The South Australian community services industry employs 49,500 people, which is around 6.2% of the State’s workforce.

Most people in this industry work in residential or community settings, providing care and support to people of all ages. As well as working with individuals, people in this industry work with families and communities to support their wellbeing and participation.

There are also opportunities in planning and administration of community services, and in providing education and training that relates to this industry sector.

You can expect to find most of the jobs in the Adelaide metropolitan area but there are also opportunities in South Australia’s regional centres.

Job openings for skilled workers

Aged and disabled carer

Childcare centre manager

Childcare worker

Welfare support worker


Quick facts about this industry

  • Slightly more people work part-time in this industry than full-time.
  • Nearly one quarter of the workforce have a certificate III qualification while a further quarter have a Bachelor degree or higher.
  • The number of men in the industry is growing, but it’s still mostly women.
  • People are generally older than those in other industries.
  • There are a significant number of Aboriginal workers in the community services industry.
  • Many roles, including those involving children and young people, require a police check.
  • For most roles in this industry you have to care about people and be able to communicate well with people from diverse backgrounds. You need to respect people’s independence, dignity and rights. You need a high level of maturity, ability to solve problems and a willingness to work in situations that may be difficult or stressful.
  • A full-time social worker earns between $1,250 and $1,500 per week and a welfare worker earns between $800 and $1,000 per week.

School options

Ask your Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator at school for information about doing vocational education during the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), including the Training Guarantee for SACE (or equivalent) students. Visit the VET section of the SACE website for training options in:

  • Community services

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Qualifications at Certificate III and IV levels include community services, active volunteering, ageing and individual support, disability, early childhood and school age education and care, and employment services
  • Additional qualifications at Certificate IV levels include alcohol and other drugs, mental health, leisure and health, community development, pastoral care, youth work and career development
  • Many of the above have a diploma pathway and there are additional specialisations in counselling and financial counselling
  • Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management

See courses related to this industry.

University disciplines include:

  • Community services
  • Disability studies
  • Health sciences
  • Indigenous studies
  • Social sciences
  • Psychology
  • Social work

Explore university courses offered in South Australia, including courses from:

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information for South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For subsidised training enrolment information, see Enrolling in subsidised training.

For more information, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Occupations in this industry

The community services industry provides services to the most vulnerable in our society.

Early childhood educators assist with the care, development and education of infants and young children. They respond to children’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical and educational needs and work in a wide variety of settings.

Home care workers assist people who need help to stay in their own homes because of illness, disability or old age. They may also assist the families of these individuals and help with personal care, household jobs and social support.

Counsellors work with clients to find solutions to emotional, mental and lifestyle problems. As well as working with individuals and families, they may also act as intermediaries in conflict resolution, facilitate group sessions, and work with other professionals such as medical practitioners, psychologists and social workers as part of a team.

Community workers encourage and assist community groups such as new migrants and Aboriginal people to identify their needs, participate in decision-making and develop strategies to meet those needs.

Funeral workers prepare for funerals, including the transporting and placing of coffins, conducting funeral ceremonies and maintaining funeral premises. They often work with ministers of religion, and have to be tactful and sympathetic with mourners.

Welfare workers provide education and support for individuals, families, groups and communities experiencing life difficulties such as settlement in a new country, unemployment, illness or drug abuse. They may help to establish or administer community groups, arrange and evaluate support services, and work with volunteer staff.

Key occupations:

Other occupations in this industry include:

Aboriginal health worker, activities program coordinator, aged and disability carer, alcohol and other drugs worker, career adviser, childcare worker, community worker, counsellor, disability support worker, diversional therapist, early childhood teacher, family day carer, funeral worker, health promotion officer, migrant services worker, minister of religion, nanny, probation/parole officer, psychiatrist, psychologist, rehabilitation counsellor, social worker, special care worker, therapy aide, volunteer manager, welfare worker or youth worker.

Related industries for these occupations:

Useful links


Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources for more information.

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