Job prospects Community And Social Services Worker in Ontario

Job opportunities for Social and community service workers (NOC 4212) are fair in Ontario over the next 3 years. This job outlook is also applicable to people working as a community and social services worker.

Note that the current 2019-2021 Employment Outlook was published in December 2019 based on information available at that time.

Job opportunities in Ontario

community and social services worker
Outlook over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be fair for Social and community service workers (NOC 4212) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions.
  • A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Employment in this occupation has remained relatively stable in Ontario over the last five years. These workers are mostly employed in the health care and social assistance sector, mainly with individual and family services, and residential care facilities such as group homes. Local governments and elementary and secondary schools are also key employers.

Employment growth in this occupation is somewhat dependent on government funding for social programs. Over the next few years, employment opportunities may become scarcer than in previous years, as the provincial social assistance sector will see decreased funding for its programs and services over the medium-term, including the closure of underutilized youth justice facilities and reduction of beds in both the open and secure custody detention system. In addition, the province's new Consumption and Treatment Services model has led to a reduction in the number of supervised injection sites funded by the province, while requirements for the Ontario social assistance system has become tightened, all likely lowering the demand for those employed in the occupation.

Within this occupation, individuals working under the title “Social Service Workers” are regulated by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). “Child and Youth Workers” and “Developmental Services Workers” are the names of voluntary skilled trades associated with this occupation in Ontario. It is important to note that this occupation is distinct from the related occupation titled “Social Workers” (NOC 4152). A social and community service worker has a two-year college diploma, whereas a social worker has a university degree. Additionally, social and community service workers do assessments but do not diagnose, whereas social workers can diagnose.

These professionals find employment across a wide range of organizations and may work under various job titles. Some job titles that are not regulated by the OCSWSSW may not require post-secondary education. Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent and certificates, such as a Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) Certificate and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), may be sufficient. A first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and a valid driver's licence are also common requirements. In addition to formal education, some employers may prefer candidates with relevant experience.

Some positions may require individuals to work various shifts, including evenings or weekends; therefore, flexibility is an asset in securing employment. Some community and social service workers, may experience periods of unemployment during the summer months. Community and social service work can be emotionally demanding, as such, additional opportunities may arise as employees take time off or switch to lighter caseloads.

Here are some key facts about Social and community service workers in the Ontario region:

  • Approximately 46,850 people work in this occupation.
  • Social and community service workers mainly work in the following sectors:
    • Social assistance (NAICS 624): 33%
    • Nursing and residential care facilities (NAICS 623): 22%
    • Religious, grant-making, civic, and professional and similar organizations (NAICS 813): 8%
    • Local, municipal, regional, aboriginal and other public administration (NAICS 913-919): 8%
    • Ambulatory health care services (NAICS 621): 7%
  • The distribution of full-time and part-time workers in this occupation is:
    • Full-time workers: 77% compared to 79% for all occupations
    • Part-time workers: 23% compared to 21% for all occupations
  • 65% of social and community service workers work all year, while 35% work only part of the year, compared to 63% and 37% respectively among all occupations. Those who worked only part of the year did so for an average of 32 weeks compared to 31 weeks for all occupations.
  • Less than 5% of social and community service workers are self-employed compared to an average of 12% for all occupations.
  • Breakdown by region

    Explore job prospects in Ontario by economic region.

    Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

    Source Labour Market Information | Outlook Methodology

    You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

    Job prospects elsewhere in Canada

    We expect that the labour supply and demand for Social and community service workers (NOC 4212) will be balanced in Canada over the next 10 years.

    Learn more

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