Youth Worker
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
9d ago

Pay for youth workers varies depending on experience, responsibilities and location.

  • New youth workers usually start on the minimum wage.
  • More experienced youth workers in specialised areas usually earn between $19 and $28 an hour.
  • Senior youth workers who work as team leaders or managers can earn from $28 to $35 an hour.
  • Many youth workers work part time. Some do part or all of their job as volunteers, or receive payment for expenses only.

    Source : Ara Taohi, 2018.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Youth workers may do some or all of the following :

  • build relationships with young people and their families / whānau and peers
  • establish relationships with communities, schools, training providers and employers
  • provide support, information and resources
  • help young people connect with social services
  • plan, deliver and evaluate programmes and events for young people
  • write reports, prepare funding applications and manage budgets.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Youth workers need to have knowledge of :

  • how to work effectively with young people
  • practices and resources that are useful for working with young people
  • youth culture and their communities
  • physical and mental health issues among youth
  • laws and policies that affect young people.
  • Youth workers specialising in working with Māori communities also need to have knowledge of te reo Māori and tikanga (language and culture).

    Youth workers :

  • may work full time or part time, shifts, long or irregular hours, or be on call
  • work indoors in youth centres, community facilities and offices, schools, homes, churches, marae and government agencies, or outdoors when running camping or sports activities
  • may travel locally to meet people they work with, and nationally to attend workshops.
  • Entry requirements

    There are no specific requirements to become a youth worker. However, most employers prefer you to have a relevant qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 3 or 4), a New Zealand Diploma in Youth Work (Level 6), or a similar qualification in a Māori context.

    You will need to pass a police check, and hold a full driver's licence if travel is involved.

    Senior level youth worker qualifications

    To work as a senior youth worker you need either a New Zealand Diploma in Youth Work (Level 6) or a Bachelor of Youth Development.

    The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but NCEA Level 2 health education, social studies and te reo Māori are useful.

    Personal requirements

    Youth workers need to be :

  • good leaders and communicators who can relate to people of all ages and cultures
  • good problem solvers who can remain calm in an emergency
  • honest, ethical and impartial, and able to keep information private
  • energetic and enthusiastic, with a sense of humour
  • able to work well under pressure
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for youth workers includes :

  • voluntary work with youth, such as at a youth work agency, or sports coaching
  • work that involves helping people, such as teaching, counselling, social work, community work or church work
  • work with an iwi or Māori community or social service, or with people from a variety of cultures.
  • Registration

    Ara Taiohi, the national body for youth workers and youth work organisations, recommends working towards membership of Korowai Tupu, the professional association for youth workers.

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