Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or adult daycare.
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Annual figures are on top. Hourly figures are below in parentheses.
N/A = Information not available
Employment of social and human service assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects are expected to be excellent, particularly for applicants with relevant postsecondary education.
The number of social and human service assistants is expected to grow by nearly 23 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This is due in large part to the aging population and increased demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
As the elderly population continues to grow, the demand for social and human service assistants will expand. This is due in large part to the increased need for social services demanded by this population, such as adult day care, meal delivery programs and support during medical crises. Social and human service assistants, who assist in locating and providing these services, will be needed to meet this increased demand.
Opportunities are expected to be good in private social service agencies. Employment in private agencies will grow, as State and local governments continue to contract out services to the private sector in an effort to cut costs.
The number of jobs for social and human service assistants in State and local governments will grow, but not as fast as employment for social and human service assistants in other industries. Employment in the public sector may fluctuate with the level of funding provided by State and local governments and with the number of services contracted out to private organizations.
Job prospects for social and human service assistants are expected to be excellent, particularly for individuals with appropriate education after high school. Job openings will come from job growth, but also from the need to replace workers, who advance into new positions, retire, or leave the workforce for other reasons. There will be more competition for jobs in urban areas than in rural ones, but qualified applicants should have little difficulty finding employment.
Social and human service assistants held about 352,000 jobs in 2008. More than 65 percent were employed in the healthcare and social assistance industries and almost 24 percent were employed by State and local governments.
Job Zone 3 - Medium preparation
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have gone through an apprenticeship program or several years of vocational training to perform the job.
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training, including both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.
Dental assistants, electricians, fish and game wardens, legal secretaries, personnel recruiters and recreational workers.
These occupations often involve using communication and organization skills to manage and train others.
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For information on programs and careers in human services, contact:
- Council for Standards in Human Services Education, 1935 S. Plum Grove Road, PMB 297, Palatine, IL 60067. Internet: http://www.cshse.org
- National Organization for Human Services, 5341 Old Highway 5, Suite 206, #214, Woodstock, GA 30188. Internet: http://www.nationalhumanservices.org
Information on job openings may be available from State employment service offices or directly from city, county, or State departments of health, mental health and mental retardation, and human resources.
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
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