Community education officer: job description

Last updated: 21 Jun 2023, 15:37

Community education officers identify learning needs in their local area and develop training programmes in response to these.

Books and an ipad on a community education officer's desk.

What does a community education officer do? | Starting salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Community education officers help to organise and encourage participation in local educational programmes. Topics can include literacy, numeracy, practical and creative skills, and IT. Many initiatives are designed not just to provide education but also to break down barriers and create a sense of community.

Typical duties include:

  • meeting local groups and individuals to explore their educational needs
  • planning and designing new educational initiatives
  • facilitating workshops
  • recruiting, training and supervising tutors
  • undertaking outreach work to encourage more people to participate
  • administrative work, such as managing budgets, maintaining records and writing plans and reports
  • preparing and submitting funding applications.

Starting salaries

Salaries for community education officers start at around £23,000. Your salary will increase if you progress to a management role. Many jobs in this line of work are for a fixed term as they’re funded by grants. Part-time roles are also common.

Typical employers of community education officers

  • Voluntary and charitable organisations.
  • Local authorities.
  • Arts and heritage organisations.
  • Educational institutions.
  • Youth or community organisations.

Vacancies are advertised on local and national newspapers’ job sites. You can also find jobs advertised on specialist sites for local authority and educational jobs.

Qualifications and training required

For most community education officer roles, employers look for graduates with relevant paid or voluntary community experience. However, there are also routes into this career for school leavers.

Graduates can have a degree in any discipline, although qualifications in sociology, social work or policy, community studies, communications, education or social sciences can be helpful.

It’s be possible to enter this area of work without a degree if you have other relevant qualifications such as a certificate in community development. You can also study for qualifications on the job via an apprenticeship.

Experience – voluntary or paid – is essential to enter this area of work. You could build experience through involvement with community projects, youth work, adult education, coaching or advising. Volunteer bureaux can often help you find placements, and you can also contact local charities directly.

Key skills for community education officers

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Influencing skills.
  • Teamworking skills.
  • The ability to work with people of all ages and from a range of backgrounds.
  • Attention to detail when applying for funding and keeping records.

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