Career Paths

Youth Work

Youth Workers help young people find opportunities to build a positive future for themselves.

Working with young people and their whānau, you can help them develop quality relationships and build healthy connections. You’re not just helping in the present, you’re changing the future.

What does the job involve?

As a youth worker, you’ll be supporting young people and providing them with guidance regarding education, training and employment. You might work in a youth centre, a community facility, a school, church, marae or government agency, or you might run camps or sport activities. You can work full time, part time or as a volunteer.

What skills do you need?

Youth sector workers need to be:

  • Good leaders and communicators who can relate well to a diverse range of people
  • Good problem solvers who can remain calm in an emergency
  • Honest, ethical, impartial and able to keep information private
  • Energetic and enthusiastic with a good sense of humour

Entry level roles in Youth work may not require any qualifications, but it’s likely you’ll be expected to train on-the-job for the New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 3-4).

More information from Careerforce about qualifications in the youth work sector.

What roles are available?

Initially you’ll find yourself in roles like these:

  • Youth Worker
  • Youth Advocate
  • Youth Facilitator
  • Youth Leader
  • Youth Support Worker
  • Youth Events Co-ordinator
  • Programme Assistant/Mentor

More advanced roles will benefit from a Level 4 qualification:

  • Probation Officer
  • Youth Pastor/Minister
  • Youth Justice Worker
  • Sports Co-ordinator

Our Stories


Helping at-risk boys find confidence and fulfil their potential is a real passion and rewarding career for Thomas Stenning.

What are you waiting for?
Start looking for a job now!

Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

Check out these sites to find the right job for you!