What Is the Role of a Human Services Worker? - Duties & Salary

If you love helping others and want to make it a career, find out how to become a human services worker. Learn about some typical jobs, required education, duties, and salaries. Schools offering Human Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A Glance at Human Services

If you have the desire to help others in need, becoming a human services worker may be the most fitting job for you. The field of human services may be broad, but the goal is providing aid to individuals and families in need, whether for the person's individual growth and rehabilitation or a family in need of relief, counseling and even healthcare. The following table offers some details.

Human Services AssistantSocial WorkerPsychologist
Degree RequiredHigh school diploma Bachelor's or master's degree Master's degree or PhD
Training RequiredOn-the-job training InternshipInternship and residency
License RequiredNot required License required for clinical social workers License required
Job Growth (2016-2026)16% (social and human service assistant)* 16%* 14%*
Median Annual Pay (2017)$33,120 (social and human service assistant)* $47,980* $77,030*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What are the Educational Requirements?

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually sufficient to become a human service assistant. Entry level positions often require a short-term on-the-job training in a human services organization. Some employers look for applicants who have completed some college. A bachelor's degree can get you started in the field of social work, but a master's degree and several years of experience are necessary for clinical social workers. For psychologists working in schools or the industrial organizational field, a master's degree may suffice. A PhD is required for clinical psychologists.

Who Will Receive My Services?

There are different types of clients to whom human services workers provide aid and benefits. Typical clients might be families, children, the elderly, students, and veterans. Human service clients may also include immigrants, homeless, victims of abuse and people with disabilities.

What are the Main Functions of Human Services Workers?

Human services workers serve as the middlemen between a client and support organizations which address the needs of the client. They identify clients' needs through interviews or research and assist them to obtain the services and benefits that fit their situation. Entry-level human services workers usually fulfill clerical and administration duties, assist clients in completing their paperwork and give support to professionals like social workers in developing a specific plan for the clients. Clinical social workers and psychologists provide counseling.

Where Might I Work?

Many human services workers are employed by organizations, often called agencies, funded by the national, state or local government. They might also work for private agencies and practices that are either profit or non-profit. Human services workers are often found in schools, shelters and in a wide range of healthcare settings.

What are the Hours Like and How Much Could I Earn?

Most human services workers, like those working in government agencies, work a 40-hour week in an office setting. There are some who work during the night or weekends. According to the BLS in 2017, the median salary for a human services assistant was $33,120 per year, while social workers and psychologists earned $47,980 and $77,030, respectively.

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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