Human services covers a wide range of careers, all of which center around working to support people, communities, and public interest. Careers in this field can be quite challenging as clients are often people in crisis, but the people best suited for this field find helping people in need very rewarding. Human services positions can be very hands on with the public, may be entirely behind-the-scenes office work, or somewhere in between.
People who work in human services are most often referred to as social workers, though this field covers people who work in healthcare, community groups, and advocacy organizations. Human services employees are most often involved in some aspect of assessing the needs of a particular client and creating a plan for assisting them. Depending on which career in the human services field you are interested in, the amount of education necessary can also vary widely. Some positions are available to people who have a GED or high school diploma, but most of the advanced careers with highest salaries require at least a bachelor's degree and often a master's.
Employment opportunities for social workers are expected to grow faster than the average in the coming years. The need for social workers and the services they provide is constantly increasing, especially in the areas of elder care, mental health, and substance abuse. (BLS) As the need for these services increases, and regulations require that they be made available to more members of the population, the need for qualified social workers will grow to meet demand. The best prospects for jobs can be found in rural areas where communities suffer from a lack of qualified human services providers; competition for jobs can be serious in urban areas where social work training is prevalent. Though salaries vary widely depending on job title, location, and speciality, most social workers earn between $35,000 and $55,000 per year.
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