Youth Specialist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

youth specialist job description

In the modern era, the role of youth specialists is more important than ever.

As society evolves, so does the need for dedicated professionals who can guide, inspire, and safeguard the future of our young people.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a youth specialist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager drafting the profile of the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply curious about the intricacies of youth work,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable youth specialist job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Youth Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

Youth Specialists are tasked with providing guidance, support, and mentorship to young people.

They often work in schools, community centers, or non-profit organizations and are responsible for creating an environment conducive to the social, emotional, and physical growth of youths.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Planning and implementing programs and activities designed to foster positive youth development
  • Working directly with youth and families to provide guidance, mentoring, and support
  • Assessing the needs and strengths of the youths they work with
  • Collaborating with other professionals, such as teachers, social workers, and counselors, to provide comprehensive services
  • Managing and resolving conflicts and behavioral issues among the youths
  • Creating a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all youths
  • Keeping records of youths’ progress and reporting any concerns to the relevant parties
  • Providing crisis intervention and emergency response when necessary
  • Organizing and participating in community outreach and advocacy activities
  • Promoting and facilitating open communication between youths, their families, and the community


Youth Specialist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking an experienced and passionate Youth Specialist to join our team.

In this role, you will be responsible for designing and implementing programs for children and adolescents, providing counseling services, and serving as a mentor and role model.

Youth Specialists play an essential role in creating safe, educational, and fun environments for young people.

The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of the needs and challenges of young people, and will be able to establish positive relationships with them and their families.



  • Implement youth programs that promote personal growth and development
  • Provide individual and group counseling services
  • Monitor the behavior and progress of youth participants
  • Act as a positive role model and mentor
  • Assist in conflict resolution and crisis intervention
  • Communicate with parents, teachers, and other stakeholders about youth participants’ progress
  • Ensure a safe, positive environment for all youth participants
  • Attend staff meetings and training sessions
  • Document and maintain records of youth participants’ progress and behavior



  • Proven experience as a Youth Specialist or similar role
  • Knowledge of child development and experience with adolescent issues
  • Experience in counseling and crisis intervention
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to motivate and inspire youth
  • Patience and resilience
  • Bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, education or relevant field



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Youth Specialist
  • Work Environment: This position typically works in community centers, schools, or similar settings. Some travel may be required for home visits or meetings.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Youth Programs Manager or Director.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $35,000 minimum to $60,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Youth Specialist Do?

Youth Specialists work mainly in social service, educational, and non-profit sectors.

They are professionals who specialize in working directly with children and teenagers.

They design and implement programs and activities that promote the social, emotional, and physical development of young people.

This can involve organizing workshops, camps, clubs, or after-school activities.

Youth Specialists also provide counseling and guidance to young people who are dealing with issues such as family problems, substance abuse, or educational challenges.

They work closely with schools, parents, and other stakeholders to ensure the youth are getting the support they need.

They may also be responsible for advocating for the rights and well-being of young people within their community, which can involve liaising with government bodies and other organizations.

Youth Specialists need to have a solid understanding of youth development and the ability to establish a rapport with young people.

They are often seen as role models and are trusted to provide a safe and supportive environment for youth to grow and thrive.


Youth Specialist Qualifications and Skills

A Youth Specialist plays a crucial role in shaping and supporting the younger generation, therefore they should possess the following qualifications and skills:

  • Strong communication skills to interact effectively with youth and their families, as well as to liaise with other professionals such as teachers, social workers, and counselors.
  • Excellent listening skills to understand the needs, concerns, and goals of the youth they work with.
  • Empathy and sensitivity to connect with young people who may be facing difficult life situations.
  • Patience and the ability to handle challenging behavior or situations that may arise.
  • Knowledge of child development and psychology to understand and respond to the emotional, social, and intellectual needs of youth.
  • Experience in planning and implementing programs and activities that engage and benefit young people.
  • Problem-solving skills to guide and assist young people in making informed decisions about their life.
  • Leadership skills to inspire and motivate youth to realize their full potential.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and respect the privacy of the youth they work with.


Youth Specialist Experience Requirements

Entry-level Youth Specialists typically have at least 1 to 2 years of experience working with children or adolescents in a professional setting.

This experience can often be gained through internships, volunteer work, or part-time roles in schools, community centers, or youth organizations.

Candidates who have completed relevant coursework in areas such as education, psychology, or social work may also meet the entry-level experience requirements.

Youth Specialists with 3 to 5 years of experience often have a deeper understanding of youth development, behavioral management, and counseling techniques.

They may have held roles such as Youth Counselor, Tutor, or Child Care Worker.

Those with more than 5 years of experience in the field are often suitable for supervisory or managerial roles.

This level of experience suggests that the individual has successfully developed and implemented youth programs, managed challenging behaviors, and worked effectively with a variety of stakeholders including parents, teachers, and social service providers.

Certifications in youth development or related fields, as well as experience in crisis intervention, can further enhance a Youth Specialist’s qualifications.


Youth Specialist Education and Training Requirements

Youth Specialists usually hold a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, youth development, or a related field.

Fundamental courses include child development, social work, psychology, and counseling, which provide a base understanding of the complexities and dynamics of youth behavior and their needs.

In addition to a degree, many roles require direct experience with youth in a professional setting, such as internships, part-time jobs, or volunteering at community centers, schools, or youth organizations.

Some positions may require a master’s degree or further education in social work or counseling, particularly for roles involving therapeutic intervention or specialized counseling.

State licensure or certification may also be necessary depending on the location and specific job requirements.

This typically involves passing an exam and completing a certain number of supervised work hours.

Continuing education is a vital part of this role as it helps stay updated with the latest techniques and trends in youth development and counseling.

Many Youth Specialists also pursue additional certifications in areas like child advocacy or adolescent psychology to further specialize their skills.

Critical soft skills for this role include strong communication, empathy, patience, and problem-solving abilities.

These are often honed through hands-on experience and are key to building trust and rapport with the youth.


Youth Specialist Salary Expectations

The average wage for a Youth Specialist is $15.23 (USD) per hour.

However, the actual earnings can fluctuate based on factors such as years of experience, geographic location, and the specifics of the employing organization.


Youth Specialist Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Youth Specialist need?

Youth Specialists need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to connect with young people effectively.

They should have a strong understanding of youth development and the issues affecting young people.

Crisis intervention, conflict resolution, and problem-solving skills are also essential.

Youth Specialists should be empathetic, patient, and should have the ability to inspire and motivate.


Do Youth Specialists need a degree?

While not always required, many employers prefer Youth Specialists to have a degree in Social Work, Psychology, Counseling, or a related field.

However, experience working with youth in a professional setting, such as a school or community center, can also be valuable.

Additionally, some states and organizations may require certification or licensing.


What should you look for in a Youth Specialist resume?

When looking at a Youth Specialist’s resume, check for a background in social work, counseling, or a related field.

Look for experience working with youth, particularly in counseling or mentorship roles.

Any additional skills, such as knowledge of youth development theories or experience with conflict resolution, are also valuable.

Certifications or licenses in youth counseling or social work can also be a plus.


What qualities make a good Youth Specialist?

A good Youth Specialist is empathetic and patient, able to understand and respond to the unique challenges that young people face.

They should be passionate about helping youth and able to form trusting relationships with them.

Good problem-solving skills and the ability to think on their feet are also important, as is a deep respect for diversity and inclusivity.


What are the daily duties of a Youth Specialist?

A Youth Specialist’s daily duties will vary depending on their specific role and the organization they work for.

However, common tasks can include conducting individual or group counseling sessions, developing and implementing youth programs, coordinating with other social service professionals, and documenting and assessing the progress of the youth they work with.

They may also be involved in crisis intervention and conflict resolution as needed.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve unveiled the true essence of being a youth specialist.

Guess what?

It’s not just about mentoring youth.

It’s about shaping the future, one young life at a time.

Armed with our comprehensive youth specialist job description template and real-life scenarios, you’re ready to take the leap.

But why stop there?

Explore further with our job description generator. It’s your stepping stone to crafting precise job listings or honing your resume to perfection.


Every interaction with a young person contributes to the bigger picture.

Let’s shape that future. Together.

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