Everyone faces challenges in their life—some more so than others, and you’re no stranger to that. While others look the other way, you’re not one to turn a blind eye to the struggles that keep people from fulfilling their true potential or enjoying a better quality of life.
There are people who need help, and fortunately, services are available to serve their needs. But sometimes the people who need help also need assistance in acquiring that help. That’s where human services comes in. When the rest of the world turns its back, you offer a helping hand. It’s just who you are, and the human services field depends on compassionate people like yourself.
If you’re looking to learn more about human services careers, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to explore three fulfilling career options that are perfect fits for a Human Services Associate’s degree.
3 Career options with a Human Services Associate’s degree
1. Social services assistant
Social services assistants work with individuals on a host of areas, including psychology, rehabilitation and social work. They may assist social workers, psychologists and other social service workers in helping clients find resources and community services that they need.
Social services assistants work with other professionals to develop treatment plans and determine the type of aid each client needs. They assist clients with daily activities and help them acquire services they may need, such as healthcare or food stamps. Social services assistants also help coordinate the services and care a client receives and manage the paperwork needed for these services. They are a vital resource to clients, ensuring that each individual receives an adequate amount of resources.
Who they work with: Social services assistants may work with special populations. Some work with children, while others work with the elderly. Some work with veterans, and some work with those overcoming addiction. Others work with the homeless, immigrants, former prison inmates and people with disabilities.
How to become one: Requirements to become a social services assistant vary. You will need at least a high school diploma, and many employers look for some education beyond high school, such as an Associate’s degree or Certificate.
Earnings and outlook: Social services assistants earn a median annual salary of $31,810.* The outlook for this career is optimistic. Employment of social services assistants is projected to grow 16 percent through 2026, a rate that is much faster than the average of all occupations.
2. Social and community service managers
Social and community managers oversee programs that provide social services to the public. These services may focus on certain challenges, including unemployment, hunger, mental health or substance abuse. They may work for nonprofit organizations, for-profit social services or government agencies. Social and community service managers may supervise and train staff who provide services to clients. They may also report to stakeholders and analyze the effectiveness of their programs.
Who they work with: Social and community service managers may run programs catered to certain demographics, including children, veterans, the homeless or aging adults. They may work alongside trained staff, including social workers, as well as community members and stakeholders of their organization.
How to become one: Social and community service managers typically need an education in social work, public or business administration, public health or a related field such as human services. Hiring managers may look for related experience and often provide on-the-job training. Some positions may require a Bachelor's degree, but earning an Associate's degree could allow you to get your foot in the door to start your career path this field.
Earnings and outlook: The median annual salary for a social and community service manager in 2016 was $64,680.* Demand for social and community service managers is projected to grow at the much-faster-than-average rate of 16 percent through 2026.
3. Community and social service specialists
Community and social service specialists help individuals who lack certain skills or resources they need to thrive. They work across different demographics to help vulnerable individuals achieve a higher quality of life and overall wellbeing. They may travel between an office, healthcare facility and the homes of individuals with whom they work in order to track their clients’ progress.
Who they work with: Community and social service specialists support the individuals in their local area. Their focus may be on certain demographics or groups of individuals, such as the elderly, individuals in drug treatment, foster children or at-risk youth.
How to become one: While requirements to become a community and social service specialist vary, they typically need a high school diploma as well as an education in a field such as human services, developmental services, behavioral sciences or community organization and advocacy.
Earnings and outlook: A community and social service specialist can expect to earn a median annual salary of $37,840.* Careers in the community and social services sector are projected to grow 14 percent through 2026, which is faster than the seven percent average for all occupations.
Rewarding careers in human services
Now that you know all about the human services careers you can launch with an Associate’s degree, what are you waiting for? The human services field needs compassionate leaders like yourself. What could be more rewarding than a lifetime of helping clients conquer their challenges to live a better quality of life?
If you want to work with clients of your own, spending your days helping them access the resources they need to be their best, check out the Rasmussen College Human Services degree page to learn how to pursue your dream career in this field.
*Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.