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Become A Community Development Specialist

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Working As A Community Development Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $49,578

    Average Salary

What Does A Community Development Specialist Do

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals. 

Duties

Public relations specialists typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Respond to information requests from the media
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Help maintain their organization's corporate image and identity
  • Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization’s top executives
  • Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization’s public relations efforts
  • Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media

Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.

Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue.

Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.

Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television.

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How To Become A Community Development Specialist

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers.

Training

Entry-level workers typically begin by maintaining files of material about an organization’s activities, skimming and retaining relevant media articles, and assembling information for speeches and pamphlets. After gaining experience, public relations specialists begin to write news releases, speeches, articles for publication, or carry out public relations programs.

Other Experience

Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.

Some employers prefer candidates that have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly to maintain a favorable image for their organization.

Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to clearly explain the organization’s position.

Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Community Development Specialist Videos

Community Development Training Series Part I (Developing Logic Models)

Community Development Specialist Jobs

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Community Development Specialist Career Paths

Community Development Specialist
Grant Writer Technical Writer Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director Development Director
Community Development Director
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Director Chief Executive Officer Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Public Relations Consultant Public Relations Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant Education Consultant Outreach Coordinator
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Program Manager Deputy Director
Director Of Public Affairs
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Marketing Consultant Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Director Adjunct Faculty Communications Director
Director Strategic Communications
11 Yearsyrs
Program Director Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Grant Writer Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Recruiter Human Resources Generalist
Labour Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Director Creative Director Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Director Director Of Sales And Marketing Community Liaison
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Community Development Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Community Development Specialist
Internship 15.0%
Volunteer 4.9%
Teacher 4.9%
Consultant 4.9%
Manager 4.1%
Supervisor 3.0%
Top Careers After Community Development Specialist
Consultant 9.9%
Director 6.6%
Internship 4.7%
Owner 3.8%
Associate 3.8%
Manager 3.8%
Specialist 3.3%

Do you work as a Community Development Specialist?

Community Development Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

68.3%

Male

28.8%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.4%

French

13.2%

Portuguese

7.9%

Russian

6.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Hebrew

2.6%

German

2.6%

Somali

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Mongolian

1.3%

Amharic

1.3%

Cherokee

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Tswana

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Thai

1.3%
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Community Development Specialist Education

Schools

Berea College

8.0%

University of Missouri - Columbia

8.0%

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

6.9%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

University of Oregon

5.7%

Howard University

5.7%

Mississippi State University

5.7%

Pennsylvania State University

4.6%

University of Southern California

4.6%

Florida International University

4.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.6%

Delta State University

4.6%

Central Michigan University

4.6%

University of New Mexico

4.6%

Indiana Wesleyan University

4.6%

George Washington University

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.4%

Saginaw Valley State University

3.4%

Webster University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

22.8%

Communication

8.1%

Public Administration

7.8%

Psychology

6.4%

Political Science

5.6%

Marketing

5.3%

Public Relations

5.0%

Social Work

4.7%

Management

4.2%

Sociology

3.9%

Urban Planning

3.3%

Economics

3.3%

English

3.1%

Human Resources Management

2.8%

Finance

2.5%

Human Services

2.5%

Education

2.2%

Project Management

2.2%

Human Development

2.2%

Liberal Arts

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.4%

Masters

35.3%

Other

13.2%

Certificate

4.8%

Associate

3.5%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

0.3%
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Community Development Specialist Videos

Community Development Training Series Part I (Developing Logic Models)

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Real Community Development Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Community Development Specialist Luna & Stella LLC New York, NY Aug 29, 2016 $75,000
Community Development Specialist Streetlab LLC Ann Arbor, MI Nov 04, 2009 $51,314
Community Development Specialist National Council of La Raza Washington, DC Sep 02, 2014 $51,200
Development and Communications Specialist The Forbes Funds Pittsburgh, PA Jul 12, 2016 $48,000
Community Development Specialist Buena Vista United Methodist Church Alameda, CA Oct 01, 2010 $48,000
Community Development Specialist The Curators of The University of Missouri Princeton, MO Jul 01, 2011 $47,333
Communications & Development Specialist African Refuge, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $45,914
Communications and Development Specialist African Refuge, Inc. New York, NY Oct 17, 2011 $45,914
Communications and Development Specialist African Refuge, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $45,914
Development and Communications Specialist6 Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Inc. Boston, MA Jun 01, 2010 $41,000
Communications & Busness Development Specialist JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office, APC Los Angeles, CA Dec 09, 2016 $40,905

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Top Skills for A Community Development Specialist

  1. Outreach
  2. Special Events
  3. Girl Scout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Evaluate proposals for funding for housing development organizations, public services agencies; childcare providers; and education outreach organizations.
  • Conducted outreach and engagement activities including special events, giving societies and leadership training
  • Develop and network with community organizations and businesses to increase awareness of Girl Scout offerings and donor opportunities.
  • Identified and prepared grant-funding applications to federal, state and corporate entities for support of community and economic development activities.
  • Provided project planning, preparation and administration of CDBG, FmHA, KIA and KHC projects for the Barren River Area.

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Top 10 Best States for Community Development Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Virginia
  4. Rhode Island
  5. New Jersey
  6. Ohio
  7. North Carolina
  8. Nevada
  9. Idaho
  10. Massachusetts
  • (214 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (675 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)
  • (765 jobs)
  • (640 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (75 jobs)
  • (639 jobs)

Top Community Development Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Community Development Specialist Employers

Community Development Specialist Videos

Community Development Training Series Part I (Developing Logic Models)

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