Career Development

What Does a Community Specialist Do?

Find out what a community specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a community specialist.

Community specialists are responsible for the planning and execution of a variety of community-focused projects. They may work with local governments, non-profit organizations, or private companies to help improve the quality of life in their area.

Community specialists commonly specialize in a particular area of focus. Some might focus on economic development, working with businesses to attract new investment and create jobs. Others might focus on social services, helping low-income families access resources like food stamps or healthcare.

Community Specialist Job Duties

Community specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing community outreach programs that encourage community participation in local events and activities
  • Coordinating school enrollment, attendance, and graduation rates in the community
  • Maintaining relations with community members, organizations, businesses, and other entities to coordinate service delivery and identify needs
  • Organizing educational seminars and workshops for a community’s residents on topics such as health, wellness, parenting skills, etc.
  • Managing community volunteer services such as United Way drives, blood drives, food drives, school supply drives, etc.
  • Promoting cultural awareness and educational opportunities through public events such as art shows, theatrical productions, etc.
  • Facilitating community outreach by building relationships with community members and local leaders
  • Providing information about social services available in the community, such as homeless shelters and low-income housing options
  • Supporting the development of community leaders by providing training and leadership opportunities through youth groups or community organizations

Community Specialist Salary & Outlook

Community specialists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the community. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of community and social service assistants is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for these workers is expected to increase as states continue to reduce budgets for social services. As budgets shrink, demand for community and social service assistants will increase because these workers can provide some services more cheaply than other types of workers.

Related: Community Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Community Specialist Job Requirements

A community specialist typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Community specialists are typically required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. A community specialist’s degree can be in a variety of disciplines, including community development, community health, public health, social work, public administration or a related field.

Training & Experience: Community specialists typically receive on-the-job training when they start a new position. This training may include learning the organization’s mission, the services they provide and the best ways to communicate with clients. Community specialists may also receive training in the use of the organization’s computer systems and software.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require community specialists to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Community Specialist Skills

Community specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Community specialists often communicate with a variety of people, including members of the community, other professionals and volunteers. They must be able to convey information clearly and concisely to ensure everyone understands what they’re saying. They also need to be able to listen to others and respond appropriately.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Community specialists can use empathy to help members of their community feel comfortable and welcome. For example, if a member of your community is new, you might introduce yourself and ask them questions to help them feel more comfortable.

Problem-solving: Community specialists often work with a variety of people from different backgrounds and age groups. They can use their problem-solving skills to help resolve conflicts between individuals or groups and find solutions to challenges that arise during community events. For example, if a speaker is unable to attend an event, a community specialist might find a replacement speaker to ensure the event continues as planned.

Time management: Community specialists often have multiple responsibilities, so it’s important for them to be able to manage their time effectively. This can include planning their schedules, delegating tasks to other community members and completing projects on time. Community specialists can also use time management skills to ensure they attend community events and meetings.

Networking: Community specialists often work with other professionals in their field, such as social workers, law enforcement and other community leaders. Having strong networking skills can help you collaborate with these individuals to improve your community. You can also use networking skills to find resources for your projects and to find volunteers for your initiatives.

Community Specialist Work Environment

Community specialists work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses. They may work full time or part time, and their hours may vary depending on the needs of the community they serve. They may work evenings and weekends to attend community meetings or events. Some community specialists travel to different parts of the country or world to provide training or technical assistance to other community specialists.

Community Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how community specialists work. Community specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Community Managers Will Need to Be More Technical

As community management becomes more complex, community specialists will need to be more technical in order to manage their communities effectively.

Community managers will need to be able to use tools such as social media and content marketing to engage with members of their community. They will also need to be able to troubleshoot technical issues that may arise. In addition, they will need to be able to understand the latest trends in technology so that they can stay ahead of the curve.

More Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

The community industry is evolving towards a focus on diversity and inclusion. This shift is being driven by the increasing number of people who are looking for places where they can feel comfortable and accepted regardless of their background or identity.

Community specialists who are able to understand and cater to this trend will be in high demand in the years to come. They will need to be able to create spaces where everyone feels welcome and appreciated, no matter what their background is.

A Greater Emphasis on Customer Experience

Customer experience is becoming increasingly important in today’s economy. As customers become more demanding, businesses are realizing that they need to put a greater emphasis on providing a positive customer experience.

This means that community specialists need to be prepared to provide support and help to customers in a way that makes them feel valued and appreciated. Community specialists who are able to do this will be in high demand in the years to come.

How to Become a Community Specialist

A community specialist career can be a great way to make a difference in your community. As a community specialist, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of people and organizations to find solutions to community problems. You may also have the chance to lead projects that improve the quality of life for residents in your community.

To become a community specialist, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the issues facing your community and its residents. You’ll also need to be able to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life. And finally, you’ll need to be able to work collaboratively with others to achieve common goals.

Advancement Prospects

Community specialists can advance their career by taking on additional responsibilities within their organization. They may also move into management positions, where they would oversee a team of community specialists. In some cases, community specialists may also move into related roles, such as marketing or public relations.

Community Specialist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for a Community Specialist to join our team and help us build relationships with our customers, partners, and employees. The ideal candidate will be a people person with excellent communication and customer service skills. He or she will be responsible for creating and executing community initiatives and events, managing social media accounts, and developing and maintaining relationships with key community partners. The goal is to increase brand awareness and loyalty, and ultimately contribute to [CompanyX]’s success.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Engage with online communities to build relationships and promote the company’s products or services
  • Monitor social media platforms for conversations relevant to the company, its industry, or competitors
  • Respond to comments and questions in a timely, professional manner
  • Generate new content for social media platforms, including blog posts, infographics, images, and videos
  • Keep up-to-date on industry news and trends, as well as updates to the company’s products or services
  • collaborate with other members of the marketing team to develop and implement social media campaigns
  • Analyze metrics to determine the effectiveness of social media campaigns and adjust strategies as needed
  • Identify opportunities for community outreach and engagement, such as events, webinars, or contests
  • Write and distribute press releases, e-newsletters, or other communications
  • Manage and moderate user-generated content, such as reviews or forum discussions
  • Serve as a liaison between the company and customers or clients
  • Provide customer service, including troubleshooting issues and answering questions

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional experience in community management, social media, customer service, or similar role
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Flexibility and adaptability in a fast-paced environment

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in communications, marketing, or related field
  • Experience working with a global or virtual team
  • Project management experience
  • Experience with graphic design or video editing software


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