Community and Social Service Workers

(NOC 4212)


These comments are for the career grouping Paralegals, Social Services Workers and Occupations in Education and Religion, n.e.c. (NOC 421).

Job prospects in this career are rated FAIR because:

Over the past few years, the number of community and social service workers has risen very sharply. This growth is attributable to the large increase in the range and intensity of social service needs, and the handling of a growing proportion of these needs by community organizations. Since the community network is now well established, higher government spending in the health and social services sector should be more conducive to the hiring of members of other occupations and the number of income security claimants should continue to fall after the 2009 recession, the number of community and social service workers is expected to grow sharply over the next few years, albeit at a more moderate pace than before.

Openings will arise first from employment increase and from the need to replace community and social service workers who will be retiring or entering jobs in other occupations. In fact, with appropriate training, quite a large number of them will find positions in other occupations, for instance as social workers (NOC 4152). Turnover is actually quite frequent within the occupation. For instance, many community and social service workers start their careers in community organizations, and move on after a few years to better paid positions in the public and parapublic sectors.

These openings will go primarily to graduates of college and university programs related to social services, and to individuals with experience of the social services sector. Other positions will be filled by unemployed experienced community and social service workers. Some positions are expected to be filled by immigrants who meet the requirements for entrance to the occupation.

Many holders of Bachelor's degrees in a field related to social services begin their careers in this occupation to gain experience that will enable them to enter other occupations.

The placement rate of graduates of technical programs leading to this occupation (social work, special care counselling or correctional intervention) is very good, and their unemployment rate is very low.

Job Seekers: 154,892
Job Openings: 171,151

Job prospects for this career are rated Fair

Last Updated: May 12, 2012