Social and human service workers have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker. Social and human service assistants help clients identify and obtain benefits and services. In addition to initially connecting clients with benefits or services, social and human service assistants may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the services and that the services are meeting their needs. They may work with clients to develop treatment plans, coordinate services, and help clients use services in the community.
Education and Certification Requirements
A bachelor’s degree is generally sufficient for entry level positions. Most employers prefer to hire workers who have relevant work or volunteer experience. Additional education is almost always necessary for advancement. In general, advancement to case management or social work jobs requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work, or a related field.
Pay varies greatly based on job title. The median annual wage for social and human service assistants was $31,810 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,640.
Employment of social and human service assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Much of the growth will be due to the needs of an aging population. In addition, growth is expected as more people seek treatment for their addictions and more drug offenders are sent to treatment programs rather than to jail. There also will be continued demand for child and family social and human service assistants. These workers will be needed to help others, such as social workers, investigate child abuse cases, as well as place children in foster care and with adoptive families.