What Does a Community Resource Specialist Do?

Research what it takes to become a community resource specialist. Learn about education requirements, desired skills and key job duties to find out if working in this profession is for you. Schools offering Social & Community Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Community Resource Specialist Do?

Community resources specialists help people within a certain group, organization or area find employment, housing or medical assistance. This position requires you to have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those living in poverty, extensive knowledge of local resources designed for assistance, as well as compassionate communication skills. You may also be responsible for developing programs that will positively benefit your community and clients, such as youth programs for school children. If this type of job appeals to you, refer to the table below for an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's; some organizations require a master's degree
Education Field of Study Psychology, social work or other mental health-related field
Key Skills Understanding of issues faced by families living in poverty;
knowledge of local health and education resources for underserved populations;
ability to lead engaging workshops to various populations
Licensure/Certification Required for some positions
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 12% (for all social workers)
Average Salary (2015)* $49,670 (for all social workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Community Resource Specialist Defined

As a community resource specialist, you may work for a college, organization, government agency or other group. Your primary jobs are to help people find information and services, bring people together within the group and help create a sense of community among group members. This job allows you to solve problems, address concerns and ensure people are aware of services available to them. You help create a unified sense among a group and strengthen relationship between group members and others who can offer them assistance.

What Skills and Education Do I Need?

A survey of various job listings on various college or city websites show that employers may expect you to have knowledge of the services they provide, the programs available to community members and understand the community in which you will work. You may also need to be bilingual if you are working in a diverse area. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work with people are also skills you may need for this career.

A bachelor's degree in social work can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to assist people and offer the services they need; however, some employers may require you to have a master's degree. A social work program covers topics including human behavior, cultural diversity, ethics and social policies.

What are My Duties?

In school settings, community resource specialists work with students, leading them to sources of academic or financial assistance. In this role, you can help students find housing, direct them to medical services or help them through their transition into the workplace. Some community resource specialists at colleges and universities also arrange events to bring students together, help roommates who are having problems and assist students in communications with the school's administrative staff.

Community resource specialists may also work in a neighborhood or city area, where the job duties may involve discovering common problems among neighbors, spreading the word about services within the community, determining eligibility for services, handling enrollment in social service programs and evaluating the effectiveness of services and programs. You may participate in staff meetings, plan new programs, work on funding, build relationships with community members and maintain client records.

Private organizations also employ community resource specialists to make sure members know about services and programs available. In this job, you may be a representative for specific ethnic or cultural groups, such as Spanish-speaking members.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Social work is a broad field with many potential career paths. You may want to consider becoming a social and community health manager. They oversee social service programs and community organizations to ensure quality programming. These positions are available to those with a bachelor's degree. If you have studied to the master's degree level, you may also want to consider becoming a mental health or family counselor. These professionals help people through difficult periods in their life, offering support and resources for mental health problems and issues within family dynamics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Walden University

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