Human Services Management Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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Get the truth about salaries in the field of human services management. Read the job descriptions and learn about education and training requirements and career prospects to decide if a career in human services management is right for you.
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Careers in Human Services Management

Human services management professionals implement services that help resolve human social, physical, psychological and educational difficulties. Among the careers that fall into the category of human services management are social and human service assistant, social and community service manager and social worker. Below is a chart comparing some of the characteristics these career fields:

Social and Human Service Assistant Social Worker Social and Community Service Manager
Career Overview Social and human service assistants aid advanced professionals as they secure benefits for clients and help clients cope with difficult times. Social workers help people cope with everyday problems or diagnose and deal with clients who may be psychologically, behaviorally or emotionally challenged. Social and community service managers coordinate and administer social service programs to clients with various social or behavioral challenges.
Education Requirements Certificate or associate's degree required for management duties Bachelor's degree for non-clinical, master's degree for clinical At least a bachelor's degree
Program Length 1-2 years 4-6 years, depending on whether a master's degree is included 4 years
Certification and Licensing None State licensure required for clinical social workers and may be required for nonclinical social workers in some states Social worker license required by some employers; optional Certified Social Work Manager credential available
Experience Required Some experience preferred 2 years required for clinical licensure Social worker experience generally required
Job Outlook for 2014-2024 Faster than average (11%)* Faster than average (12%)* Faster than average (10%)*
Mean Annual Salary (2014) $31,860* $49,150*$67,730*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Social and Human Service Assistant

A social and human service assistant may work under a social worker or a social service center manager to provide client services in areas as varied as family relations, substance abuse and rehabilitation. They may also help people access government programs. Social and human service assistants with postsecondary education may take on managerial rolls in community residences.

Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that though a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement to become a social and human service assistant, many employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed some postsecondary education, such as a certificate or an associate's degree. On-the-job training is common, especially for those who don't have a degree. In areas such as rehabilitation, counseling or social work, you may be required to hold a bachelor's degree.

Below are some examples of what employers were looking for in November 2012:

  • A life care center in Indiana wanted to hire a full-time social services assistant. Candidates were to hold a bachelor's degree in social work. They were also to have accumulated 1-2 years of qualifying work experience, preferably in the area of long-term care.
  • An Illinois health service system affiliated with the Catholic Church was seeking a part-time social service assistant. Candidates were to have experience working with senior citizens in human services or social services. This job required ability to work a flexible schedule.
  • A residential health services agency in Florida was looking for a social services assistant to evaluate resident's needs and assist residents with the admission process, personal finances and related services. The job required an associate's degree and one year of experience.

Standing Out

Perhaps one of the best ways to stand out is to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree. The Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE) offers a list of accredited schools and programs. A degree can serve as testimony to your commitment to the field and prepare you to move into the role of case manager or social worker. While pursuing additional education, it may be wise to continue working, if possible, since so many employers seek applicants with experience in addition to a degree.

Social Worker

Social workers identify individuals who need help, determine their specific needs and find ways to see that those needs are met. They may work from an office or make field visits to interview, consult with, treat and advise individuals who are experiencing mental, emotional or behavioral difficulties. Social workers may have a caseload of many clients to manage at once. Their duties also may entail assisting individuals with addressing and coping with emergencies and everyday problems.

Requirements

According to the BLS, a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) is the minimum education requirement you'll need to land a position as a social worker. As established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), all programs leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree in social work must consist of classroom and clinical field study components. You may earn a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) if your undergraduate degree is in a field that is related to social work. Once you graduate from a program that is accredited by the CSWE, you must sit for an exam that is monitored by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Although requirements vary by state, in most states, passing an ASWB examination for generalist or clinical social workers is sufficient for licensure.

Here's what some employers were looking for in November 2012:

  • A rehabilitation facility in Texas was looking for a full-time social worker. Candidates were to hold a B.S.W. and be licensed by the state as a social worker. Candidates were to have at least two years of work experience at a hospital or similar facility. Experience in long-term care was preferred.
  • An Indiana facility specializing in senior and long-term care wanted to hire a full-time social worker. Though a B.S.W. was acceptable, the employer preferred to hire an individual who held a M.S.W. Candidates were to have accumulated a minimum of one year of work experience at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, but more experience was preferred.
  • An Air Force base in Mississippi was seeking a full-time social worker. Candidates were to hold a M.S.W. from a CSWE-accredited program, have an unrestricted clinical license from any state and qualified to practice independently. Candidates were to have two years within the last five years of clinical experience at a mental health facility working with adults or children and teenagers.

Standing Out

ASWB exams fall into five categories: Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist and Clinical. All exams are based on education and experience levels and may qualify you for entry positions at those respective levels. It can enhance your standing to accumulate as much education and experience as you can in order to qualify for a higher exam category. In addition, you can distinguish yourself further by applying for a voluntary professional social work credential from the National Association of Social Workers.

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers operate as supervisors and administrative officers in places such as governmental social service agencies, independent community organizations, civic organizations, nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities. They oversee the physical operation of the facility and the performance of staff members who attend to the social, behavioral and emotional needs of clients. They are often required to design and carry out programs that comply with an organization's declared mission or standards. In addition, duties may consist of conducting public relations and fundraising campaigns within the community and coordinating cooperative efforts of governmental programs.

Requirements

You can qualify for an entry-level position as a social and community service manager with a bachelor's degree, along with some on-the-job experience in an area related to social work. Many employers prefer you to hold a master's degree. Even with a master's degree, the BLS asserts that work experience is required, particularly if the job you're seeking is a director's position. Your education and work experience should cover areas that include statistics, policy analysis and program management. Depending on the size of the organization, you may be responsible for the operation of day-to-day office functions, so your training should reflect such preparation.

Here are a few employers who were seeking social and community service managers in November 2012:

  • A social services facility in Iowa was looking for a service coordinator. The employer preferred that candidates hold a bachelor's degree in the social or behavioral sciences from an accredited school. One year of appropriate post-degree work experience in human services was also required, although candidates with a high school diploma and three years of qualifying work experience were also considered. Candidates had to be willing to deal with a fluctuating work schedule.
  • A South Carolina senior care center wanted to hire a full-time social services manager. Candidates were to hold a master's degree in social work or an allied field, such as sociology or psychology. Candidates were required to be licensed and have accumulated at least one year of social work experience in a health care setting.
  • A hurricane evacuation center in New York was seeking to fill the temporary positions of social service manager and assistant director. The manager's position was full-time and was open to candidates who held a master's degree in social work and a state license. The assistant's job was part-time. The assistant would oversee weekend operations and would also work 4-5 hours during the week. An appropriate master's degree was required.

Standing Out

In order to stand out, you might consider earning a master's degree in social work or an allied field. In addition to the social sciences, your training should cover areas that include budgets and finance. You can also distinguish yourself by obtaining voluntary certification. The Network for Social Work Management offers the Certified Social Work Manager credential. If you hold at least a bachelor's degree in social work and can demonstrate your proficiency in 18 competency areas you may qualify for the designation.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Human Services
      • MS in Human Services - Family and Community Services
      • MS in Human Services - Organizational and Social Services
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Human Services/Child and Family Welfare
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Adult Gerontology Practitioner Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Liberal Arts
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA: Liberal Studies
    Associate's
      • AA: Liberal Arts
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
      • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Human Services
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. in Human Services - Human Services Counseling
      • M.A. in Human Services - Addictions Counseling
      • M.A. in Human Services - Biblical Counseling
      • M.A. in Human Services - Conflict & Mediation Ministry
      • M.A. in Human Services - Criminal Justice & Ministry
      • M.A. in Human Services - Grief Counseling
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business - HR Management
      • B.S. in Gerontology
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Psychology - Gerontology
    Master's
      • MS - Child & Adolescent Developmental Psychology (MSPSYCAD)
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Seton Hall University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • General Studies, A.A.
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Central Christian College of Kansas

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • MS in Human Services
  • Bachelor: Human Services/Child and Family Welfare
  • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services

Which subject are you interested in?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Liberal Arts

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Liberal Studies
  • AA: Liberal Arts

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Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
  • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Human Services

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • M.A. in Human Services - Human Services Counseling
  • M.A. in Human Services - Addictions Counseling
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - HR Management
  • B.S. in Gerontology

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Psychology - Gerontology
  • MS - Child & Adolescent Developmental Psychology (MSPSYCAD)

What is your highest level of education?

Seton Hall University

  • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management

What is your highest level of education?