Advanced Start Human Services

Human services is a field of study that teaches students to evaluate other people’s problems and issues and plan and organize programs to meet those needs. A human services degree can lead to a job in social services such as social work, counseling, or case management of healthcare patients.

What Do Human Service Workers Do?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human service workers such as social workers perform a wide variety of tasks, all of which are related to intervening and helping human beings who are experiencing difficulties. Human service workers may be asked to evaluate and determine client needs, work with social workers and other human service professionals to develop treatment or intervention plans, help clients with daily living activities and help clients find necessary services, determine the eligibility and rights of clients for assistance programs, and monitor these clients to be sure they continue to receive care or assistance.

How Much Do Human Service Workers Make?

With a high school diploma, human service work assistants can expect to earn a median annual salary of $28,200, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This translates to about $13.56 per hour, and many assistant positions are paid by the hour rather than on a salary basis. These entry-level jobs help human service workers determine if they want to continue working in the field and plan to study for a higher degree that offers better pay.

A Bachelor of Science in Human Services could lead to a career as a social worker, earning a median annual salary of $42,480, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the highest median salaries were paid to healthcare social workers, who earned $47,230 per year in 2010, while social workers who were employed by schools earned a median salary of $40,210, and mental health and substance abuse social workers earned $38,600. Overall, social workers could earn as much as $51,500 as a median annual salary, especially those employed by state and federal agencies.

How Do I Become A Human Service Worker?

For entry-level jobs, a high school diploma and a clean criminal record are required. Entry-level human service workers might find jobs in nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations or as assistants to social workers in public and private agencies.

Once a human service worker has a bachelor’s degree, he or she may need to pass a state licensure test, depending on the type of job for which the worker is applying. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many social workers are required by state law to be licensed and must pass an examination as well as attend continuing education on a regular basis. However, not all states require licensure for all human service jobs; check with your state’s Department of Health and Welfare to determine if your state requires an examination or certificate for the jobs in which you are interested. Your training program at school may also recommend certain licensure tests prior to or just after graduation.

What Is the Job Outlook for Human Service Workers?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that human service work assistants will see jobs increase by 28 percent between 2010 and 2020. This rapid job growth rate is reflective of the fact that many agencies have sustained severe budget cuts and must hire more entry-level workers.

However, social workers are also expected to see rapid job growth of up to 25 percent according to the BLS. Jobs are often more plentiful in larger urban areas than in rural areas.

Human service work can be a rewarding and fulfilling job for a student who wants to help others find the assistance they need to improve their lives. Students interested in a career in human service work should be compassionate, caring, and have a true desire to change the world for the better for the people they serve.

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