between 45-54 years old, and the average working week is 36.6 hours long. Youth work usually involves working regular business hours in an office setting, although some roles will also include evening and weekend shifts.

Australia’s youth workers are typically well educated,  with 84% having completed at least a Certificate III in  Youth Work, while 33% have attained a bachelor level degree. The average salary of youth workers in Australia is $72,607 P/A.

Youth Work Courses Available

Working with young people is one of the most challenging and important roles in our society; so, in order to thrive in youth work, you’ll need the backing of the latest skills, knowledge and training.


Certificate level programs provide a fantastic introduction to the industry and can be completed in one to two years, making them a great choice for those looking to step into entry-level roles. A Certificate IV in Youth Work, for example, will touch on everything from dealing with young people respectfully and building relationships through to the legal and ethical factors associated with youth work in Australia.


If you have some experience working with youth already consider a diploma-level qualification, as this can be an extremely effective way to expand upon your skills and knowledge. A Diploma of Youth Work, for example, goes beyond the basics of working with young people to examine issues such as mental health, substance abuse, and even the art of supporting youth.

Career Prospects in Youth Work

According to the latest industry data, this vital sector is expected to grow strongly over the next five years, with as many as 52,100 youth workers tipped to be working throughout Australia. Qualified graduates can, therefore, expect to find a wide range of opportunities for years to come.

Is a Career in Youth Work Right for You?

To thrive in this challenging role, an open mind and non-judgemental attitude is a must. You’ll also need to have plenty of patience, a sense of humour, and be someone who works well in even the most challenging of situations.

Strong leadership, organisation and clear communication skills are essential; as is the ability to connect with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Above all else, having a genuine passion for helping others is absolutely vital.

Are you ready to spend your days engaging with Australia’s youth? If so, you’ll find the training you want and need right here at tafecourses.com.au. Find your course, sign up and get your career in youth work started today!