A community liaison is the link between the people living in a particular community to the organizations or agencies that cater to their needs. You have the responsibility of informing them about important issues that concern them and even act as their advocate when the need arises.
As a community liaison, your responsibilities will vary depending on where you work. If you work as a school community liaison, your tasks can include explaining enrollment procedures and forms to new students or those that cannot speak or understand English. Community liaison officers working for the police department work to make residents of a community aware of the crime situation in their area and inform them of ways that they can protect themselves. They may also help victims of a crime. Meanwhile, community liaisons who work for a government agency hold meetings with members of a community to determine what their needs and problems are and bring these to the attention of their political representatives. They may also work to update them on the latest policies that could benefit or affect them in any way. They could also refer residents to the appropriate government agency that could address their concerns.
To succeed as a community liaison, you need to have excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. You will be talking with people of various backgrounds and addressing their concerns so it’s important that you are able to relate to them effectively. Since you will be attending meetings with residents and with the organizations, agencies and politicians, you also need to know how to manage your schedule well. People will also look to you for guidance and even advocate for their plight in certain cases so you need to possess leadership skills as well.
Why Become A Community Liaison
A career as a community liaison is best for those who want to work with different kinds of people. This is also the profession for those who intend to work at the grassroots level and really determine what the concerns of the people are. This is a very fulfilling career both professionally and personally because it puts one in a position to help and make a difference in the lives of many people.
Community Liaison Work Environment
Community liaison officers work in a variety of settings. They can be found in schools, police departments, hospitals, religious organizations, nursing care facilities and community rehabilitation services. They spend their working hours in the office and meeting the people in the communities they serve.
The U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically have salary data for community liaisons. However, they belong to the broader category of social and community service managers whose mean annual wage is $65,750.
Community Liaison Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a very positive job outlook for social and community service managers. For the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate for this occupational category is set to grow 21 percent, a rate that is much faster than the average for all job types. The demand for community liaisons is fueled by the increase in the elderly population as well as for those who are seeking treatment for various addictions.
Community Liaison Degree
Community liaisons typically have a degree in social work, public administration or related areas. A bachelor’s degree is good for entry level jobs but for advanced positions, a postgraduate degree is necessary. Those wishing to work in directorial positions must also gain sufficient work experience in the field.