Human Services



Those who are always willing to lend a helping hand to people struggling with life’s obstacles may enjoy a career in human services.

Human services envelop a variety of systems, including social welfare services, mental health services, education and various forms of healthcare. Those who work in the field include school psychologists, social workers, health educators, substance abuse counselors, grief counselors and emergency management specialists.

The main goal of human service workers is to help their clients to become more self-sufficient through the teaching of new skills or providing resources to assist them with solving whatever problem they are facing.

Education Requirements

Most people working in the human resources field have a postsecondary degree. Depending on the sector of human services in which a person is working, an associate degree may be enough, or a master’s degree may be needed.

An associate degree in human service work generally allows for a person to work in entry-level positions within the industry. Those working in entry-level positions can expect to spend the majority of their time in the field, interviewing clients and managing their cases. They also will be required to put clients in touch with the appropriate resources and assist them in completing required paperwork to receive services.

Workers in the industry who possess a bachelor’s degree mostly will be in charge of managing clients’ cases. They also may be tasked with providing clinical support to clients.

Master’s degrees in human services qualify a person to work in a clinical setting providing counseling services to clients. Persons who possess a master’s degree may be required to be supervised by a licensed professional, such as social worker or psychologist, depending on the state in which they are employed. Some states also may require licensure for any human services worker with this level of education.

Doctorate degrees in human services generally are reserved for those interested in engaging in research within the industry, working in a management position or teaching at a college or university level. Emphasis is placed on laws and policies and professional and ethical behaviors.

Future Outlook

Those who pursue careers in social work generally do not do so for the income. Wages for those employed in the industry range from a low of $26,550 for social and human service assistants to a high of $56,080 for clinicians, counselors and school psychologists.


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