What is a Community Outreach Worker? Jobs, Salaries, Training

Photo: Community outreach workers distributing Naloxone kits to homeless people

Updated December 2022

Are you drawn to a career in social services, but don't know what types of jobs are available in this field? Or maybe you’re interested in becoming a community outreach worker, but need to know more about what the position involves.

You've come to the right place.

In this post, we'll break down exactly what a community outreach worker does, including the training, career options, and skills required for this position.

We'll also look at some recent job postings and salaries from the Ottawa area, so you can explore descriptions, employers, and typical pay for this work.

Get a complete overview of the profession, and see if becoming a community outreach worker is right for you.


What does a community outreach worker do?

Simply put, a community outreach worker connects people in need with the right community organizations and resources.

They often work with a specific demographic, such as:

☑️ At-risk women and mothers

☑️ Families in need of special support

☑️ Children and youth

☑️ New Canadians

☑️ Homeless populations

☑️ Elderly and isolated individuals

☑️ People living with disabilities

☑️ People suffering from addiction and mental illness

☑️ Indigenous populations


The main focus of all community outreach workers is the same: to support, assist, and empower vulnerable people.

The exact responsibilities of a community outreach worker will depend on the organization they work for and the population they serve. However, typical tasks for this role almost always include:

☑️ Interviewing and counselling those in need of assistance

☑️ Creating treatment plans and programs

☑️ Helping to set and achieve life goals

☑️ Helping to develop life management skills

☑️ Encouraging inclusion and participation in the community

☑️ Evaluating progress and providing ongoing support

Working closely with the public is a given in this occupation. Empathy, compassion, and communication skills are essential requirements for community outreach workers.


Where do community outreach workers get hired?

The job market for community outreach workers is very broad. There are many public, private, and non-profit organizations that hire for this role, including:

☑️ Hospitals

☑️ Halfway houses

☑️ Detoxification centres

☑️ Residential care facilities

☑️ Rehabilitation centres

☑️ Outpatient clinics

☑️ Women’s shelters

☑️ Youth centres


Examples of Community Outreach Worker Jobs

To get a better idea of possible employers, we researched current job openings for community outreach workers on the Government of Canada Job Bank.

Here are some good examples of employment opportunities and salaries in the Ottawa area.


Example # 1: Relief Community Shelter Worker at a non-profit 

Job description: Support vulnerable individuals with basic life management skills such as assertive communication, goal setting, receiving feedback, conflict resolution and problem solving, while helping them access resources for health and well-being.

Salary: $22.00 an hour


Example # 2: Crisis Outreach Worker at Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health 

Job description: Provide housing supports and community referrals for individuals who are living on the streets or in shelters or are at risk of becoming homeless. Additionally, this position will be responsible for supporting the team in handling crisis situations and providing short-term crisis counselling to stabilize clients.

Salary: $22.70 an hour


Example # 3: Neighbourhood Outreach Worker for Boys & Girls Club Ottawa

Job description: Provide a range of outreach services to individuals, families, and groups in Ottawa, serving to promote youth and family engagement in communities and increase youth access to opportunities. Provide youth with development opportunities through leadership training, volunteering, and employment.

Salary: $17.50 an hour


Example #4: Harm Reduction Outreach Worker at Somerset West Community Health Centre 

Job description: Provide support, health education, and injection/safer inhalation supplies to high-risk populations (i.e. drug users, sex trade workers) in order to reduce and avoid the risk of transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C. 

Salary: $26.20 to $31.56 an hour


The median salary for community outreach workers in Ontario is $25.50 an hour, according to the Government of Canada Job Bank.


What Training is needed to become a community outreach worker?

Most community outreach worker jobs require a diploma or certificate in human services, community services, or a related program.

Many positions have additional requirements, such as:

☑️ First aid and CPR certificates

☑️ Criminal record check

☑️ Child abuse registry check

☑️ Adult abuse registry check


Most community services worker programs are six to 12 months long. Many include internships to give students real community work experience prior to graduation.


Explore Community Services Worker training at Herzing COllege

Herzing College Ottawa offers a 12-month Community Services Worker diploma. Training fully prepares students for successful careers in community outreach and social services.

The program includes certificates in first aid and CPR and features an eight-week internship. For internships, our staff works hard to place students with populations they are particularly interested in supporting.

Want more information about courses, admissions, or careers?

Click below to explore the program and chat live with an admissions advisor. We're here to help!

Explore the Community Services Worker Program


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