Community Development Specialist

Industry:
Public Sector
Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Community Development Specialist job description encompasses a wide range of duties related to improving the quality of life for individuals and communities within the public sector industry. These specialists work on various projects, programs, and initiatives that promote positive community growth, development, and transformation. This can include designing and implementing community outreach strategies, establishing partnerships with key stakeholders, and assessing community needs to determine potential solutions.

As a Community Development Specialist, you will be responsible for researching and analyzing community data to identify areas for improvement and collaborating with community members to develop and implement solutions. You will also work closely with local policymakers and government officials to ensure that community development initiatives are aligned with the overall vision for the area.

The ideal candidate for this role should possess strong communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills, as well as experience working in a community-centric environment. Additionally, a degree in urban planning, public administration, or a related field is typically required. Overall, this role provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities you serve and helps promote equitable and sustainable development.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify community needs and create plans to address them.
  • Build relationships and networks with community members, organizations, and local government.
  • Facilitate meetings and events to engage community members.
  • Develop and implement initiatives to improve community health, safety, and quality of life.
  • Manage project budgets and secure funding sources.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of community development programs and initiatives.
  • Provide technical assistance and training to community members and organizations.
  • Advocate for the needs and concerns of the community to local government and other stakeholders.
  • Collect and analyze data to inform community development strategies and decision-making.
  • Maintain accurate records and reports on community development initiatives and outcomes.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Community Development Specialist in the Public Sector industry, most employers look for a combination of education and experience. Generally, a Bachelor's degree in a related field like social work, public administration, or urban planning is preferred. However, some employers may consider applicants with equivalent work experience in community development, including managing programs, grant writing, and community outreach. Candidates with specific skills like proficiency in databases, web design, or GIS mapping might have an edge. Moreover, a passion for community service, cultural competence, communication skills, and problem-solving ability are essential for building trust and engagement in the communities being served.

Salary Range

If you're wondering about the salary range for a "Community Development Specialist" in the Public Sector industry, the expected salary in the United States is between $43,000 and $88,000 per year according to Glassdoor. However, the range can vary based on factors such as location, years of experience, and education levels. For example, those who work in Washington D.C. may earn higher salaries due to the high cost of living. In Canada, the average salary for a Community Development Specialist is around C$60,000 per year based on data from PayScale. In the United Kingdom, a Community Development Officer can expect to earn between £20,000 and £40,000 per year. 

Sources:

  • Glassdoor (https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/community-development-specialist-salary-SRCH_KO0,31.htm)
  • PayScale (https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=CommunityDevelopmentSpecialist/Salary)
  • National Careers Service (https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/community-development-officer)

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Community Development Specialists in the Public Sector industry over the next 5 years looks good, as the demand for these professionals is expected to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Community and Social Service Specialists, which includes Community Development Specialists, is projected to grow 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. 

This growth is due to the increasing need for skilled professionals to help communities address social, economic, and environmental challenges. Community Development Specialists play a critical role in organizing and coordinating community programs and services, working with local government officials, and engaging with residents to develop solutions that meet the needs of the community. 

In summary, the career outlook for Community Development Specialists is looking up, with job growth projected to be much faster than other occupations. You can find more information on the BLS website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Community Development Specialist in the public sector?

A: A Community Development Specialist in the public sector is responsible for identifying and addressing the needs of a particular community or group within a city or town.

Q: What does a Community Development Specialist typically do on a daily basis?

A: A Community Development Specialist works with various community groups, government officials, and non-profit organizations to identify and address issues that affect the community. They may also participate in community outreach events and host public meetings to gather feedback.

Q: What qualifications are necessary to become a Community Development Specialist?

A: Typically, a bachelor's degree in urban planning, public administration, or a related field is required to become a Community Development Specialist. Relevant work experience in community development, social services, or community organizing can also be helpful.

Q: What are some challenges that a Community Development Specialist might face?

A: One of the main challenges faced by Community Development Specialists is the need to balance competing priorities and interests within a community. There may also be challenges related to funding and budget constraints.

Q: Can a Community Development Specialist make a positive impact on a community?

A: Yes! Community Development Specialists are essential in making positive changes within a community by identifying problems, finding solutions, and involving community members in the process. They work to improve the quality of life for all members of a community.


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