Human Service Assistant: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for human service assistants. Get the facts about education requirements, salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Human Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Human Service Assistant Do?

Human service assistants work alongside licensed human service professionals, such as social workers and mental health counselors, in order to help the public access the services that they need. They may be responsible for a wide range of tasks, such as scheduling appointments, talking with patients or handling case management duties. Human service assistants need to have a knowledge of the relevant terminology in their field and impeccable communication and interpersonal skills. Part of their job may involve following up with service users to ensure that they are receiving effective care.

The table below has more details regarding this career.

Education Required High school diploma; postsecondary education preferred
Additional Requirements On-the-job training
Key Responsibilities Assist various individuals with social service needs, such as housing, healthcare and rehabilitation; research services and match people based on eligibility
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11%*
Average Salary (2015) $33,190*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is a Human Service Assistant?

As a human service assistant, you will work closely with health care workers, social workers, counselors and other professionals that offer services to individuals in need of help. You may also find that this position as alternative titles, including social work assistant, gerontology aide, client advocate, social services aide, community support worker, community outreach worker, case management aide, mental health aide, life skills counselor and psychological aide.

Your job duties may include preparing meals, helping with money management, arranging appointments, providing transportation, offering outreach services, handling case management and providing emotional support. Depending on your position, you may work with groups or individuals, such as at-risk youth, senior citizens, veterans and victims of domestic abuse.

What are the Education Requirements?

For most positions, you will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some employers require a certificate or degree in a related area, such as social work, sociology or psychology. You can also find a variety of degree programs in this field, including the Associate of Applied Science in Human Service, Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Service, and Bachelor of Arts in Human Services. Many of these programs cover topics you will encounter as a human service assistant, such as:

  • Interpersonal communications
  • Disabilities
  • Death and dying
  • Crisis intervention
  • Gerontology
  • Domestic and child abuse
  • Multicultural studies
  • Behavioral health
  • Research methods

What is the Job Outlook for This Career?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment for social and human service assistants would grow by 11% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). One of the reasons for this is an increased need for treatment in substance abuse and mental health counseling, as well as a demand for assistance with the elderly population. The BLS reported that the average salary for social and human service assistants was $33,190 in 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you have earned a high school diploma and want to work in a career that allows you to directly help people, there are a number of options available to you outside of becoming a human service assistant. You may want to become a childcare worker and provide one-on-one support to children in need of adult care due to unavailable family members. Another similar path would be to become a home health aide, helping people with chronic health problems or severe disabilities live in their home environment with support. If you have earned a bachelor's degree education or higher, you could become a community service manager. These professionals oversee and organize resources and programs for communities in order to provide access to a wide range of social and health services.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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