What Does a Human Services Worker Do?
Human Services professionals are employed by community programs, mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers, group homes and other human welfare organizations to teach clients about coping and life skills that they can apply to their specific situation. Their role is to act as a resource that clients can rely on when they are struggling as they try to improve their life. Human Services employees coordinate group sessions where their clients can build a support system and encourage them to develop healthy relationships with others in their community. They assist with resolving conflicts, finding housing, facilitating custody agreements and pursuing goals.
Human Services Skills and Qualifications
A successful candidate for a Human Services job will possess the following qualifications and skills:
- Active listening: This is one of the most important skills required for working in Human Services. A worker must be able to listen to and understand each individual while assuring that person that they are there to help.
- Critical thinking: Rather than simply absorbing the needs and opinions of their clients, workers should take an objective overview of the situation in order to recommend the best course of action.
- Empathy: People working in Human Services must strive to truly understand and relate to each individual.
- Ability to set boundaries: Because workers may deal with emotional situations and difficult circumstances, they must set boundaries to avoid becoming personally involved with those they are helping.
Human Services Salary Expectations
The Human Services field includes a large number of jobs and skill levels, and thus a wide range of salaries. In such job titles as Case Manager, Counselor, Service Coordinator, Social Worker and Program Assistant, the average salary found by Indeed is $18.53 per hour. This may vary depending on the worker’s duties, education, certification and experience, as well as the budget of the company or organization.
Human Services Education and Training Requirements
Although it is possible to acquire a Human Services job with a high school diploma, most people working in the field have at least an associate degree in Human Services or some related discipline. To get an entry-level position, Human Services workers need to obtain bachelor’s degrees in fields such as sociology, psychology or social work. For those looking to work in positions such as a Licensed Social Worker (LCSW) or other similar career paths, a master’s degree or doctorate is required. Ongoing training is typically a part of any long-term position, and depending on the state where the job is located, certifications may be required.
Human Services Experience Requirements
To be eligible for most Human Services positions, candidates must first work under the supervision of a qualified mentor in the field. While the number of hours can vary depending on the position, 1500 hours is the most common requirement to complete Human Services mentorship programs.
Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
If this general Human Services job description is not quite what you seek, the following more specific job descriptions may be useful: